2021 Mercedes Marathon postponed due to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend.

Organizers of the events, originally scheduled for February 19 through 21, 2021 in downtown Birmingham, say safety concerns about the virus are behind the decision. Instead, the races are tentatively scheduled for sometime in the spring.

“This was a very difficult decision, but it is in the best interest of all participants and spectators,” Event Chair Valerie Cuddy said. “The COVID-19 situation is too fluid to accurately predict the conditions we will see in February. We don’t want to do anything to risk the health and safety of anyone involved as we are also following the lead of the City of Birmingham as they are delaying the approval of city-wide events. And please remember our official charity, The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs, as we all navigate through this time.”

The decision affects the Mercedes-Benz Half and Full Marathon, the Marathon Relay and the Regions Superhero 5K normally scheduled for the Saturday or Sunday. A modified Mercedes-Benz Kid’s Marathon, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, will still take place.

Children run 25.2 miles in weekly increments or in organized sessions at their schools. Instead of running the final mile on Feb. 20, 2021 in downtown Birmingham, they will run through organized activities at their respective schools or they can run that mile virtually. Participants will still receive their finisher medals.

MBUSI President and CEO Michael Goebel said the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance has taken extensive safety precautions since restarting after a four-week shutdown earlier this year due to the virus.

“We could not in good conscience support holding the event in February and potentially create an environment where COVID-19 could thrive,” Goebel said. “We will make every effort to help make sure the 20th Anniversary race takes place – whether it happens in 2021 or 2022.”

posted Wednesday December 2nd
by William Thornton