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Historical past, Course, Coaching & Race Day


The Berlin Marathon is a marathon like no different and sees runners begin and end the epic 26.2-mile run on the historic Brandenburg Gates. In case you’re trying to do your first marathon, the Berlin Marathon must be your first selection, because it’s referred to as one of many quickest and flattest marathons on this planet. 

How do you qualify, and what else ought to you understand once you join the Berlin Marathon?

Be a part of us as we take you thru the ins and outs of the Berlin Marathon, specializing in its historical past, how one can qualify, the impression of the marathon on the operating world and area people, and share some nice suggestions from a marathon runner. 

This is the Berlin Marathon.

Working The Berlin Marathon

The Historical past of the Berlin Marathon

Running the Berlin marathon guide

The Berlin Marathon was first created in 1974 by Horst Milde, a baker and operating fanatic from Berlin. Often held on the final Sunday in September, the race is a well-liked one which now sees greater than 45,000 runners take to the streets of Berlin to take part in a race referred to as one of many quickest marathons on this planet. 

And, whereas the inaugural race solely noticed 244 athletes cross the end line (10 of whom had been ladies), the race has grown in reputation and now welcomes entrants from nearly each nook of the world. 

With its beginning and end line on the Brandenburg Gate, the race has not at all times adopted the identical course as the town of Berlin was beforehand divided till the German Reunification in 1990 noticed the race regulate to its present start line. 

Here’s a timeline of occasions that type the historical past of the Berlin Marathon:

  • 1974: The Berlin Marathon was established. The race had 244 finishers, with Gunter Hallas ending with a ending time of two:44:53 to make him the winner within the males’s division and Jutta von Haase taking the highest spot within the ladies’s division with a time of three:22:01. 
  • 1977: Christa Vahlensieck units a brand new world document within the ladies’s division, finishing the race in 2:34:27. 
  • 1989: A kids’s race is added to the lineup of occasions for the Berlin Marathon. 
  • 1990: German Reunification takes place and sees runners from East Germany now in a position to enter the race. East German runners would beforehand enter the race underneath false names to keep away from being detected by the Secret Service and face fines or jail time. 
  • 1997: The Berlin Marathon launched inline skating occasions. 
  • 1998: Ronaldo Costa, the one South American runner to carry a world document, set the brand new world document within the males’s division with a ending time of two:06:05. 
  • 2000: Simon Biwott received the Berlin Marathon. Biwott’s win shocked occasion organizers as he entered the race as a pacemaker. This 12 months additionally noticed the Berlin Marathon being held in mid-September moderately than the final week, as dates coincided with the Ladies’s Olympic Marathon. 
  • 2001: Naoko Takahashi, a Japanese nationwide, took the ladies’s title as she turned the primary girl to run a sub-2:20 marathon with a speedy time of two:19:46. 
  • 2003 to 2018: Seven males’s world information are set as runners participate within the Berlin Marathon, which is understood to many because the “quickest marathon.”
  • 2006: The Berlin Marathon turned a member of Abbott’s World Main Marathons.
  • 2018: Occasion dates are once more modified to mid-September as German Unity Day preparations coincided with the common date on the final Sunday of September. 
  • 2020: The Berlin Marathon is first postponed, then later canceled because the Coronavirus pandemic halts all in-person sporting occasions. Entrants may switch their entry to the following 12 months or get a full refund on their entry ticket. 
  • 2022: The 12 months noticed the boys’s and ladies’s course information shattered. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge set the course document and the world document with a time of two:01:09. Tigist Assefa of Ethiopia smashed the ladies’s course document by crossing the road in 2:15:37.

Course Information and Wins

The Berlin Marathon has seen its justifiable share of world information set as runners flock to the town to take part in one of the well-liked races on this planet. With a reasonably flat course, the marathon is “simpler” to run and permits runners to make good occasions. 

Listed below are the highest course outcomes and information for the Berlin Marathon:

Males’s Division

Yr Title Nationality Time World or Course
1998 Ronaldo da Costa Brazil 2:06:05 World Document
2003 Paul Tegrat Kenya 2:04:55 World Document
2007 Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia 2:04:26 World Document
2008 Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia 2:03:59 World Document
2011 Patrick Makau Musyoki Kenya 2:03:38 World Document
2013 Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich Kenya 2:03:23 World Document
2014 Dennis Kipruto Kimetto Kenya 2:02:57 World Document
2018 Eliud Kipchoge Kenya 2:01:39 World Document
2022 Eliud Kipchoge Kenya 2:01:09 World and Course Document

Ladies’s Division

Yr Title Nationality Time World or Course
1977 Christa Vahlensieck West Germany 2:34:47 World Document
1999 Tegla Loroupe Kenya 2:20:34 World Document
2001 Naoko Takahashi Japan 2:19:46 World Document
2022 Tigist Assefa Ethiopia 2:15:37 World and Course Document

Inline Skating Race

Yr Title Nationality Time Outcome
2015 Bart Swings Belgium 56:49 Males’s Course Document
2017 Maria Jacqueline Arias Argentina 1:06:35 Ladies’s Course Document

Handcycle Race

Yr Title Nationality Time Outcome
2016 Christiane Reppe Germany 1:08:54 Ladies’s Course Document
2019 Jetze Plat Netherlands 1:00:01 Males’s Course Document

Wheelchair Race

Yr Title Nationality Time Outcome
1997 Heinz Frei Switzerland 1:21:39 Males’s Course Document
2018 Manuela Schar Switzerland 1:36:53 Ladies’s Course Document

Entrants Statistics

The Berlin Marathon has actually elevated in reputation over time and now sees greater than 45,000 runners tackle the problem of competing in one of many six World Main Marathons. The opposite majors are held in London, New York Metropolis, Chicago, Tokyo and Boston.

This occasion attracts in rivals for the principle marathon, half marathon, kids’s marathon, handcycle race, inline skating race, and wheelchair race. 

Those that discover the prospect of a full 26.2-mile marathon a bit too difficult can be part of within the enjoyable by doing the half marathon. 

Right here’s how issues have modified over the previous few a long time:

Decade Finishes – Males Finishes – Ladies
1974 234 210
1980 276 18
1990 20,415 2,391
2000 19,332 3,547
2010 26,410 7,215
2020 n/a n/a
2021 16,731 6,366

It is very important notice that the variety of entrants taking part in 2021 was decrease on account of COVID-19 and its results on journey worldwide. The 2022 marathon noticed greater than 45,000 entrants. 

The Impression of the Berlin Marathon on Communities

Come September, Berlin turns into a runner’s haven as athletes, supporters, and spectators flock to the town in droves. This, in flip, brings in a lot income, with numbers reaching tens of millions of {dollars} in tourism income. 

Present spectator information present that a couple of million individuals descend upon Berlin come race day, and there are lots of spectator zones alongside the total course of the marathon. 

And, although the occasion prices athletes to take part, the marathon raises tens of millions for charities and different group organizations that search to enhance the lives of those that are disabled, deprived, and ailing. 

The Recognition of the Berlin Marathon

The Berlin Marathon unofficially holds the title of one of many quickest marathons on this planet, principally on account of its flat, straightforward terrain. It’s a preferred occasion for marathon runners who wish to enhance their time and for elites trying to set world or course information. 

More moderen winners of the Berlin Marathon are from African international locations like Ethiopia and Kenya, with a couple of European winners thrown in for good measure. 

It’s clear that the Berlin Marathon is a well-liked occasion for a lot of athletes and entry to the occasion is now achieved by way of a lottery system to make it a good course of for the tens of 1000’s of runners that want to compete. 

The Berlin Marathon Course and its Options

Berlin marathon on Strava
The Berlin Marathon on Strava

The course for the Berlin Marathon is pretty flat, with the very best elevation recorded on the 15-mile mark. Beginning on the Brandenburg Gate, the marathon takes runners by way of the next well-liked elements of Berlin:

  • Charlottenburg
  • Tiergarten
  • Moabit
  • Mitte
  • Friedrichshain
  • Kreuzberg
  • Neukolln
  • Schöneberg 
  • Friedenau
  • Zehlendorf
  • Brandenburg Gate

This course, nevertheless, was solely run from 1990 because the marathon was restricted to the West of the town earlier than the German Reunification occurred in 1990. Pre-1990, the race began within the Reichstag. 

The Berlin Marathon has a couple of distinctive options, however its begin and end on the Brandenburg Gate is presumably essentially the most spectacular. Formally opened in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate is without doubt one of the most well-known landmarks in Berlin and attracts tens of millions of vacationers desperate to get a glimpse of Berlin’s image of division that noticed the town divided in two and is the one gate nonetheless standing. 

Crowd Help and Cheering Sections 

Crowd help is in no quick provide on the Berlin Marathon, with over 70 stay bands taking part in music and hyping up the crowds at each mile mark alongside the route. Runners know the significance of crowd help. Many shared the next advantages of getting help whereas collaborating in a marathon just like the Berlin Marathon:

  • Encouragement
  • Motivation
  • Hype and pleasure
  • A “push” to hold on when fatigue units in

In case you are not taking part within the Berlin Marathon, take into account attending as a spectator and cheer on the runners as they cowl the grueling 26.2-mile course. 

The way to Qualify for the Berlin Marathon

Need to participate within the Berlin Marathon however don’t know what to do? Learn on to learn how to qualify for the Berlin Marathon and be part of 1000’s of fellow runners as you hit the streets of Berlin to tackle the problem of a World Main Marathon. 

How Outdated Do I Must Be?

All members must be 18 on the time of the Berlin Marathon. 

Licensed Runs

All qualifying runs are to be licensed by AIMS, with the run listed by the USA IF or AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings. Details about these runs will be obtained by visiting the Abbott World Marathon Majors web site.

What are the Qualifying Occasions for the Berlin Marathon?

Listed below are the qualifying occasions for the Berlin Marathon for the boys’s and ladies’s divisions:

Males’s Division

  • 18 to 44 – 2:45:00
  • 45 to 59 – 2:55:00
  • 60+ – 3:25:00

Ladies’s Division

  • 18 to 44 – 3:00:00
  • 45 to 59 – 3:20:00
  • 60+ – 4:10:00

There are additionally extra qualifying occasions for the inline, wheelchair, and handcycle races. Info for these occasions is offered on the occasion web site. 

Securing a spot on the beginning line is pretty easy. Right here’s what you want to do:

  1. Full a run listed on the AbbottWMM-approved record.
  2. Qualify throughout the occasions set by your age group and gender.
  3. Register on the occasion web site.
  4. Submit your qualifying time. 
  5. Pay the $163 entrance payment. 

After getting submitted your entry, you may be allotted a spot within the lottery. This doesn’t routinely provide you with entry into the race. The lottery winners are notified by way of e-mail of their profitable entry into the Berlin Marathon and given a race quantity.  

Registration opens in September of the earlier 12 months, with profitable runners notified of their entry in December. 

Observe that each one qualifying runs and outcomes have to be no older than three years to be added to the lottery. 

Charity Groups and the Berlin Marathon

Very similar to the opposite Abbott World Marathon Main races, the Berlin Marathon permits charity groups to enter the marathon to lift funds for the varied causes they help. A number of of the charities which have benefitted from these fundraising efforts are:

  • CHILDREN for a Higher World
  • WWF Deutschland
  • HelpAge Deutschland
  • Stiftung KinderHerz

The Berlin Marathon helps varied charities, together with those who take care of the disabled, aged, individuals dwelling with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and lots of charities that purpose to enhance the lives of underprivileged kids in Africa. 

If you wish to enter the marathon and lift cash for a charity workforce, contact RealBuzz, the official Berlin Marathon charity accomplice, for extra data. Runners should contribute a minimal of $1,750 to enter and are chosen primarily based on funds raised and area limitations.  

RealBuzz at the moment has 80 charities underneath its umbrella and has raised tens of millions of {dollars} in its partnership with the Berlin Marathon. 

Berlin marathon runners
Berlin marathon runners, CC by way of Dirk Ingo Franke

Berlin Marathon Title Modifications

The Berlin Marathon is a sponsored occasion. Listed below are a couple of huge identify adjustments which have occurred because the marathon sponsors have modified:

  • 1974 to 1989: The Berlin Individuals’s Marathon
  • 1990: Yanase Berlin Marathon
  • 1991 and 1992: Canon Berlin Marathon
  • 1993 to 1997: Berlin Marathon
  • 1998 to 1999: Alberto Berlin Marathon
  • 2000 to 2010: actual Berlin Marathon
  • 2011 to present: BMW Berlin Marathon

The Berlin Marathon offers winners a serious purse prize. Sponsors of those prizes embody:

  • BMW
  • Abbott
  • Adidas
  • Sportmetropole Berlin
  • Erdinger
  • Taiwan Excellence
  • Maurten
  • Generali
  • PayPal

Huge occasions like marathons are an awesome alternative for these and different firms to market themselves and have created partnerships with the Berlin Marathon since its inception in 1974. 

Coaching for the Berlin Marathon

Coaching for any marathon is a problem, and for these collaborating within the Berlin Marathon, the best coaching program will be essential in serving to athletes break their PRs. 

The Berlin Marathon takes place within the metropolis of Berlin and has a reasonably flat course with nearly no sharp turns or twisty bits which can be exhausting to navigate whereas operating the 26.2 miles. The present course document of the Berlin Marathon stands at 2:01:09, which Eliud Kipchoge achieved in 2022.

In case you’d like to attain your personal private greatest time, you’ll must put within the work. Right here’s how:

Step #1: Establish Your Objective

Are you operating the Berlin Marathon to finish up within the prime 10, or are you operating for sheer enjoyment and to have the ability to say that you’ve achieved it? Set up what sort of runner you might be and why you might be operating, then set your self a aim.

Step #2: Arrange a Coaching Program

A superb coaching program will provide help to correctly equip your self for the Berlin Marathon, serving to to extend your muscle energy and making ready you mentally for the total 26.2-mile run you will have to finish. Discover a coaching program that meets your coaching wants, and adapt it the place needed. 

Ideally, your chosen coaching program ought to embody at the least 4 or 5 days of operating, two energy exercises, and two cross-training classes (extra on that quickly), with a restoration day every week, usually the day after your long term. Since you may be operating a marathon, one long-distance run every week will provide help to put together to your marathon. 

Step #3: Focus On Mileage

A very powerful facet of marathon coaching is rising your mileage. Moderately than specializing in velocity and efficiency, get your mileage up over the primary ten weeks of your coaching program. Don’t improve your mileage by greater than 10% per week, and guarantee your long term doesn’t comprise greater than 40% of your whole weekly mileage. 

Step #4: Take Observe of Your Pacing

Pacing helps you understand precisely how briskly it is best to run to attain a sure time. It additionally helps you reserve vitality for once you want it most. For runners who take part within the Berlin Marathon, that’s normally in the previous few miles when you understand you might be nearing the end line however begin operating out of vitality. 

Attempt to follow the tempo you’ve been coaching for and save the velocity for that final stretch of your marathon, emptying the tank over the end line. 

Step #5: Improve Your Cardio Exercises

Cardio is vitally vital when coaching for a marathon, so select a cross-training exercise that may assist strengthen your coronary heart and lungs, which you additionally take pleasure in. 26.2 miles is not any joke, so put together your physique by rising your cardio exercises as part of your marathon coaching plan. 

By selecting an exercise you take pleasure in, resembling swimming, elliptical coaching, biking, or strolling, you’re extra prone to stick to the exercises.

Step #6: Relaxation

Don’t underestimate the significance of relaxation days. Whereas it could appear weird to have days of zero exercise while you’re coaching for a marathon, these relaxation days are simply as vital as the times once you practice and may help cut back the danger of exhaustion and customary operating accidents that might see you out of the race. 

Embody one relaxation day per week in your coaching schedule and add some much-needed downtime earlier than race day. 

Races to Assist You Put together for the Berlin Marathon

Getting ready for a marathon requires a coaching schedule and psychological preparation as you tackle this extra-long run. Whereas coaching is essential, doing a couple of “prep” races may even provide help to perceive the logistics of a marathon. 

Ask any coach or marathon runner what it is best to do earlier than a full marathon, and the reply will at all times be to run a 5k, 10k, 10-mile, or half-marathon in preparation for the Berlin Marathon. The longer distances, resembling a 10-mile or half marathon, will permit you to observe your hydration and vitamin plan with out worrying that you simply’ve received one other 13 to 16 miles to go together with a abdomen going south.

Listed below are a couple of prep races or race packages which can be an awesome thought for anybody collaborating within the Berlin Marathon:

Adidas Runners Metropolis Night time

Adidas hosts this 6-week course, and it’s designed that can assist you put together for the Berlin Marathon. 

The BMW Berlin Marathon 3-Month Prep Course

This 3-month coaching course is all you want to put together for the Berlin Marathon. It contains nice coaching concepts, the possibility to satisfy fellow marathon runners and swap concepts, and nice suggestions for what it is best to concentrate on in your coaching. 

The BMW Berlin Marathon: Premium Well being and Coaching Bundle

For individuals who are in search of a premium customized coaching plan, this bundle is for you. The bundle contains the next:

  • Well being checks and screenings earlier than the massive race
  • Tech-focused operating analyses that target your motion and coaching wants
  • A person hour-long coaching session
  • A 6-month customized coaching plan

This plan prices round $800 and will be booked by way of the BMW Berlin Marathon web site.

Berlin Marathon Race Day Methods and Ideas

Now that we’ve got coated the small print surrounding the Berlin Marathon and touched on a couple of coaching suggestions, it’s time to concentrate on race day and all that comes with it forward of the Berlin Marathon. 

A “Good” Time

No, we’re not speaking about how a lot enjoyable you should have on the Berlin Marathon (which can hopefully be loads), however moderately the time it is best to purpose for if you wish to make the cut-off occasions. The present course document stands at 2:01:09 for males, and a couple of:15:37 for ladies, which is fairly difficult to beat and unlikely one thing you’re getting down to do.

Most runners purpose to shave a couple of minutes off their qualifying time to satisfy their targets and end the Berlin Marathon with a PR. No rule states it’s a must to run your marathon private greatest, although – you’ll be able to merely run to say you accomplished a World Marathon Main. 

Both means, determine the ending time you’d like to attain and devise a pacing technique to satisfy this aim. Keep in mind to incorporate some leeway – you by no means know what could occur on the course.

What’s the Climate Like?

Autumn in Europe begins in September and brings cool, snug days excellent for a marathon. Whereas some days is perhaps barely cooler, you’ll be able to relaxation assured you received’t be operating within the sweltering warmth that may rapidly trigger dehydration and warmth stroke. 

Put on snug clothes and take a skinny additional layer that may be tied round your waist when you run. And don’t neglect to slap on that sunscreen and put on a hat – simply because it isn’t sizzling doesn’t imply the solar can’t nonetheless do injury.

Methods for the Course

The Berlin Marathon course is a superb race for runners in search of a quick race. It principally has massive flat sections that enable for quick operating. This, nevertheless, doesn’t imply that it is best to begin the race operating at prime velocity – you can find your self exhausted earlier than you even hit the 13-mile mark, and because the saying goes: this can be a marathon, not a dash.

Tempo your self and run at sustainable velocity – we’d describe this tempo as comfortably difficult, the identical tempo you ran when doing lengthy runs in your coaching block. This tempo must be maintained for at the least the primary 20 miles. In case you really feel good at this level, you can begin rising your tempo. 

The shortage of sharp turns or twists within the Berlin Marathon makes for straightforward operating, which is why it’s one of many “simpler” marathons to finish. 

High Ideas for Berlin Marathon First Timers

If that is your first time taking part within the Berlin Marathon, this subsequent part is for you and incorporates nice suggestions that may come in useful as you head to the town of Berlin. 

Go to the Expo

For individuals who have by no means run the Berlin Marathon, the marathon expo must be on the prime of your to-do record. From operating and vitamin tricks to race equipment assortment and meet and greets, the expo has all of it. 

The expo runs for 3 days and is full of data, actions, and nice suggestions for these operating the Berlin Marathon for the primary time. Go to the BMW Berlin Marathon web site for extra particulars and dates. 

The place to Keep

Discovering lodging in Berlin earlier than the marathon is perhaps tough, so be certain to ebook early. Ebook lodging as near Mitte as doable, as that is the place the beginning and end of the race is situated, and you’ll simply stroll to your lodging. 

Alternatively, you’ll be able to ebook lodging additional away and take a cab or Uber to the beginning line on race day. 

Recommendation from a Marathon Runner

Germany’s Uta Pippig is not any stranger to marathons and has received the Berlin Marathon thrice. Now a health coach, Uta has the most effective recommendation for these able to tackle the problem of marathon operating. 

She advises {that a} marathon must be thought-about a course of and has the next elements:

  1. Dedication
  2. Coaching
  3. The occasion and end

These elements – from committing to run the marathon to submitting your entry to crossing the end line – are equally vital and must be accomplished with care, willpower, and focus. 

Listed below are a couple of useful suggestions from Uta that may provide help to on race day:

  • All the time take a look at the course earlier than. Whereas the route is marked, realizing what to anticipate at each flip is at all times an awesome thought. 
  • Set a operating aim or technique that can assist you make the most effective time on race day. This can be a very private choice, and whereas there are such a lot of “methods” on the market, discovering one which works for you is vital and may make for an “straightforward” run. 
  • Go to the marathon expo. This can be a nice hub for younger and previous athletes and is filled with nice assets to assist make you a greater runner.
  • Concentrate on vitamin. It’s essential to up your energy earlier than a giant race, however the problem comes with selecting the best meals that can assist you carry out greatest on race day. Select wholesome choices low in fats however excessive in protein and carbs that received’t go away you feeling sluggish earlier than you even cross the beginning line. 
  • Get an honest evening’s relaxation. 26.2 miles is not any laughing matter and would require psychological and bodily energy. A superb evening’s sleep is usually recommended. Get at the least 12 hours of sleep within the 24 hours earlier than the race and let your physique loosen up. Naps are nice for resting your physique.
  • Keep hydrated whereas operating. Hydration is vital to stopping dehydration and aching muscle mass. The hydration stations alongside the course of the Berlin Marathon are implausible, and lots of supply tea, espresso, and Coca-Cola as refreshments, together with water and hydration gels. Snacks like bananas are well-liked and increase runners when their vitality ranges drop. 
  • Get pleasure from your self. This is perhaps an important facet of any sporting occasion. Let the gang hype you up as you run, and concentrate on the end line. Soak within the second – ending a marathon places you in an elite group of individuals.

These are all implausible suggestions from Uta and will all be thought-about when taking part within the Berlin (or every other) Marathon. 

And whereas we may share a lot extra, we want to finish by saying that every runner has a distinct technique and coaching plan, so focus in your targets and, most significantly, have enjoyable when you tackle the problem of operating the Berlin Marathon. 

Subsequent Step: Run the Berlin Marathon!

The Berlin Marathon is kind of simply one of many quickest marathons you’ll be able to take part in, and it follows a simple route by way of the bustling metropolis of Berlin. And whereas it has undergone a couple of adjustments over time, together with a course overhaul after German Reunification, it stays a enjoyable, straightforward run over pretty flat terrain. 

Identified for the numerous world information set on its course, the Berlin Marathon is a well-liked fundraising occasion that helps elevate tens of millions of {dollars} for charitable organizations that assist the aged, disabled, and ailing worldwide. 

A lot has been mentioned in regards to the Berlin Marathon, however solely those that have accomplished it for themselves will know in regards to the thrill of finishing one of many main world marathons. 

That is what Gete Wami, winner of the ladies’s division of the Berlin Marathon in 2006, needed to say in regards to the race: “It was a beautiful race. I’ve at all times wished to run in Berlin. The climate is nice, the air is evident, and the ambiance is robust. I do know I’ll be again to set my greatest time.”

It reveals that taking part in only one marathon can change your life perpetually. Join right this moment and be part of the 1000’s of runners that take to the streets of this stunning metropolis yearly as they tackle the problem of the Berlin Marathon.

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