On September 16, 2018 at 9:15 a.m., over 44,000 runners will line up in Berlin’s Tiergarten to tackle the 42.195 kilometers that will earn them the Berlin Marathon Medal in the marathon’s 45th year. Some will run to challenge Dennis Kipruto Kimetto’s 2:02:57 course and world record set in 2014 or Mizuki Noguchi’s course record of 2:19:12 laid in 2005. Others will just run to see the sights in one of the world’s most history-rich cities.
Sponsored by BMW since 2011, the Berlin Marathon has been attracting world-class runners and those just along for the fun since 1974. More world records have been set on the Berlin Marathon course than in any other marathon, and, for this reason, competitors come from near and far with dreams of personal bests. Flat and stable running surfaces, good weather and lively crowds are all to thank for years of good running speed.
Where to watch the Berlin Marathon?
Interested in joining the nearly one million spectators cheering on the runners? The course map, courtesy of the BMW Berlin Marathon site, is a great tool to help you find your prime spot. You will always get in the spirit by seeking out a cheering section close to the many musical acts that will pepper the course. The most lively areas with the greatest concentration of bands are:
- Torstraße near Rosenthaler Platz
- Potsdamer Platz
- Finish Line at the Brandenburg Gate (of course, the biggest party)
The Berlin Marathon is such a crowd-fueled race that it is hard to make a poor cheering site choice.
Are there other categories of competition for the Berlin Marathon?
Adult runners obviously make up the largest percentage of participants in the marathon, but there are also other elite athletes that will compete. Children up to the age of 10 years can run in the 500m or 1000 m Kids Run race on Saturday, September 15th at 11:00 a.m. There is also a Mini-Marathon and Inline Skating Marathon on the 15th, starting at 3:10 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively. The marathon race day begins at 8:50 a.m. on September 16th with the Premier Handbikers, followed by the Wheelchair Race at 8:56 a.m. and the remaining Handbikers at 8:59 a.m.
What is the prize for this year’s Berlin Marathon?
The Berlin Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, comprised of five other marathons in Tokyo, New York, Boston and London and four world championships. Prize money totaling $1M is spread across the winners of the Abbott World Marathons. Approximately $417,000 is paid out at the Berlin Marathon, with around $50,000 being awarded to the top male and female marathon competitors.
Any predictions for this year’s race?
In 2017, Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya reined victorious in the male category (2:03:32). Kipchoge will return this year in hopes of chasing his personal best of 2:03:05 and third Berlin Marathon championship. However, former world-record holder, Wilson Kipsang, will be racing this year and will keep Kipchoge and other competitors on their toes as they fight it out to the end.
Gladys Cherono crossed the 2017 finish line first in the female category (2:20:23) and is preparing to race again on September 16th. Cherono will be joined by four other female racers that have finished marathons under 2:20:00, proving that her goal of a third Berlin Marathon title will not be easy.
Contribution by Julie Schoen.
Julie is the founder of Track the Town. A runner for 22 years, Julie leads running tours of Berlin’s neighbourhoods to introduce visitors to lesser-known historical sights, cool restaurants and bars, and to share the diversity of Berlin.