Kids FAQ

Kids FAQ

General Information

Click on a question to view the answer

1. What is the time and location of the event?

2. How do I know if my child’s school is participating?

3. Is this a timed race event?

4. What if my child can’t be there on February 11? Will he/she still get his/her medal?

5. Is there a make up date?

6. What if the weather is bad that day? (Really cold, raining, snowing)

7. Do we need to check-in on race morning?

8. Where should I park on race morning?

9. How do I register for the Kids Marathon?

10. What is the log sheet for?

11. Is the Kids Marathon a fundraiser?

12. My child is in the 6th grade. Can he/she still participate in the Kids Marathon?

13. Can I run with my child and do I need to be registered?

14. Will my child be safe on the course if I am not with him/her?

15. Where will my child go after he/she crosses the finish line?

16. When is race packet pick up?

17. What if I miss race packet pick up on January 26?

18. What is in the race packet?

19. What do I do with the t-shirt and race numbers?

20. What about final race instructions?

21. Where do we go once we get to Linn Park?

22. How do we get a refund if my child cannot attend?



1. What is the time and location of the event?
The race starts at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at Linn Park which is located across the street from Boutwell Auditorium at 1930 8th Avenue North in downtown Birmingham. We begin with 5th graders at 11:00 a.m. and each grade after that goes in 10 minute increments.
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2. How do I know if my child’s school is participating?
You will need to contact your child’s school to determine this.
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3. Is this a timed race event?
Yes, but there are no winners and no awards will be given out. Your child will have a timing device on the back of their race bib so they can compare their timing progress from the beginning of their training in September until race day. Race times will be listed on our web site by bib number only; not by their name. The timing is done by chip time, not gun time which means it will be an accurate time from the starting pad to the finish line.
This event is to help children learn about a healthy lifestyle with a major component being exercise. This is the final mile of their marathon journey, not a race.
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4. What if my child can’t be there on February 11? Will he/she still get his/her medal?
No, you must complete your final mile on the marathon course on February 11 to receive your medal just like with any sporting event. They must be in attendance.
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5. Is there a make up date?
No, there is no makeup date and the child must run on race day to receive their medal.
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6. What if the weather is bad that day? (Really cold, raining, snowing)
Our first priority is the safety of your children. Unless there is a danger to your children, we will still run. Cold weather will not stop the race nor will rain, unless there are storms associated with it. Snow has never been an issue. We suggest checking our website on race morning in the event the weather is bad – www.mercedesmarathon.com.
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7. Do we need to check-in on race morning?
No, there is no check-in on race morning. Just come to Linn Park and enjoy the excitement until your grade is called to begin.
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8. Where should I park on race morning?
There will be street parking available around Linn Park or you can park in one of the city parking decks. Please go to this website for a listing of parking decks in the area www.bhamparking.com. The decks will be charging a fee for Saturday parking.
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9. How do I register for the Kids Marathon?
You can register one of two ways.

1. Go to www.mercedesmarathon.com and click on the Kids Marathon section. This will take you where you need to go. You must pay by credit card when registering on-line. There is a discount for online registration, but a small service fee is charged by Runsignup.com. Please print out a copy of your registration confirmation upon completion.

2. Fill out a hard copy registration form and mail it to 1911 27th Avenue, South, Homewood, AL 35209. You can download a form from the kids marathon page on our web site or you may have gotten one from your P.E. coach. THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 15, 2016.
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10.What is the log sheet for?
The log sheet is used to track your child’s mileage. As your child runs mark the date and distance. Each child is responsible for running a total of 25.2 miles prior to running the last mile on the marathon course on February 11. The log sheet needs to mailed or faxed to our office by January 26, 2017. Our address is BMI, 1911 27th Avenue, South, Birmingham, AL 35209 and our fax number is 205-870-7729. If your child’s school is participating you should check with the P.E. teacher to determine if he/she is keeping track of miles at school and if he/she will send us their log sheet.
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11. Is the Kids Marathon a fundraiser?
The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend as a whole is a charitable event. You or your child are welcome to raise money for The Bell Center for Early Intervention. You can go to our website at www.mercedesmarathon.com to learn more about these groups and how to fundraise for them.
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12. My child is in the 6th grade. Can he/she still participate in the Kids Marathon?
No, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes Marathon is for Kindergarten through 5th grade children. Your child must be 5 years old on race day to participate. We are encouraging 6th graders to run the Regions Superhero 5K (3.1 mile walk/run) which takes place at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2017 right before the kids marathon.
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13. Can I run with my child and do I need to be registered?
Yes, you can run with your child, but we are encouraging parents to allow their child to complete their marathon goal by themselves with their classmates. It's their time to shine and be proud of their individual accomplishment! But we understand there will be various reasons a parent may need to run with their child so parents may register to run with their child. Only one parent is allowed to run and you only have to register once even if you have multiple children.

The parent must register by November 15 to receive an official race bib so you are allowed on the course. You must also run in the group designated for Children Running with Parents. You may run with your child regardless of their grade, K-5th. That group will be the last group to run on Saturday and it will begin at approximately 12:10 pm. No parents will be allowed to run with the individual grades that run from 11:00 a.m. 11:50 a.m. Only PE coaches wearing official race t-shirts are allowed to run in any grade wave.

Parent registration fee is $10 and you must register when you register your child. You will receive an official race bib that must be worn on your most outer layer as proof you are a registered parent and can officially be on the course. The registration fee DOES NOT include a t-shirt only an official race bib number.
If you run with your child, your child will not be allowed to run in the individual grade groups. They must wait and run with you at 12:10 pm. No younger or older siblings are allowed to run on the course and no strollers are allowed due to safety precautions and insurance purposes. Please do not take a medal or PowerAde for yourself or a younger sibling. We only have enough for registered students in grades K-5th. Back to top
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14. Will my child be safe on the course if I am not with him/her?
Your child’s safety is our first concern. We will have medical personnel at the start and the finish of the mile. We have a Birmingham Police officer at every street intersection along with a course marshal so your child will not be able to make a turn that is not on the course. We also have college cross country teams and other official runners who will run with the children. They will insure that the runners stay on the correct course while offering them encouragement to finish their marathon goal.
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15. Where will my child go after he/she crosses the finish line?
Again, let us say – your child’s safety is our first concern! Once your child crosses the finish line we have volunteers that will direct them to a secure fenced in area. They will be given water or PowerAde and if they are having any medical problems we will have medical personnel on-site to handle that. Once they are in the secure fenced in area you (parent/guardian) will go to the area that corresponds with your child’s race number (remember-you will have a Parent Claim tag with you with your child’s number on it). You will be able to retrieve your child from the fenced area once you show your parent claim tag that corresponds with your child’s. NO ID’S WILL BE ACCEPTED – ONLY MATCHING NUMBERS ON CLAIM TAG!

PLEASE EDUCATE YOUR CHILD ON THIS PROCESS SO THEY UNDERSTAND THEY SHOULD NOT LEAVE THE FINISH LINE CORRALS FOR ANY REASON EXCEPT WHEN THEIR PARENT/GUARDIAN PICKS THEM UP.

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16. When is race packet pick up?
Packet pick up will take place on January 26, 2017 at the BMI office located at 1911 27th Avenue, South in Homewood. The hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Please watch our website for more details. If your child’s school is participating then most likely your P.E. coach will be picking up all of the school’s packets and distributing them at school. You will need to check with your P.E. coach to determine this. If your child’s school is not participating, you will need to pick up your child’s packet during the designated time. It is very important that your child have their packet before race day. We will be sending out an email with details about packet pick up so make sure you add kids@mercedesmarathon.com to your address book!
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17. What if I miss race packet pick up on January 26?
If you miss packet pick up you can pick your child’s packet up on Friday, Feb. 10 or before the race on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Expo at Boutwell Auditorium located at 1930 8th Avenue North in downtown Birmingham. Race packets will be at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Expo booth. Boutwell Auditorium is the home of the St. Vincent’s Health Systems Health and Fitness Expo and Packet Pick Up. It will be held on Friday from 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. Packets will be available to pick up during those times. Once the official packet pick up ends on January 26 the race packets will go into storage and will not be available for pick up until the Expo.
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18. What is in the race packet?
The packets will have official race instructions, a long sleeved race shirt, your child’s race number with a PARENT CLAIM TAG attached, and safety pins to attach the race number to the front of your child’s race shirt.
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19. What do I do with the t-shirt and race numbers?
It is imperative that your child wear their race shirt on race day! This helps us determine what grade your child is in. Each grade is given a designated colored shirt. Your child MUST also wear the race number on the FRONT of their race shirt so officials can see it. The PARENT CLAIM TAG is for the parent or guardian to have so they may identify and pick up their child after the race. Make sure that you detach the claim tag from the race number BEFORE your child runs. No children will be allowed to leave their designated area unless the adult has the parent claim tag with the matching race number. No IDs will be accepted in place of the parent claim tag. You MUST have the parent claim tag! Click here to view a picture of what your child’s race bib will look similar to.

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20. What about final race instructions?
During the week of the race, registered participants will receive their final race instructions via e-mail regarding times, locations and race day details. To ensure that you receive our emails please add kids@mercedesmarathon.com to your address book. Please read the instructions as they will answer all of your questions regarding the events on race day!! If we do not have your email address please email it to kids@mercedesmarathon.com otherwise you may not receive your final race instructions.
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21. Where do we go once we get to Linn Park?
The race will start on Park Place near where 20th Street South runs into Linn Park. We will run the kids by their grade level beginning with the 5th grade at 11:00 a.m. There will be a 10 minute lapse between grades ending with kindergarteners. We will “corral” each grade in Linn Park across from the entrance to the Tutwiler Hotel. You will need to listen and watch for your child’s grade to be called. The park area will be VERY crowded so please allow for plenty of time to get your child to the right place on time. Please remind your child that this is NOT a race therefore there is no need to push to the front to be first! Kids will be started in “waves” to avoid the pushing and shoving at the start line. Once your child’s grade begins running they will run to 20th Street, turn left, then down 20th Street less than a half of a mile, turn and run back up the other side of 20th Street and then around the corner to “short 20th Street” and to the finish line.

Here are the start times:

**No Parents will be allowed to run with the following groups at these times from 11:00 – 11:50 a.m. Only coaches wearing official race t-shirts are allowed to run in any grade wave.

**11:00 a.m.          5th graders (black t-shirts)
**11:10 a.m.          4th graders (yellow t-shirts)
**11:20 a.m.          3rd graders (gray t-shirts)
**11:30 a.m.          2nd graders (white t-shirts)
**11:40 a.m.          1st graders (blue t-shirts)
**11:50 a.m.          Kindergarteners (red t-shirts)

12:10 p.m.     Children Running with Parents – All grades K-5th

There is a $10 registration fee for parents and you must register yourself when you register your child. Parents will NOT be allowed to run with strollers or unregistered younger or older siblings during the event on race day.

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22. How do we get a refund if my child cannot attend?
Due to the upfront nature of event costs, we have a uniform policy of no refunds, transfers or deferrals to a future year. We know that plans change and unexpected things come up, but we feel it is most fair to apply a uniform policy to all, instead of an arbitrary line of who merits a refund and who doesn't. Thank you for understanding.

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