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BMW Berlin Marathon

A group of runners headed by Horst Milde from one of Germany’s most prestigious athletics clubs, SC Charlottenburg, organised the first Berlin Marathon in 1974 and it quickly developed into Germany’s biggest and best-quality marathon after moving to the city centre in 1981.  

A new era began after the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989. On 30 September 1990, three days before reunification, the Berlin Marathon went through Brandenburg Gate linking both parts of Berlin. The flat and fast loop course was changed significantly for the 2003 race when Paul Tergat ran a world record of 2:04:55. Haile Gebrselassie broke that record in 2007 and 2008; Patrick Makau reclaimed the record for enya in 2011, followed by compatriots Wilson Kipsang in 2013. Dennis Kimetto became the first runner worldwide to achieve a sub 2:03 time in 2014 (2:02:57) and then Eliud Kipchoge smashed this mark in 2018. Running 2:01:39 he crowned the 45th edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON by improving the former mark by 1:18 minutes, the biggest advance in the men’s marathon world record for more than 50 years. In 2022 Eliud Kipchoge achieved an incredible world record of 2:01:09 hours. The Kenyan thus improved his own best time by exactly half a minute. 22 years after the last world record on the women's side in Berlin, Tigst Assefa (ETH) set a new world record at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2023. She stayed over two minutes under the previously existing record and ran an incredible 2:11:53 hours. A staggering total of 13 world records have been broken in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, which is unique. 

Inaugural running: 1974  

Largest field: 44,065 finishers (2019)  

Recent participation: In 2023 there were 43,010 Finishers - 28,583 (men) 14,392 (women) 35 (non-binary)

Estimated number of spectators: 1.2 million  

Course records:  

  • Men: 2:01:09 Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 2022
  • Women: 2:11:53 Tigst Assefa, ETH, 2023 (WR) 

Most victories: 

  • Men: 5 (Eliud Kipchoge, KEN) 
  • Women: 3 (Uta Pippig, GER; Renata Kokowska, POL, Aberu Kebede, ETH, Gladys Cherono, KEN)
  • Prize purse: 170,000 Euros (30,000 Euros for Open Division champions) 

Wheelchair course records: 

  • Men: 1:21:39 (Heinz Frei, SUI, 1997) 
  • Women: 1:34:16 WR (Catherine Debrunner, SUI, 2023)  

Most wheelchair victories:  

  • Men: 20 (Heinz Frei, SUI) 
  • Women: 6 (Manuela Schär, SUI)  

Wheelchair prize purse: 46,400 Euros (10,000 for each champion) 

Organisation information: Mark Milde, Race Director  

Media contacts: Robert Fekl and Jochen Schmitz 

Upcoming race dates: 29 September 2024