|Date||the last weekend of September (except for 2000 and 2018)|
|Course records||Men: 2:01:39 (2018, WR) |
Women: 2:18:11 (2018)
|Official site||Berlin Marathon|
|2021 Berlin Marathon|
The Berlin Marathon (German: Berlin-Marathon, pronounced [bɛʁˈliːn ˈmaʁatɔn]) is a marathon event held annually on the streets of Berlin, Germany on the last weekend of September. Held annually since 1974, the event includes multiple races over the marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards), including elite level road running competitions for men and women, a race for the general public, an inline skating race, a wheelchair race and a handcycle race.
Events are split over two days, with skaters competing on the marathon course on Saturday before the running events. Power walkers, hand-bikers, wheelchair riders, and a children's marathon (4.2195 km, 1/10th of the regular distance) are also part of the marathon weekend, which is organised by SCC EVENTS. The elite running and wheelchair races are part of the World Marathon Majors, an annual series of top level races offering a $1 million prize purse. BMW is the current title sponsor for the race.
The city's flat course regularly produces fast performances and the marathon world record has been broken in Berlin on 11 occasions, particularly the most recent 7 instances on the men's progression. The current record was set at the 2018 edition, where Eliud Kipchoge won the men's race in 2:01:39. Gladys Cherono set a new women's course record that same year with 2:18:11.
The Berlin Marathon was established in 1974 by Horst Milde, a baker and running enthusiast in the city. The race had 244 finishers; 234 men and 10 women, and was won by Günter Hallas and Jutta von Haase in times of 2:44:53 and 3:22:01 respectively. In 1977, Christa Vahlensieck established a new women's world record at the Berlin Marathon, running 2:34:47. Four years later, the race started outside the Reichstag for the first time, by which time it had grown to 2,583 finishers, making it the largest city road race in Germany. The following year, before German unification, some East Germans secretly ran the race, registering under false names to avoid recriminations from the East German secret service. In 1989, a children's race was added to the event, and eight years later an inline skating marathon was contested.
In 1998, Ronaldo da Costa set a new men's world record, the only South American to hold a marathon world record. Two years later, one of the race's pacemakers, Simon Biwott won the race, after one of the favourites had pulled out in the second half of the race. In 2001, Naoko Takahashi became the first woman to run a sub-2:20 marathon, completing the Berlin Marathon in 2:19:46. The race had continued to be the venue of world records; between 2003 and 2018, seven men's records were set at the race; the most recent remains as the current world record time; Eliud Kipchoge's 2:01:39.
The 2020 edition of the event was prohibited from being held on its originally scheduled dates due to the coronavirus pandemic, and was eventually cancelled once it was clear that it would not be possible to hold it at a later date in 2020. All registrants were given the option of either transferring their entry to 2021 or obtaining a refund.
The course within the metropolis starts and finishes near the Brandenburg Gate. Due to the division of the city, the marathon events before 1990 were limited to West Berlin only. On 30 September 1990 athletes were able to run through the Brandenburg Gate for the first time and since then, the course has covered both halves of the unified city. It was reported that a great many of the runners had tears in their eyes as they ran through the gate.
Nowadays, after leaving Brandenburg Gate, the course passes Charlottenburg, around Tiergarten, along Moabit and Mitte, and then south to Friedrichshain. After that, it winds west between Kreuzberg and Neukölln, through Schöneberg, over to Friedenau and Zehlendorf, before turning north back toward the city's center. Looping above Schöneberg, the course comes full circle as it finishes through the Gate.
There have been two other major international marathons in Berlin. At the 1936 Olympic Games and at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, both using different routes. A marathon in Berlin on 14 Oct 1973 was won by Ulrich Hutmacher (GER) with a time of 2:19:32, but that race is not considered to be part of the Berlin Marathon series.
There have been several title sponsors in the race's history. From 1974 until 1989 it was just the Berlin Marathon. In 1990 it was the Yanase Berlin Marathon. In 1991 and 1992 it was the Canon Berlin Marathon. It reverted to simply the Berlin Marathon from 1993 until 1997. It then became the Alberto Berlin Marathon in 1998 and 1999. A new title sponsor changed the name to the real,- Berlin Marathon from 2000 to 2010. Since 2011 it has been called the BMW Berlin Marathon.
|2020||cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic|
|2014||Dennis Kipruto Kimetto||Kenya||2:02:57||Men|
|2013||Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich||Kenya||2:03:23||Men|
|2011||Patrick Makau Musyoki||Kenya||2:03:38||Men|
|1998||Ronaldo da Costa||Brazil||2:06:05||Men|
|1977||Christa Vahlensieck||West Germany||2:34:48||Women|
- Current course record
- German championship race
Inline skating race
An inline skating section was added to the marathon event in 1997. A total of 5081 people took part in this section in the 2019 race. It is considered the largest inline skater marathon in the world and is the final venue of the World Inline Cup. The men's and women's race records are held by Bart Swings (56:49 in 2015) and Maira Yaqueline Arias (1:06:35 in 2017).
A handcycle race was first held at the race in 2004. In 2008, 166 handcyclists participated in the Berlin Marathon. The men's and women's race records are held by Jetze Plat (1:00:01 in 2019) and Christiane Reppe (1:08:54 in 2016).
|Year||Men's winner||Time[a]||Women's winner||Time[a]|
|2004||Errol Marklein (GER)||1:17:02||Monique van der Vorst (NED)||1:24:43|
|2005||Wim Decleir (BEL)||1:13:32||Andrea Eskau (GER)||1:15:50|
|2006||Wim Decleir (BEL)||1:11:03||Monique van der Vorst (NED)||1:18:34|
|2007||Wim Decleir (BEL)||1:11:12||Andrea Eskau (GER)||1:18:40|
|2008||Bernd Jeffré (GER)||1:05:46||Dorothee Vieth (GER)||1:13:55|
|2009||Torsten Purschke (GER)||1:05:47||Monique van der Vorst (NED)||1:18:28|
|2010||Vico Merklein (GER)||1:09:04||Ursula Schwaller (SUI)||1:25:13|
|2011||Vico Merklein (GER)||1:04:12||Ursula Schwaller (SUI)||1:17:09|
|2012||Vico Merklein (GER)||1:05:21||Karen Darke (GBR)||1:17:42|
|2013||Vico Merklein (GER)||1:06:14||Silke Pan (GER)||1:15:31|
|2014||Jetze Plat (NED)||1:03:37||Christiane Reppe (GER)||1:10:23|
|2015||Vico Merklein (GER)||1:02:32||Christiane Reppe (GER)||1:10:12|
|2016||Jetze Plat (NED)||1:05:06||Christiane Reppe (GER)||1:08:54|
|2017||Jetze Plat (NED)||1:03:45||Christiane Reppe (GER)||1:10:07|
|2018||Vico Merklein (GER)||1:04:56||Jennette Jansen (NED)||1:17:36|
|2019||Jetze Plat (NED)||1:00:01||Jennette Jansen (NED)||1:10:21|
|2020||cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic|
A wheelchair section was first officially held at the Berlin Marathon in 1981. Only men competed that year. The wheelchair race typically starts earlier in the day before the runners and power walkers.
Heinz Frei is the most successful athlete with twenty wins in the men's race. The next most successful athlete is Manuela Schär, who has won the women's race six times. Both these athletes also hold the records for time, with Frei setting the men's race record of 1:21:39 in 1997 and Schär setting the women's race record of 1:36:53 in 2018.
|Year||Men's winner||Time[a]||Women's winner||Time[a]|
|1981||Georg Freund (FRG)||2:08:44||not held|
|1982||Bosse Lindquist (SWE)||2:03:10|
|1983||Gregor Golombek (FRG)||1:55:10||Gabriele Beyer (FRG)||2:51:12|
|1984||Bosse Lindquist (SWE)||2:16:32||Gabriele Beyer (FRG)||2:47:14|
|1985||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:57:28||Gabriele Schild (SUI)||2:33:51|
|1986||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:46:44||Connie Hansen (DEN)||2:32:23|
|1987||Gregor Golombek (FRG)||1:46:52||Margit Quell (FRG)||2:21:29|
|1988||Markus Pilz (FRG)||1:52:08||Gabriele Schild (SUI)||2:52:29|
|1989||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:40:11||Daniela Jutzeler (SUI)||1:55:23|
|1990||Jean-Marc Berset (SUI)||1:34:41||Daniela Jutzeler (SUI)||1:57:47|
|1991||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:27:39||Beate Meier (GER)||1:51:50|
|1992||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:29:41||Jennette Jansen (NED)||1:42:07|
|1993||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:27:16||Lily Anggreny (GER)||1:50:34|
|1994||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:22:12||Louise Sauvage (AUS)||1:57:14|
|1995||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:22:49||Lily Anggreny (GER)||1:58:38|
|1996||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:25:34||Monica Wetterström (SWE)||1:54:00|
|1997||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:21:39||Louise Sauvage (AUS)||1:49:58|
|1998||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:24:19||Edith Hunkeler (SUI)||1:47:53|
|1999||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:23:57||Monica Wetterström (SWE)||1:48:12|
|2000||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:26:30||Sandra Graf (SUI)||1:52:31|
|2001||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:30:24||Edith Hunkeler (SUI)||1:47:46|
|2002||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:28:28||Edith Hunkeler (SUI)||1:45:52|
|2003||Joël Jeannot (FRA)||1:25:19||Yvonne Sehmisch (GER)||1:52:05|
|2004||Thomas Gerlach (DEN)||1:33:49||not held|
|2005||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:28:32||Edith Hunkeler (SUI)||1:49:46|
|2006||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:29:30||Sandra Graf (SUI)||1:42:52|
|2007||Masazumi Soejima (JPN)||1:26:50||Simone Buess (SUI)||1:48:50|
|2008||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:27:55||Sandra Hager (SUI)||2:04:21|
|2009||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:28:38||Sandra Graf (SUI)||1:39:31|
|2010||Masazumi Soejima (JPN)||1:28:46||Wakako Tsuchida (JPN)||1:46:15|
|2011||Marcel Hug (SUI)||1:29:31||Edith Hunkeler (SUI)||1:45:20|
|2012||Marcel Hug (SUI)||1:29:43||Sandra Graf (SUI)||1:46:19|
|2013||Heinz Frei (SUI)||1:31:00||Manuela Schär (SUI)||1:41:39|
|2014||Kota Hokinoue (JPN)||1:32:25||Shelly Woods (GBR)||1:47:56|
|2015||David Weir (GBR)||1:27:36||Natalia Kocherova (RUS)||1:50:36|
|2016||Marcel Hug (SUI)||1:29:51||Manuela Schär (SUI)||1:43:00|
|2017||Marcel Hug (SUI)||1:29:03||Manuela Schär (SUI)||1:40:05|
|2018||Brent Lakatos (CAN)||1:29:41||Manuela Schär (SUI)||1:36:53|
|2019||Marcel Hug (SUI)||1:28:09||Manuela Schär (SUI)||1:38:07|
|2020||cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic|
- Berlin, Berliner Morgenpost- (2010-09-25). "9500 Kinder und Jugendliche beim Mini-Marathon". www.morgenpost.de (in German). Retrieved 2020-12-12.
- "Now a 3-Time Champ, Cherono Adds Course Record to Berlin Marathon Resume". Runner's World. 2018-09-16. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- Robinson, Roger (25 September 2019). "The Record-Breaking History of the Berlin Marathon". Runner's World. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
- "Countdown is starting: Looking back into the history of the BMW BERLIN MARATHON". BMW BERLIN MARATHON. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
- "Tag der Deutschen Einheit verdrängt Berlin-Marathon". www.tagesspiegel.de (in German). Retrieved 2020-12-12.
- "Event Update". www.scc-events.com. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
- "BMW BERLIN-MARATHON: Event update". web.archive.org. 2020-07-01. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
- Marius Bakken. "Berlin Marathon". Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- 2018 Berlin Marathon. Berlin Marathon. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
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