The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend, February 14-16: why it’s more than a race

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The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is coming up February 14-16! Photo courtesy of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Every February for the last eight years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Nichole Edwards has made the journey up to Birmingham from Mobile on I-65 to volunteer at the Mercedes-Benz Marathon. Here’s why the race, which is coming up this weekend, is important to her—and to all of us in Birmingham. 

Coming Together 

Nichole Edwards of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. Photo courtesy of Nichole Edwards

Former Birmingham resident, Nichole Edwards, still wanted to be involved with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama at the corporate level after transferring to Mobile. She missed her work community here in Birmingham at the company’s Riverchase campus. 

“To be honest, my favorite part of volunteering is seeing all of the employees coming together for a common cause. It becomes like a family because the same people are involved every year.”

Nichole Edwards, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Giving Back to the Community 

A group of Mercedes-Benz Marathon volunteers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama in Avondale. Photo courtesy of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Nichole also wanted to give back to the community. Volunteering during Alabama’s biggest road race event, the Mercedes-Benz Marathon, presented the perfect opportunity to do so. 

“It’s really nice to see people coming from all over the country to participate in the marathon and how appreciative they are for the support. It’s great to be a part of the community and excitement.”

Nichole Edwards, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Rain or shine, cold or damp—we are in Alabama, after all—people come together from all over to participate in the fun.

“Being able to provide a sense of encouragement to the runners is the best part. The weather can be freezing or raining, and we are right there with them!”

Nichole Edwards, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Race Weekend

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes-Benz Marathon. Photo via Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend on Facebook

Nichole’s volunteer experience spans virtually every aspect of Mercedes-Benz Marathon weekend, from packet pickup at Boutwell Auditorium to the finish line. She’s also passed out water at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s water station and volunteered at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes Marathon. This event is one of the highlights of the weekend. 

The kids marathon includes children from kindergarten through fifth grade that have been working hard to complete 25 miles of running throughout the school year. On race day they run the last mile alongside friends and family. Over 4,000 children are registered to run in this year’s marathon.

“It’s always exciting to see the competitive spirit in the children. They enjoy being out with thousands of kids and running with parents and getting the medal and gift bag at the end.”

Nichole Edwards, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

This year’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes Marathon is Saturday, February 15 at 11 a.m.. Access full race weekend information via this link

Rewarding Experience

Thousands of runners and volunteers will be in Birmingham February 14-16 for the race. Photo courtesy of Marathonfoto

Not only does Nichole enjoy the sense of camaraderie that comes with marathon weekend, but it’s also inspired her to set personal goals for herself.

“Volunteering for the Mercedes-Benz Marathon has been a rewarding experience for me. It helps me set goals for wanting to run a half marathon and also has built a sense of community as everyone in Birmingham comes together.”

Nichole Edwards, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Get Involved

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes-Benz Marathon. Photo via Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend on Facebook

If you’d like to join Nichole and others in the excitement this weekend and volunteer during the race, visit this link to explore opportunities. 

Are you volunteering or running at one of the race weekend events? Let us know @BhamNow!

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