FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Panama Public Relations
MERCEDES MARATHON CHARTS NEW COURSE
Rerouted Marathon Route Will Attract More Runners,
Involve More Neighborhoods
Birmingham, Ala., June 9, 2003 - The Mercedes Marathon will take a
different turn in 2004. The third annual race, scheduled for Sunday, Feb.
8, 2004, will follow a new course that will take runners through Red
Mountain rather than over it, resulting in a more runner-friendly course
that will allow the race to continue attracting more participants.
"The old course was one of the most difficult courses in the country, and
without changing it, this race wasn't going to grow in numbers of
participants," said Valerie McLean, director of the Mercedes Marathon.
"It's challenging enough to run 26.2 miles, without having to conquer two
major hills to get over the mountain and back in Birmingham."
The new course will run for one-half mile south on Red Mountain Expressway
from the Highland Avenue entrance to the 21st Avenue exit ramp, a change
that will allow for a much "easier, friendlier" course, McLean said.
In addition to making the marathon more inviting to runners, the new course
will also allow the Birmingham community to become more involved in the
event. The updated route will take runners through more neighborhoods in
Homewood and Mountain Brook than in the past, offering a perfect
opportunity for neighborhood residents to throw block parties and cheer
runners at the sidelines.
Runners will also now utilize the entire Homewood Shades Creek Greenway,
which runs parallel to Lakeshore Drive, and will run past fewer churches,
helping to limit the disruption of traffic to and from services. And the
revised route through Red Mountain will also provide a unique opportunity
to share the history of Birmingham with participants from other cities and
Unofficial maps of the new marathon course are available online at
www.mercedesmarathon.com. Official maps will be available after exact
measurements are completed. The half-marathon course will only have a few
The 2004 Mercedes Marathon weekend will be hosted by Birmingham Marathon,
Inc., a nonprofit organization with the mission to provide premier events
open to athletes of all running abilities. Mercedes-Benz U.S.
International, Inc. and Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. are title sponsors of the 2003
Mercedes Marathon weekend.
For more information about the Mercedes Marathon and the 2004 USA Olympic
Team Trials - Men's Marathon races and courses, visit
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