Mercedes Marathon

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2013 Mercedes Marathon logo.png

The Mercedes Marathon was an annual running event headlined by a 26.2-mile long marathon footrace. It was run annually from 2002 to 2023.

The event was founded in 2002 by Valeria McLean. The event attracts athletes from across the United States and around the world to take part in the feature race through the streets of both Birmingham and portions of Homewood and Mountain Brook. The weekend event also features a half marathon, a kids' marathon and a 5K as part of the event.

For 2007, over 8,100 participants were expected to compete in one or more events. 686 completed the full marathon. 856 runners pre-registered for the 2009 marathon.

For 2009 the course of the marathon was changed to a double-loop entirely within the city limits of Birmingham. The impetus for the change was the difficulty of making two crossings over Red Mountain.

The primary sponsor for the event since its inception has been the German automaker Mercedes-Benz which operates their lone American facility in Tuscaloosa. Proceeds of nearly a half million dollars from the 2007 event went to the local charities including Children's Hospital, The Bell Center and Kid One.

Registration for the 2010 Mercedes Marathon topped 11,000 runners from 48 states and 7 countries. In 2011 nearly 11,000 participated in the weekend's events, including, for the first time, athletes from all 50 states. The route was slightly modified for the 2013 race to avoid construction at Regions Field, and modified again in 2019 and 2020 to avoid construction at Interstate 20/59, with the start/finish line moved to 1st Avenue South between Regions Field and Railroad Park.

The 2021 marathon weekend was canceled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The final marathon weekend was held on February 10-12, 2023. Organizers cited rising costs and diminished support in their decision not to continue. The weekend included events for the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, The Bell Center Children's Run, Regions Superhero 5K, and the Kids Marathon.

Top men's marathon finishing times

  • February 10, 2002: Elly Rono of Kenya (via Chapel Hill, North Carolina) with a time of 2:21:00
  • February 9, 2003: Chuck Engle of Carroll, Ohio with a time of 2:36:14
  • February 8, 2004: Mike Korir of Kenya (via Columbus, Ohio) with a time of 2:30:11
  • February 13, 2005: Sammy Nyamongo of Kenya (via Asheville, North Carolina) with a time of 2:26:17.15
  • February 12, 2006: Ibrahim Limo of Kenya (via Albuquerque, New Mexico) with a time of 2:29:32.44
  • February 11, 2007: Esteban Vanegas of Ecuador (via Alma, Michigan) with a time of 2:34:13
  • February 10, 2008: Gilbert Kiptoo of Kenya (via Danbury, Connecticut) with a time of 2:23:18
  • February 15, 2009: David Cheruiyot of Kenya (via Las Cruces, New Mexico) with a time of 2:23:25
  • February 14, 2010: Daniel Ellis of Hoover with a time of 2:25:57
  • February 13, 2011: David Tuwei of Kenya (via Coon Rapids, Minnesota) with a time of 2:19:41
  • February 12, 2012: Michael Wardien of Arlington, Virginia with a time of 2:22:43
  • February 17, 2013: Mario Macias of Colorado with a time of 2:18:48
  • February 16, 2014: Mark Chepses of West Des Moines, Iowa with a time of 2:20:36
  • February 22, 2015: Joseph Amenya of Grand Prairie, Texas with a time of 2:19:09
  • February 14, 2016: Michael Crouch of Lexington, Kentucky with a time of 2:21:28
  • February 12, 2017: Dominic Korir of Grand Prairie, Texas with a time of 2:20:35
  • February 11, 2018: Tiidrek Nurme of Tartu, Estonia with a time of 2:18:38
  • February 10, 2019: Eliud Ngetich of Midway, Georgia with a time of 2:18:12 (record)
  • 2020:
  • February 12, 2022: Gatlin Holland of Birmingham, Alabama with a time of 2:34:20

Top women's marathon finishing times

  • 2002: Olena Fadeyeva of the Ukraine with a time of 2:40:00
  • 2003: Cheryl Boessow of Birmingham with a time of 3:06:56
  • 2004: Dorota Gruca of Las Cruces, New Mexico with a time of 2:56:06
  • 2005: Alison Holinka of Chapel Hill, North Carolina with a time of 2:53:48.50
  • 2006: Jessica Bilss of Merrillville, Indiana with a time of 2:57:16.58
  • 2007: Christy Nielsen of Omaha, Nebraska with a time of 2:53:06
  • 2008: Atalelech Asfaw of Bronx, New York with a time of 2:46:14
  • 2009: Jessica Jacobs of Maylene with a time of 2:54:58
  • 2010: Jessica Jacobs of Maylene with a time of 2:52:56
  • 2011: Camille Herron of West Lafayette, Indiana with a time of 2:43:16
  • 2012: Elena Shmeyakina of Geneva, Illinois with a time of 3:08:29
  • 2013: Camille Heron of West Lafayette, Indiana with a time of 2:44:25
  • 2014: Gisela Olalde of Nashville, Texas with a time of 2:35:43 (record)
  • 2015: Sarah Overpeck of Indianapolis, Indiana with a time of 2:52:28
  • 2016: Bess Ritter of Chicago, Illinois with a time of 2:53:04
  • 2017: Sarah Pease of Bloomington, Indiana with a time of 2:41:45
  • 2018: Gladys Cheboi of Grand Prairie, Texas with a time of 2:46:10
  • 2019: Ruth Kimutai of Grand Prairie, Texas with a time of 2:45:48
  • 2020:
  • 2022: Hirut Guangul of New York City, New York with a time of 2:36:36


  • Mercedes Marathon Results
  • Crenshaw, Solomon Jr. (February 10, 2007) "Race weekend bigger than imagined." The Birmingham News
  • Crenshaw, Solomon Jr. (September 28, 2008) "Marathon will double-loop, stay in Birmingham city limits." The Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (February 10, 2010) "Mercedes Marathon a boost for business at area hotels." The Birmingham News
  • Faulk, Kent (February 13, 2011) "Mercedes Marathon completed in downtown Birmingham." The Birmingham News
  • Thornton, William (February 1, 2021) "Mercedes Marathon postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19." The Birmingham News
  • Thornton, William (November 29, 2022) "Birmingham's Mercedes-Benz Marathon coming to an end after 21 years, 200,000 runners" The Birmingham News

External links