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Berlin

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON

A group of runners 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 Kenya in 2011, followed by compatriots Wilson Kipsang in 2013 and Dennis Kimetto in 2014. His mark stood until 2018, when Eliud Kipchoge finished in 2:01:39. In 2019 Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele missed Kipchoge’s world record by two seconds, clocking 2:01:41.

Inaugural running: 1974

Largest field: 44,065 finishers (2019)

Recent participation:

Years Finishers (Men/Women) 
2021 tbc tbc (held on Sunday 26 September)
2020 n/a n/a (cancelled due to pandemic)
2019 44,065 (30,775/13,290) 
2018 40,775 (28,443/12,332) 

Estimated number of spectators: 1 million

Course records:

  • Men: 2:01:39 (Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 2018)
  • Women: 2:18:11 (Gladys Cherono, KEN, 2018)

Most victories:

  • Men:4 (Haile Gebrselassie, ETH)
  • Women: 3 (Uta Pippig, GER; Renata Kokowska, POL, Aberu Kebede, ETH, Gladys Cherono, KEN) 
  • Prize purse: US$416,629 (US$50,000 to men’s and women’s champions)

Wheelchair course records:

  • Men: 1:21:39 (Heinz Frei, SUI, 1997)  
  • Women: 1:36:53 (Manuela Schär, SUI, 2018)  

Most wheelchair victories:

  • Men: 20 (Heinz Frei, SUI)
  • Women: 6 (Manuela Schär, SUI)
  • Wheelchair prize purse: US$28,100/€25,000 (US$5,600/€5,000 to champions) 


Organisation information:
 

Mark Milde: Race Director, bmw-berlin-marathon.com  
Media contacts: Robert Fekl 
Upcoming event dates: tbc