The cold season is over, time to loose all the extra pounds we have gained through the winter. The best way: the Berlin Half Marathon 2015. Germany’s biggest half marathon attracts every year more than 30,000 runners, inline skaters, wheelchair athletes, and hand bikers from all around the world. Here is all you need to know for the sports highlight in March:
Records & History
Like many other things in Berlin the Half Marathon too is a child of the German reunification. It originated from the annual Peace Run which had been held in East Berlin since 1981 and West Berlin’s SSC Half Marathon, three years younger than the eastern version, and it has brought runners onto the course since 1990. With 30,000 participants in the runners’ competition alone the Berlin Half Marathon is the biggest in Germany and thanks to international to athletes showing up each year it’s also ranked one of the best. Beside the competitions for wheelchair athletes and hand bikers, an inline skating competition has since 1997 been part of the program, too. For most speed skaters in Germany it is the first event of the year and therefore start of the season.
Other than its “bigger brother”, the Berlin Marathon in September, the Half Marathon has not yet brought any new world records. Still it is one of the fastest of its kind and during the last few years we always saw international top times, sometimes even under one hour. The course records over the about 21 km are held by Kenyan Patrick Makau Musyoki with 58:56 min (2007) and his fellow countrywoman Edith Masai with 67:16 min (2006).
The torture for the 30,000 runners begins in three starting intervals on Karl-Marx-Allee in Mitte, not far from Alexanderplatz. Following the beautiful boulevard Unter den Linden and passing famous Brandenburg Gate the course leads through the Grand Tiergarten and until Charlottenburg Castle before it turns back along Zoo, Memorial Church, Potsdamer Platz, and Checkpoint Charly right to the finish at Alexanderplatz. The fastest runners will be expected to arrive there around 11 am. Be aware that huge parts of Mitte, Charlottenburg, and Tiergarten will be blocked for traffic throughout the day.
Be part of it
All 30,000 berths for runners are booked out already, but for the other competitions you can still sign up until the end of the week. But also for spectators especially at the start and finish the event will be quite a spectacle. Highlight: Along the entire course a couple of samba bands will beat the rhythm for the run.
From Industriepalast Hostel it’s only a 5 minute train ride to Alexanderplatz, where it all begins and ends. So go get packed for an exciting weekend of sports in Berlin!
See you soon here in IP,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.