The 45th edition of the BMW Berlin Marathon is all set to hit the streets of Berlin in 5 weeks from now. The action will happen on 15th and 16th September. Here’s a list of ten things that you need to know for the annual mega event that attracts thousands of professional athletes and first time runners from the entire globe. Apart from being a well-known event of international stature, it is also an apt opportunity for the spectators to tour the city. The course of the race is dotted with all the prime tourist spots in Berlin.
When was the first marathon?
The first Berlin Marathon was organised in 1974. The runners started their stints from a small road right besides the Charlottenberg SC club. The total number of participants was just a meagre 276 at that time.
Who won the first Berlin Marathon?
The very first winner of the coveted race was Gunter Hallas who finished it in 2 hours 44 minutes and 53 seconds. Jutta Van Hasse was the first woman runner to win the marathon in 1974.
Where is the start of the Berlin Marathon?
This year’s marathon will start from the south side of the iconic Brandenburg gate at the Goßer Stern and finish at the Unter den Linden. The runners are free to choose the starting spot from any of the six doric columns. The marathon will be flagged off from the
How large is the Berlin Marathon exactly?
This year the BMW Berlin Marathon has entered its 45th edition. It is the 34th biggest marathon event in the entire world. A total of 61,1131 participants from more than 137 countries took part in the marathon last year. This year the numbers are expected to cross the 60,000 mark achieved in 2017.
Best viewing spots
To get the best glimpses of the marathon, the Victory Column is a great spot. It is situated just 600 meters away from the Brandenburg gate. The second best spot to view it from is the Strasse des 17 and to catch it in the final hours you need to reach the Unter Den Linden.
The participants are microchipped
The marathon runners need to wear a tiny timekeeping device called the ‘ChampionChip’ in their running shoes. These chips can’t be shared or transferred and you can either get your own chip or rent one.
Who can run?
There are three broad categories of runners qualified for the run. First is the Junior category for people falling in the age group of 19-18 years, second is the master Category for people in the age group between 29-20 years and the third category is of Senior 30 years and above. Athletes above 35-40 years have been classified under Special Categories. Wheelchair and Hand cyclists have separate categories.
The marathon route is a colossal 42 Km stretch that will have 42 checkpoints covering all the major tourist spots in the city. The Victory Column, the German Parliament, the Wilder Eber and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church are some of the prime ones out of the 11 tourist attractions falling en route to the Brandenburg gate.
World Marathon Major Series
It is one of the world’s top 6 major marathons including the Boston Marathon in US and the London Marathon.
Run for charity
You could run for charity at the BMW Berlin Marathon. The Realbuzz group is associated with thousands of international charities from UK and US who assist in running for fundraising for special causes.
Where to stay for the marathon?
August and September are great months to visit the city. The weather being pleasant during this time it is an apt time for hosting the marathon. For the business travellers who are visiting Berlin during this time, the need of an accommodation is evident. The best part about this German city is there are are a number of options to choose from a lot of convenient serviced apartments in Berlin.