The Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama is a qualifier race for the Boston Marathon and so it seemed appropriate that World Soccer Shop’s Team adidas was sponsored by the 3-Stripes with runners pulling on the adiZero Boston 5 running shoes.
The Birmingham based soccer specialty store was taking part in the Mercedes Marathon Relay for the third consecutive year. The 2016 race provided a new challenge for the 5 runner (4 men and 1 woman) team with early morning temperatures in the mid-20’s and only raising about 10 degrees during the race.
But the team of ‘weekend runners’ was well prepared to deal with the hills of Birmingham with the adiZero Boston 5 running shoes.
The lightweight shoe took very little time to break-in with more than one runner taking it for their first run on race day but with no issues. The Boost technology was the most noticeable feature of the shoe for these runners more familiar with soccer cleats. The midsole with Boost technology provided great cushioning and even more important the responsive return with each step.
The mesh upper was breathable, which maybe was not ideal on this cold day, but helps keep the overall weight down. The traction was great with Continental, the same company that makes car tires, designing and providing the outer rubber layer of the sole.
The team was not just about the shoes but also supporting adidas European club soccer teams. Each runner wore an official team jersey of an adidas club with Bayern Munich 2015/16 home and away jerseys, Manchester United 2015/16 home jersey, AC Milan 2015/16 home jersey, and Chelsea 2015/16 third jersey making the rounds on the street of Birmingham.
For these weekend runners it was a respectable 25th place finish in the Open All-Male division with a time of 4:13:45. Next year with a little more training the team will no doubt break the 4 hour mark.
The best part of the Mercedes Marathon is surprisingly not crossing the finish line but what the race does to help raise funds and awareness for the Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. The program helps infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delay including children born prematurely, or with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and a variety of other genetic disorders through therapy. Throughout the race you see Bellrunners with red shirts and child’s picture who are sponsoring a child over the 26.2 miles.