General Information Marathon Relay

General Information Marathon Relay


2018 Relay Race Instructions

If you’re not quite ready for the marathon or half-marathon, then join your coworkers, friends or family and participate in Mercedes-Benz Marathon 5 Person Relay! The race will start at the same time as the Mercedes-Benz Marathon & Half-Marathon. Each relay team will consist of 5 people, all being at least 12 years of age on race day. All relay team members will receive the same amenities as the half-marathon participants, including a race weekend technical running shirt and smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon finisher’s medal. Team members must submit all five entries together and must designate one team captain. You must have four members to call it a team and participate, but only teams with 5 members are eligible for awards. You will need to send only one team member to the Expo to pick up race packets. They will be given out as a team, not as individual participants.

Awards will be presented to the winning relay in each of these categories at the awards ceremony at Boutwell Auditorium.

  • Men’s Team
  • Women’s Team
  • Middle School/High School Team (must include at least 2 females)*
  • Mixed Open (must include at least 2 females)
  • Masters (must include at least 2 females)


*One award will be given in this category.  We do not distinguish between middle school and high school teams. 



Adult relay entry fee through December 31, 2017 - $240 
January 1- February 5, 2018 - $265

High School and Middle School Team entry fee through December 31, 2017 - $190
January 1–February 5, 2018 - $215

Relay team registration is only available online through and will be open until midnight of February 5, 2018. After this date, registration will only be available at the Expo. All relay team entry fees at the Expo are $265. We will close the relay field at 250 teams so register early! Entry fee is non-refundable. There is NO race day registration.

When registering online at it is not important to list the runners in correct relay leg order.   If you have changes to your team you will need to notify us to make those changes.  For example - team members, shirt sizes or change in relay category. 



The five-person Relay Event will begin with the Mercedes-Benz Marathon and Half-Marathon at 7:03 a.m. on Sunday, February 11, 2018 in front of Boutwell Auditorium in Downtown Birmingham.



Each team will consist of five runners. The relay is held on the same course as the individual marathon and run at the same time. Each Relay team is assigned a single timing chip that is attached to a timing belt that will be passed from each runner. The timing belt must be passed off to the next runner of the relay after crossing over the timing pad at the relay exchange. Details about the timing chip exchange are covered below. The distances for each leg are approximately (1) 6.05 miles, (2) 2.95 miles, (3) 6.05 miles, (4) 3.05 miles, (5) 8.10 miles.

Should the runner of the FIRST LEG of the relay wish to also continue running in the Mercedes-Benz Marathon or Mercedes-Benz Half-Marathon that runner must complete, including payment, an individual entry form for the full or half marathon. This person will wear the relay team number and the timing belt as well as their own individual number and chip. Your relay timing chip will be attached to a belt worn around your waist and your individual timing chip will be attached to your individual race bib.



The Relay Exchange Areas are as follows:

  • Relay Exchange # 1 - Backside of Glen Iris Elementary School - 14th Avenue S. and 11th Place South - from the start to Relay Exchange #1 is a 6.05 miles - from Relay Exchange #1 to Relay Exchange #2 is a 2.95 miles.
  • Relay Exchange # 2 - Highland Ave by golf course just before Clairmont Avenue- from Relay Exchange #2 to Relay Exchange #3 is 6.05 miles.
  • Relay Exchange #3 - Kelly Ingram Park across from the Civil Rights Institute - 4th Avenue North and 16th Street N- from Relay Exchange #3 to Relay Exchange #4 is a 3.05 miles.
  • Relay Exchange # 4 - Epic School parking lot - 1000 10th Ave S - from Relay Exchange #4 to the Finish Line is 8.1 miles

Each marathon relay team will be given one timing belt which will have the "team" timing chip attached. This timing belt is to be worn by the next runner once they have crossed over the timing pad at each relay exchange. The last runner will take off the timing belt at the finish line and leave it with finish line officials.

Relay runners will need to be alert for their upcoming exchange zone. This area will be designated by signs and will be to the side of the marathon course after crossing over the timing mat allowing for room to pass off the timing belt. Please be considerate of other runners during the transition.



The Marathon Relay is open to runners and walkers of all abilities and participants must be 12 years or older on race day.  However, a six-hour time limit has been set. This means a participant or team must maintain consistent pace of at least 13:44 per mile. Relay teams need to keep this in mind and may need to alternate slower runners with faster runners to keep within the time limits. Relay Team Member #3 must stay in front the balloon lady when the course splits at 20th St., N. and 5th Ave., N. or he/she will be sent to the finish line and will be disqualified. Team members still at relay exchange zones 4 & 5 will not be able to run.



 It is very important that your relay team member #3 understands how the course has a "split" so the full marathon and relay marathon participants can continue on the double loop course. The "split" is at the intersection of 20th St., N. and 5th Ave., N. It will be well marked with turn directions and the team member should already be in the right hand lane of the street to make this turn. Beginning at approximately mile 11 at 32nd St, S. and 2nd Ave., S. the street lanes will be coned off separating the half marathon runners from the full and relay marathon runners. Your relay member along with the full marathon runners should be in the right lane for approximately 2 more miles where they will turn at the "split" and begin to run down 5th Ave., N. This turn at 5th Ave., N. will begin your double loop of the course. Please learn and know the course by checking out our course map on the home page.



  • The first runner will need to arrive at the start line in plenty of time to park the car, warm-up, check in gear, etc.
  • All other relay runners will need to be at their designated relay exchange areas in plenty of time to allow them to check in their warm-up gear, warm-up, etc. Although transportation is provided to each exchange point, it is the responsibility of each runner to be on time and ready to run the next leg of the relay.
  • While some runners will want to provide their own transportation to their exchange areas, many others will need transportation. For those relay runners, transportation will be provided to their respective relay exchange area via yellow school buses. The buses will be located on 19th Street N between park Place and 8th Ave N near City Hall and the Greyhound Bus Station. Each bus will be marked #1, #2, #3, #4 to designate which bus to ride on to get to your exchange area. Please remember that many roads along the course will be closed, so you are encouraged to use the transportation provided.
  • Runner #2 going to Relay Exchange #1 at Glen Iris Elementary- leaves at 6:15 a.m.
  • Runner #3 going to Relay Exchange #2 at Highland Golf Course - leaves at 6:20 a.m.
  • Runner #4 going to Relay Exchange #3 at Civil Rights Institute - leaves at 6:25 a.m. (but really, you can walk to this one after the race starts - it's 5-6 blocks away from the start)
  • Runner #5 going to Relay Exchange #4 at Epic School - leaves at 6:30 a.m.
  • If you are providing your own transportation to your relay exchange area, remember that the marathon course will be closed off to traffic starting at 7:00 a.m. You will not be able to drive on the actual course once runners start arriving in that area. Please use common sense and DO NOT PARK DIRECTLY ON THE COURSE! Please plan ahead.
  • When runners have completed their leg of the race, there will be transportation available back to the finish line area. Look for the bus or signs directing you to your bus at the exchange area for your ride back. (Due to traffic issues, Runner #1 will need to walk a couple of blocks to the exchange area at Epic School to catch the bus back to the finish line).



We do not have bag checks at the relay exchange stations. The official weekend Bag Check is located on the side of Boutwell Auditorium between the auditorium and the Birmingham Museum of Art.

A bag check claim tag is located on your race bib or tags will be available to attach to your bag at the bag check area. All items must be in a CLEAR PLASTIC BAG.  We will have some available if you do not have one.  If you want to make something available for yourself to put on after your relay leg, then you will need to work that out with your team member running the leg after you. Any gear not claimed will be turned over to Boutwell Auditorium Lost & Found.




Medals along with a finish line amenity (to be determined) will be given as a single package for each team at the finish line on race day. The final leg #5 team member is then responsible for distributing these items to their team. Please be sure each relay team member is aware of this so no one is looking for a medal at the finish line or at a relay exchange point. Awards will be presented to the winning relay team in each category at the awards ceremony at Boutwell Auditorium between 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. If your team wins its division then someone from your team must be present to get the award. We do not mail out awards. Please plan your travel accordingly. All team results will be posted on the Mercedes Marathon web site,, after the race.

NOTICE: Due to insurance regulations, unregistered runners, unauthorized vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, strollers, baby joggers and other wheeled devices and animals are prohibited in the race.




Register Here for Kids Marathon until
November 30


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