Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
3.9
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.7
The First Light Marathon & Half Marathon course will remain open for 7 hours. Participants will need to average 16 minutes per mile or better. Runner/Walker Perks include: – T-shirt to all entrants – Post-race meal – Post-Race Concert – Finishers receive a medallion decorated by members of the L’Arche-Mobile … MORE
Local Weather (Jan 13)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 38 75 59 59 59
L (°F) 30 57 37 44 50
Powered by Dark Sky

Recent reviews

    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '14

    *I've run this race 3 times (2014, 2015 & the half in 2016) I love this race. The course is through beautiful downtown Mobile, several universities and the Botanical gardens. … MORE

    *I’ve run this race 3 times (2014, 2015 & the half in 2016)
    I love this race. The course is through beautiful downtown Mobile, several universities and the Botanical gardens. BEWARE of the crazy hill around mile 19. But the aid station there is stocked with lots of goodies to keep your mind of it.
    The medal is simple but perfect. It is handmade by residents of the Le Arche home for adults with disabilities. Before Blues changed it date, you could run both in one weekend and receive a handmade plague made by a resident.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    dalebassplayer FIRST-TIMER '18

    Colder than expected, and not very much crowd support. Expo was easy to navigate and they had pick up the day of the race as well. Lots of aid stations … MORE

    Colder than expected, and not very much crowd support. Expo was easy to navigate and they had pick up the day of the race as well. Lots of aid stations and volunteers. The medals are unique and pretty much a love it or hate it situation. Post race food (red beans & rice) was excellent.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    klucht FIRST-TIMER '16

    I can be a medal snob, but these handmade medals made the race for me. This race benefits adults with disabilities and each medal is handmade. In 2016 the race … MORE

    I can be a medal snob, but these handmade medals made the race for me. This race benefits adults with disabilities and each medal is handmade. In 2016 the race was part of a B2B with Mississippi Blues and those who did both received a painted plaque with the artists story.
    The race itself was flat thru neighborhoods and post race food seemed decent (skipped). Overall, this race is a great value and it is for a good cause.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Rhonda Luevano
    Rhondalyn10 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I love this race. The medals are all hand made and if you do Mississippi Blues the day before you get a neat hand made award as well. Flat, easy … MORE

    I love this race. The medals are all hand made and if you do Mississippi Blues the day before you get a neat hand made award as well. Flat, easy course with beautiful lined streets. Volunteers are fabulous. Always a gamble with the weather. Food at the end is amazing!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    lap9197 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I really enjoyed how the medals and B2B plaques were hand made by members of the L'Arche Society. Small race with a wonderful course. Nothing fancy about the expo or … MORE

    I really enjoyed how the medals and B2B plaques were hand made by members of the L’Arche Society. Small race with a wonderful course. Nothing fancy about the expo or swag received. The one thing I think they could do a little better at is communication. I never received one email from them in the 8 months prior to the event other than a receipt. I started wondering if I was even registered. I did have a timing issue which they were very quick to adjust. I wasn’t showing in the results. They found an unnamed time that corresponded to my ticket they tore off as a backup and quickly adjusted. Very helpful and would highly recommend this event!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    RunKMacRun FIRST-TIMER '17

    All the medals are hand made by local residents. Super chilly start. It was around 20 Deg so pack warm! There were signs all around the neighborhood marking the actual … MORE

    All the medals are hand made by local residents. Super chilly start. It was around 20 Deg so pack warm! There were signs all around the neighborhood marking the actual route. So looks like it’s the same route most years. Due to weather I didn’t get to look around the area before or after the race. I’m hoping to go back in a few years and try this again. First Light offers a back to back challenge with Mississippi Blues. Due to weather, Mississippi Blues had to cancel in 2017. I was happy I was able to finish one race for this weekend.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    DrewNYC FIRST-TIMER '17

    I ran this half marathon as part of the Back2Back Challenge with the Saturday race in Jackson, Mississippi. Well, that was my intention anyway. The Mississippi race was cancelled due … MORE

    I ran this half marathon as part of the Back2Back Challenge with the Saturday race in Jackson, Mississippi. Well, that was my intention anyway. The Mississippi race was cancelled due to snow, sleet, and icy road conditions (definitely the right call by the race director).

    The race is coordinated by and benefits L’Arche Mobile. Medals are handmade by members of the community. Back2Back Challengers get a plaque made by the community, too.

    The half marathon course was relatively flat (I heard that the marathon course was quite hilly after the full and half split).

    Adequate water, port-o-potties, and volunteers.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '16

    Since this was my second marathon in as many days, I had no idea what to expect. I had spent the previous week realizing that running back to back marathons … MORE

    Since this was my second marathon in as many days, I had no idea what to expect. I had spent the previous week realizing that running back to back marathons was NOT BRIGHT, but then it was too late, the day has come and I had 7 1/2 hours before my flight.
    The bus from Jackson, MS took us directly to the expo, which also happened to be a block from my hotel. Perfect. The expo itself was quite small. As soon as I entered I spotted the “Back to Back” booth so went right over to get checked in The “Back to Back” booth was for anyone running marathons in both cities. At check in, I was immediately given a hand made plaque designating me as a “Back to Back” finisher. Great! Now I do not even have to run 🙂 . Getting to my hotel was a breeze, where I checked in right away and then met up with my Indiana friend, Jeff and went out for dinner.
    The hotel unfortunately was a nightmare. Turns out, I had been upgraded to a room on the 16th floor, one floor below the Mardi Gras party and the same floor where the Mardi Gras celebrants were staying. Somehow, I had not been listed as a marathoner, but as a bona fide Mardi Gras participant. The music finally was shut down at 2:42, giving me exactly 1 hour and 48 minutes to catch some sleep. When I finally went downstairs to ask about the noise in a hotel, the room was quickly comped, but make certain the hotels know you are there for the marathon.
    The course was nice. Some big hills in the second half of the course, but it was nothing in comparison to Jackson. This was a good thing. After all my worrying about having the ability of running a second marathon, I did fairly well until around mile 12. At that point, my body literally crashed. Kind of like the first marathon I had run. I slowed down, recouped and finally pulled myself together after a couple miles, and then finished the final 6 miles fairly strong. The course was through a number of neighborhoods, lots of turns, which to me makes running much easier. There were not a lot of spectators, but they did seem to be there when you really needed encouragement. Water and fuel stops were adequate.
    This is a well run race, especially considering that it is quite small. I definitely liked that the start and finish were very close to the hotels. I also LOVED the party at the finish line. Though I did not have a whole lot of time, I did grab my 2 complimentary beers, Coors light. Coming from the microbrewery capital of Portland, Oregon, I did not know they still made Coors light, but after a marathon, I was very appreciative. But the food, it was excellent. Sausage and rice and beans, Quite delicious, and annually made by a local group. This was a community that enjoys its marathon and makes everyone feel welcome.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    jrohlede FIRST-TIMER '16

    In looking at most reviews for this race they are based on the b2b with Jackson Ms. Didn't do the B2B so probably got to see more of the city … MORE

    In looking at most reviews for this race they are based on the b2b with Jackson Ms. Didn’t do the B2B so probably got to see more of the city before the race and enjoy the course more than the exhausted B2Bers.
    Running this course on a partially torn meniscus so decided to just take it easy and enjoy – as much as you can ‘enjoy’ a 26.2 mile run. Did about a 10 minute pace so had time to look at the course and surroundings.
    Arrived in Mobile on Sat the day before the race and it was sunny and 74 but a promised cold front came thru the next morning making the weather just right for running. On Sat walked the downtown area and the waterfront. Both really nice areas with some funky shops and restaurants.
    Stayed at the Holiday Inn downtown – can’t recommend it highly enough. Good price, right at the start and finish lines, and late checkout. Package pickup at the expo was simple and right next to the hotel. Well not really an expo – more like a couple of tables, some decked out Southern Belles in full deep south plantation dresses and a couple of vendor tables.
    Met my running friend that evening for dinner – he was doing the B2B and the shuttle from Jackson didn’t arrive until 6:30. Ate at a restaurant right by the hotel. All you can eat pasta dinner was offered at the restaurant but opted for waffles and chicken instead. Apparently the races all you can eat pasta dinner has been discontinued due to some peoples gastric distress from the year before. For more on that topic see the owner’s of raveraves.com Mike Sohaskey’s blog on the b2b from 2015.
    As for the actual race – starts at 7:30. Very small race – about 1100 total participants. Only about 350 full marathoners. Weather was fine. Mid 40’s all the way thru the race with the sun coming out for the last 6 miles of the race. The first eight miles the full and half people run together pretty much thru the downtown area. Same area I had walked the day before. So I had seen and read about the historical buildings we were running by. After the full people split off from the half the course turned into a typical marathon course. Out to hooterville and back. But along the way there were some interesting sights. Running thru some of the older large home neighborhoods and seeing the teardowns and the mcmansions replacing them was interesting. Also go to take a tour of the University of South Alabama and golf courses around it. Just as an FYI if anybody says the course is flat they are a liar liar pants on fire. Miles 13 to 20 are mostly hills and then 20 to 26 are mostly downhill. Not to fun on a torn meniscus. There is a note on the races web page that says they changed the course in 2014 so assuming it was flat until then.
    The finish and the medal were great. The race supports a mentally disabled group in the area and they hand paint the large wooden medals. Also pretty cool to get my medal at the end from a kid with downs syndrome. Kudos for Mobile and First Light marathon for supporting them and doing this.
    In departing the race and city talked to many of the b2ber’s and almost all of them said the were so exhausted from running Jackson the day before and getting in to Mobile so late that they didn’t care to or were to tired to see anything on the course. Too bad because even though it is a small marathon it is well run and Mobile is a city worth a look.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '14

    BOTTOM LINE: I ran First Light as the second half of a weekend back-to-back following the Mississippi Blues Marathon. And allowing for the fact that the organizers may have inadvertently … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: I ran First Light as the second half of a weekend back-to-back following the Mississippi Blues Marathon. And allowing for the fact that the organizers may have inadvertently poisoned their runners with the pre-race pasta dinner (and apparently there were many of us), I appreciated my 26.2-mile tour of Mobile. I always welcome the chance to support smaller races, particularly when they benefit as worthwhile a cause as L’Arche Mobile, whose members played a significant role in both the preparation and execution of the race. And as the second half of a geographically convenient back-to-back, the First Light Marathon will always hold a special place in the hearts and pocketbooks of Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics and 50 States runners.

    PRODUCTION: First Light is a low-frills yet well-organized race. The course profile is unusual for a road marathon, in having a surprisingly hilly middle section (miles 12-21) flanked by perfectly flat stretches at the start and finish. Most important on this day was the abundance of aid stations along the course. Normally 19 aid stations would be about 18 more than I’d need, but on Sunday I found myself wishing – due to the aforementioned & highly inconvenient food poisoning affair – that there were actually more. On the bright side, I feel qualified to vouch for the cleanliness (if not the godliness) of the First Light porta-potties.

    Potential dysentery notwithstanding, the pre-race pasta buffet hit the spot and was included with race registration (additional tickets were $10). And if I were to run First Light again, I’d feel confident the organizers would be extra-diligent in ensuring the Alabama Dept. of Public Health doesn’t get involved.

    The First Light race shirt is a highly wearable long-sleeve black tech shirt with “MARATHON” printed along the sleeve. And as referenced above, back-to-back (Mississippi Blues Marathon/First Light Marathon) runners received their own long-sleeve white tech shirt with both race logos on the front and a “BACK 2 BACK” design on the back, as well as a commemorative plaque hand-painted by a community member of L’Arche Mobile. Nothing notable to report from the race goodie bag except the bag itself, which was both reusable and neon orange.

    On-course entertainment was limited to the running commentary and frequent cries of “War Eagle!” from a good-natured fellow runner whom I’d catch up to after each of my five (yep, five) pit stops. Spectators were sparse but supportive, though not as supportive as in Jackson, Mississippi the day before, where everyone happily thanked us for coming. The enthusiastic orange-clad sentries stationed along the course in Jackson were replaced in Mobile by purposeful police officers whose job it was to keep both foot and motor traffic flowing smoothly.

    Once my stomach settled somewhat I was able to appreciate the finish-line festival in sun-dappled Bienville Square, the highlight being the jazz stylings of the Excelsior Brass Band (see video).

    If you’re a fan of potty humor puns, or simply want to know (much) more about the actual race, check out my blog recap of the First Light Marathon at http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2014/01/28/first-light-marathon-race-report/

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.