Starting Times

The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon presented by CNL Financial will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the Mayor’s Cup starting at 8 a.m. following the half marathon start.

Where does the race start and finish?

As Tuscaloosa continues to grow and revitalize, the 2018 THM will see some changes and will start and finish at the Government Plaza. (2106 6th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401)

Race Day Registration / Packet Pick-up

If space is available, THM registration on Friday, March 23rd and Saturday, March 24th is an option for $95.  As mentioned before, participants in the half marathon and Mayor’s Cup may pick up race packets from the Race Expo, presented by Wagner’s RunWalk and Lance Hocutt Financial Group, or from 6:00-7:15 a.m. (half marathon) and 7:00 – 7:45 a.m. (Mayor’s Cup) on race morning.

Packet pick-up will take place at Government Plaza from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm on Friday, March 23rd, 2018.

The Race Expo Festival will take place at Government Plaza from 4:00 – 8:00 pm on Friday, March 23rd, 2018.

We will have outdoor vendors, live music, food vendors, and discounts for race participants to enjoy in Downtown Tuscaloosa!  Saturday’s check-in will be located at the Government Plaza.

What do I get for my entry fee?

Half Marathon participant entry fees include, but are not limited to, a race bag with goodies inside of it from sponsors and the half marathon, a moisture-wicking race shirt, finisher’s medal, chip timing system and results, support from law enforcement, volunteers and staff, course entertainment and a 13.1 car magnet.

At the post-race, our half marathon finishers will receive, fruit, granola bars (courtesy of Piggly Wiggly), water, Gatorade, Heat Pizza, Jim ‘n Nick’s Denny Dogs, Chick-fil-A Chocolate Chunk cookies, and massages! Those 21 and older will also receive one free beer!  You’ll have the option to select from a Druid City, Black Warrior, or Band of Brothers beer, or a Michelob Ultra (courtesy of Adams Beverages)!  More will be available for purchase.

Where do I get my race packet and timing chip?

Half marathon participants will pick up their race packets and timing chips on Friday, March 23, 2018, or on the morning of the race from 6:00-7:15 am.  The location for the Race Expo and Packet Pickup is Government Plaza.  The hours of the Race Expo are 4:00-8:00 pm on Friday, and is sponsored by Wagner’s RunWalk and Lance Hocutt Financial Group.  Please refer to the Mayor’s Cup website for more details on their packet pickup information.

Time Limit

There is a four (4) hour time limit for the half marathon. All runners/walkers will need to keep an 18:30 minute per mile pace.

Are there participant limits?

Yes, to maintain the quality of the event, ensure safety and provide the best experience for all involved, the half marathon is limited to 1,500 spots.

How do I hydrate properly for the race?

Hydration information provided by DCH Sports Medicine

How important is hydration to a running safety and performance?

Hydration status in runners is dependent on the balance between sweat losses and fluid replacement and dehydration occurs when fluid losses are not adequately replaced. Sweat rates are influenced by weather conditions and running pace (i.e., pace per mile). Warm humid weather increases sweat rates and may accelerate the onset of dehydration and heat-related illnesses in runners. Keeping the body properly hydrated with the right amount of fluids improves safety and performance in a long run by maintaining blood and cell fluid volume for cardiovascular transport and sweating. Dehydration causes runners to run slower as the drop in body water decreases vascular volume with lower cardiac output and decreased muscle cell function. It is possible to ingest too much fluid, which can result in a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia. Balancing fluid intake with sweat losses to avoid dehydration and hyponatremia is the goal. Find out what keeps you in balance; there is no standard intake rate for everyone.

What are the signs of dehydration?

Thirst is an indicator that you should start replacing your sweat losses. Signs and symptoms of worsening dehydration include headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, weakness, abnormal chills, thick saliva (i.e., difficult to spit), and irritability.

What is the best way to avoid dehydration?

The best way to avoid dehydration is to calculate your sweat rate and replace your anticipated losses throughout the run. A few (10-20) ounces of fluid about an hour before the race will help you start with adequate water in your system.

How do I calculate my sweat rate?

The easiest method to estimate your sweat rate is to weigh yourself nude and run for either ½ or 1 hour in the conditions and at the pace you expect to race. At the end of the run, strip down, towel off, and reweigh yourself nude. The difference in weight (ounces) is either half (if you ran for ½ hour) or equal

(If you ran for an hour) to your sweat rate. No more than that amount should be replaced in each hour of your race. If you have determined that you need to drink 6 oz. every 20 minutes, then you stick with that plan for longer runs. Drinking too much water or sports drink (overhydrating) can lead to hyponatremia.

What is hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is defined as a serum sodium level (concentration of sodium in the blood) less than 135 mmol/L. Exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) refers to hyponatremia that is induced by excessive fluid intake during prolonged physical activity such as a slow marathon (> 4 hours).

What are signs or symptoms of exercise-associated hyponatremia?

Symptoms become pronounced when serum sodium levels fall below 135 mmol/L and water begins to flow into the body cells. Early symptoms include puffiness (e.g., swollen fingers, tight fitting watch), nausea, vomiting, progressively worsening headache, and a sense of “just not feeling right.” More serious symptoms will show when worsening brain swelling leads to confusion, irritability, agitation, and seizures. Left untreated, hyponatremia can progress to serious brain and lung swelling, coma and death.

It can take time for hyponatremia symptoms to appear and progress to a dangerous level, so keep an eye out for the symptoms even a few hours after the race, especially if you or a friend fit a high risk profile. If you do not feel thirsty, it is important not to drink large amounts of fluids until you are urinating normally.

What causes exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH)?

Exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) has been shown to occur in runners who maintain or gain weight during a long run caused by overdrinking and possible abnormal fluid retention triggered by hormones that affect kidney function.

How can I avoid exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH)?

The only way to avoid EAH is prudent fluid replacement during the half-marathon. Slow runners should drink when thirsty to avoid overdrinking during a half-marathon or other long runs. Use training runs to determine how much and how often you should drink in different weather. Know your sweat rate. Weigh yourself before and after runs, and if you do not lose a little weight during a long run, you are most likely drinking too much. Reduce your intake rate for future runs in the same conditions.

Who is at risk for exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH)?

Anyone who drinks too much water or sports drink before, during, or after the race is at risk for developing EAH, but other factors are associated with EAH, including:

    • Marathon runners with finish times >4 hours
    • Runners with low body weight or low body mass index
    • Female runners

How can I balance my hydration to avoid both dehydration and hyponatremia (EAH)?

Develop your own balanced hydration program using these tips:

    • Do not overdrink.
    • Drink when you are thirsty or determine your fluid intake that keeps your weight balanced with a slight 1-2% loss during a long run. The rate of sweat and weight loss for the same distance varies according to time of the year and weather conditions.
    • Keep your urine a pale yellow color like lemonade, neither dark like apple juice (dehydration) nor clear like water (overhydration)
    • Try to match fluid intake to weight loss. For example, if you lost 2 lbs. (32 oz.), you should try to drink close to 32 oz. but not more during that long run.
    • Recognize the warning signs like water sloshing in your stomach or feeling puffy. Stop drinking and seek medical attention.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Seek medical attention at a medical aid station or hospital during a marathon. Request a sodium serum concentration test immediately.  Do not drink until cleared to do so by medical personnel.

What is the weather going to be like?

It is very difficult to predict the weather. All participants are encouraged to prepare for both warm and cold temperatures. The race will take place if it is raining. The race will only be cancelled/delayed if weather conditions pose imminent danger to our participants.

Average Temperature High in March: 68 degrees
Average Temperature Low in March: 43 degrees

Can my friend pick up my packet for me?

Yes, a friend may pick up your packet, but must have a photo ID with them. It would also be wise to bring along the confirmation email that the individual received when registering.

What if I can no longer run? Are there refunds?

Our policy states that we do not offer refunds and your registration cannot be transferred to another runner under any circumstance. Deferments are not allowed.

Can I transfer my bib to another runner?

All bibs are non-refundable and non-transferable to other runners.

How do I confirm my registration?

All participants should receive a confirmation email. Registered participants may also visit the official race website to confirm registration. 2018 registrants will be found at under the 2018 Participants tab.

Is there an age requirement for the race?

The minimum age to participate in the race is 14, unless approved by race officials. If someone under the age of 14 wishes to participate, please contact the Race Director at [email protected] Each individual will be taken case by case, but please know that it is highly discouraged for someone under the age of 14 to participate in the half marathon.

Where do I park?

A wide variety of parking will be available for the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon, but will be available first come, first serve. Lots available for parking are:

  • Downtown Tuscaloosa street parking
  • Tuscaloosa Intermodal Facility (attached to West end of Government Plaza!) located at the corner of 23rd Ave. and 7th St. – free
  • The open parking lot next to Government Plaza at the corner of 23rd Ave. and 7th. Street – free
  • Timerson Square (.2 miles from Government Plaza)
  • New parking lot located on the hill of Greensboro Ave, between Jack Warner Parkway and University Blvd. (.4 miles from Government Plaza)
  • The area between 28th Ave and Lurleen B Wallace Blvd S on University Blvd.  (.45 miles from Government Plaza)

Is there a course tour?

Yes, please check back as we get closer to the race for the course map/area map for a preview of the course. This will also be located on social media.

What time should I arrive on race morning?

We recommend arriving no later than 6:45 a.m. to allow plenty of time for parking, checking belongings at Bag Check, stretching and taking care of personal needs. If you did not check in at the Race Expo on Friday, March 23rd, check-in will only be open 6:00 -7:15 a.m. race morning.

Where are the hills on the course?

The hills on the THM 18 course are located:

  • Major decline on 21st Ave. between University Blvd and Jack Warner PKWY
  • Long gradual incline along Jack Warner PKWY between Manderson Landing and Halen Keller BLVD
  • Incline on Peter Bryce BLVD
  • Small short incline toward the Queen City BLVD end of University BLVD

What is allowed, or not permitted on the course?

No wheeled vehicles are allowed on the course at any time. Baby joggers, strollers, roller/inline skates, bicycles are prohibited. The only exception is the Mayor’s Cup. Baby joggers and strollers are allowed in the Mayor’s Cup, but must assemble at the back of the pack at the start of the race. No pets are allowed.

Headphones are permitted on the course, but we highly encourage all participants to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Registered participants are the only individuals allowed on the course during the event. Spectator areas are highlighted on the race website, but spectators are asked to remain on sidewalks and not cut across the course.

Is the course USATF certified?

The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon is USATF certified.

Where is gear check?

UPS will once again provide a gear check service for the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon. All participants who want to leave their clothing or other items in a secure checked area during the race may use this service. Gear Check will be located near the start line at 6th street and 21st Ave., but will have volunteers ready to help. Gear check will close promptly at 12:00 p.m. and all items not picked up will be left with Lost and Found.

Where is the corral system?

Unfortunately, there is no official corral system this year. As a reminder, those who plan to walk the half marathon are asked to line up near the back of the crowd.

How often are the replenishment water stops?

The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon will have six (6) replenish/water stops. Gatorade will be available, as well as a form of Energy Gels or a food item of some sort at one stop (#4). The approximate replenish/water stop locations are as follows:

  • Water Station #1 (Mile 1.5) is in the Calvary Baptist area. Near the corner of Bryant Drive and 12th Ave.
  • Water Station #2 (Mile 4.1) is on the Riverwalk near the red roof building by Bama Belle.
  • Water Station #3 (Mile 5.3) is at the PARA Gazebo on Riverwalk by Orange Leaf.
  • Water Station #4 (Mile 7.5) is by University Church of Christ’s second entrance where recycling is located.
  • Water Station #5 (Mile 10.8) is at the Regions located at Hackberry and Bryant Drive.
  • Water Station #6 (Mile 12.5) is right as the runners turn onto Queen City from Dearing Place.

What if I need medical assistance?

First Aid Stations with medical volunteers will be located throughout the course and at the finish line.

What if I can't complete my race or keep the minimum required pace?

All half marathon participants will need to stay in front of the Tuscaloosa Police Department team that will maintain the necessary pace to meet the time limit. If participants fall behind, there are a few options:

  1. The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon crew will have an identified vehicle to pick up those that can not complete the race in the four (4) hour time limit or become injured.
  2. If a participant looks as though he/she can not keep the minimum required pace, the identifiable vehicle mentioned above does have the option to drive you a mile or two so that you can continue with the race and finish with the time allotted.

May walkers participate in the half marathon?

Of course! Walkers are more than welcome to participate. The only requirement is that walkers complete the race in the four (4) hour time limit, which is an approximate 18 minute 30 second minute per mile pace.

When is the awards ceremony?

Mayor’s Cup Awards Ceremony:  8:45 am
Half Marathon Awards Ceremony:  10:30 am
Times are subject to change.

Age Groups are the following:
Age Groups Male & Female
Under 9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 up

Half Marathon presented by CNL Financial Group
Male & Female
1st Overall: $150 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket st
2nd Overall: $100 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
3rd Overall: $ 75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
Masters: 40+ $ 75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
Grand Masters: 50+ $75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
Senior Grand Masters: 60+ $75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket

Age Groups Male & Female
Under 9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 up
1st: Winner’s Jacket
2nd: $25 gift card Wagner’s
3rd: $20 gift card Wagner’s

What awards are available to the runners?

Age Groups are the following:

Age Groups Male & Female
Under 9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 up

Half Marathon presented by CNL Financial Group
Male & Female
1st Overall: $150 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket st
2nd Overall: $100 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
3rd Overall: $ 75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
Masters: 40+ $ 75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
Grand Masters: 50+ $75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket
Senior Grand Masters: 60+ $75 Wagner’s gift card + Winner’s Jacket

Age Groups Male & Female
Under 9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 up
1st: Winner’s Jacket
2nd: $25 Wagner’s gift card
3rd: $20 Wagner’s gift card

*Athletes will not be qualified to “double dip” with prizes. Overall awards are based on gun time. Age group and Master/Grand Master awards will be based on chip time.

Where and when are the results posted?

Results will be posted at Government Plaza, which will be indicated by a “Results Flag”, as well as on the event website shortly after the race.

Where is the post race party?

The Post Race Party will be a fun celebration of your accomplishment located at Government Plaza!  Details are in progress.  Some exciting changes are coming to the 2018 Post Race Party – Stay tuned to our social media and we release more details soon!

I lost an item, what should I do?

The Lost and Found will be located at the information booth.

Where is a good place to eat?

There are so many delicious places to choose from in Tuscaloosa! First, you can check out all of the places that Tuscaloosa has to offer by visiting the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission website at and click on “Dining”. Some options that might be appealing to those participating in the half marathon:

  • Heat Pizza Bar
  • Chuck’s Fish
  • Cypress Inn
  • DePalma’s Italian Café
  • Five
  • Hokkaido Japanese Steakhouse
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • Mr. G’s Italian Restaurant
  • Olive Garden
  • Wintzell’s Oyster House

However, there are so many “must-try” places in Tuscaloosa, so be sure to ask the locals while you’re in town for best places to eat!

What else is there to do in the area?

Make a weekend out of it and see what else the “One and Only” Tuscaloosa has to offer! We highly encourage you to check out the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission website at as they are your #1 go-to for all things Tuscaloosa! Feel free to request a free visitor’s guide prior to your trip.

Are volunteers needed for the race?

Volunteers are very much needed for the race. There are a variety of volunteer responsibilities that range from information tent, to course marshals, to set up. To sign up for a volunteer spot, please go to We appreciate your help so much and look forward to meeting you!

Are there military discount codes?

We are thankful for those that have served our country and have sacrificed time with their families.  To honor their service, we want to offer a $10 discount to active and veteran military members.  In order to receive the discount code, please email [email protected] with a copy of your military ID or a copy of your DD-214.

Are there group discount codes?

Join together a group of five or more runners and save money on registration! We will give $5 discounts per person groups who have 5 or more runners. Groups must email [email protected] to receive a discount code. If you have questions about signing up a running group, please email us for more information.

Are there corporate discount codes?

Join together a group of your co-workers and save money on registration! We will give $5 discounts per person for companies who have 10 or more runners.

We also encourage companies to purchase company shirts for their teams. It’s a great way to promote your company – you will be seen as a community partner, a supportive employer, and an organization that cares about employee health.

If you have questions about signing up a corporate running group, email [email protected] for more information.

Have an additional question?

Did we not answer your question? Please email us with any questions or concerns at [email protected]