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The Berlin Marathon: A Story of Speed and World Records

Are you prepared to buckle up and cruise through the epic saga of one of the world’s most legendary marathons? The Berlin Marathon is a thrilling tale of human stamina, unwavering commitment, and the undeniable drive to conquer the odds. This isn’t just your average race; it’s a bona fide fiesta of the human spirit. Hop on board as we delve into the annals of history, the myths, and the goosebump-inducing moments that have sculpted the Berlin Marathon into the phenomenal event it is today.


The Berlin Marathon, a yearly test of human endurance and determination, struts its stuff through the streets of Berlin, Germany. This long-distance racing extravaganza first kicked off on October 13, 1974, and has since evolved into a world-renowned running fiesta, attracting over 40,000 pavement-pounders from every corner of the globe. This 42.195-kilometer (26.219 miles) course takes runners on a scenic tour of Berlin, whisking them past iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall – talk about sightseeing with a side of sweat!

The Berlin Marathon Story: A Brief History

Once upon a time in the early 1970s, a running enthusiast named Horst Milde had a lightbulb moment: “Why not create a marathon in my beloved hometown of Berlin?” And so, he did. The inaugural Berlin Marathon saw a modest 286 runners huffing and puffing their way to the finish line, with Günter Hallas emerging victorious in a breezy 2 hours and 44 minutes. As years went by, the event ballooned in size and grandeur, luring elite runners and ambitious amateurs alike from every nook and cranny of our lovely planet.

The Legends of the Berlin Marathon

Throughout the ages, the Berlin Marathon has played host to a veritable who’s who of running royalty. Allow me to introduce you to a few of the most unforgettable characters to have ever graced its fabled course:

1. Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie, an Ethiopian running machine who could give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money, has etched his name into the annals of the Berlin Marathon’s history. This legendary speedster claimed victory in the race four times and even managed to set a world record in 2007, blazing through the course in a mind-boggling 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 26 seconds.

2. Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance running sensation who’s likely part cheetah, has sprinted his way to victory in the Berlin Marathon an astounding four times between 2015 and 2019. In 2018, he left onlookers in awe as he shattered the world record, crossing the finish line in a blistering 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds.

3. Paula Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe, a British long-distance running dynamo, left her mark on the Berlin Marathon in 2003 by setting a world record that’s still unbeaten today. With legs like lightning, she zipped through the course in a jaw-dropping 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 25 seconds, solidifying her place in the annals of marathon history.

The Unforgettable Moments

The Berlin Marathon has been the stage for some truly unforgettable moments throughout its history. Grab your popcorn and join us as we reminisce on a few of the most noteworthy ones:

1. The Fall of Paul Tergat

Back in 2003, Paul Tergat and Sammy Korir found themselves in a nail-biting, neck-and-neck race in the Berlin Marathon’s final stretch. But just as the finish line was within their grasp, Tergat took a spectacular tumble, paving the way for Korir to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. While it may have been a faceplant moment for Tergat, it’s undoubtedly etched in the annals of Berlin Marathon history as one unforgettable scene.

2. The Miracle of Berlin

In the oh-so-nineties year of 1990, with German reunification still fresh and the Berlin Wall’s rubble barely settled, a plucky disabled German runner by the name of Gert Schramm sprinted into history. Schramm triumphantly completed the Berlin Marathon in a jaw-dropping 3 hours, 14 minutes, and 42 seconds. His awe-inspiring feat sent a wave of inspiration across the nation and earned itself the nickname “Miracle of Berlin.” Talk about a Kodak moment!

3. The Emotional Finish

In the tear-jerking year of 2011, Australian long-distance runner Michael Shelley found himself in quite a pickle. Mere meters from the finish line, he dramatically collapsed, and as he floundered like a fish out of water, his competitors breezed past him. But fear not, dear reader, for our hero Shelley mustered every ounce of resilience and determination the human spirit could offer. With grit and sheer willpower, he hauled himself across the finish line, securing the 16th place and etching his name in the annals of Berlin Marathon history.

The Berlin Marathon Today

The Berlin Marathon, much like a long-awaited superhero movie, continues to create ripples of anticipation in the running realm. Nowadays, the race is orchestrated by SCC EVENTS, a subsidiary of the sports marketing masterminds, Infront Sports & Media. Held every September, the marathon has become a siren’s call, luring pavement pounders from over 100 countries to its starting line like moths to a flame.


When is the Berlin Marathon?

The Berlin Marathon is typically held in late September – just when the city is looking its finest and the weather is simply divine for a jaunt through the streets.

How long is the Berlin Marathon?

Brace yourself for a pulse-pounding 42.195-kilometer (26.219 miles) odyssey on your trusty two feet! Indeed, we’re referring to the time-honored marathon distance that’s guaranteed to have you feeling a heady mix of utterly drained and wildly invigorated.

What is the route of the Berlin Marathon?

Oh, just a casual romp through Berlin’s historic streets, past iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Quite the sightseeing tour, wouldn’t you say?

How many people participate in the Berlin Marathon?

Get ready for a running extravaganza, as over 40,000 runners from around the globe flock to Berlin for this prestigious event. It’s practically a jogging jamboree!

Who has won the most Berlin Marathons?

Hats off to the legendary Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance running superstar, who’s bagged a record-breaking four victories between 2015 and 2019. Talk about a marathon maestro!

Can anyone participate in the Berlin Marathon?

Absolutely! The Berlin Marathon welcomes one and all, but there are some requirements to meet, such as completing a qualifying race within a certain time frame. So, dust off those running shoes, because it’s time to hit the pavement!


The Berlin Marathon saga is an epic tale of sweat, victory, and the indomitable human spirit. Starting as a modest jog in the park back in the 1970s, the race has evolved into a global running phenomenon. Its legendary participants, heart-stopping moments, and the unyielding commitment of runners all blend together in a magical marathon cocktail. So, whether you’re a seasoned sprinter or a casual jogger, the Berlin Marathon is the kind of bucket list event that will have you dusting off your running shoes and dreaming of the finish line.

A hearty thank you for accompanying me on this rollercoaster ride through the chronicles of the Berlin Marathon. I trust you’ve had a jolly good time uncovering the tales and legends of this astounding race. So, without further ado, strap on those trusty running shoes and let the training montage begin – it’s time to conquer a marathon of your own!

Interested in more information on running, check out the latest entries in our journal

On the last note I am very fond of funny articles, I read this recently at our friends The Wrestling Kingdom called WWE: How Roman Reigns Became The Tribal Chief

If you want a good laugh I recommend this article

Jason Miles
Jason Miles
Join the incredible Jason Miles as he defies all limits, running for days on end. Prepare to be amazed by his extraordinary endurance and unyielding determination!


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