Look out on September 24, when tens of thousands of people take to the streets in the German capital, when there is cheering and emotions, and tv cameras and press everywhere. No, this has nothing to do with the German federal elections on the same day, this is about testing the boundaries of what humans can actually do. This is: the 44th Berlin Marathon 2017 on September 24, 2017. More than 40,000 runners will attempt to master the 26 miles long mammoth task, among them the very best long-distance runners of our time. Thanks to the exceptional routing along the most important sights of the capital, regular running times within reach of the world record, and a passionate audience, Berlin Marathon is widely regarded as Germany’s running sports highlight of the year. Reason enough to be there, in the first line!
Just for the (world) record?
Berlin Marathon is often named the world’s fastest marathon – all officially recognized men’s world records have been set here. The current world record time of 2:02.57 was established by Kenyan runner Dennis Kipruto Kimetto in 2014, and since then only Eliud Kipchoge has been faster – but under irregular circumstances on a Formula-1 track with changing pacemakers. And even he didn’t break the magical 2-hours mark. Thus, this year’s 44th BMW Berlin Marathon promises to be a special highlight: Kenyan runners Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang, as well as Ethiopia’s superstar Kenenisa Bekele are currently the three best long-distance runners in the world. I think we can expect nothing less than a new world record this year! Or is it maybe even time for that “unbeatable” barrier of 2 hours to finally fall?
And the female runners are no less promising: Not only defending champion Aberdu Kebede from Ethiopia makes for top-runner presence, her fellow countrywoman Amane Berios, Kenya’s talent Valary Aiybei, and many, many more will make this one of the fastest runs in history.
Be right there
Right from the start at Victory Column there are numerous amazing spots to cheer on the athletes and follow the race. Reichstag building (7 km) or Alexanderplatz (11 km) make good spots, and so do Gedächtniskirche (35 km), Potsdamer Platz (38 km), Gendarmenmarkt (40 km), and – of course – the finish line at Brandenburg Gate. The hotspots for watching the race are basically one big Berlin city tour. There is no admission fee throughout the city, of course. But look out for traffic obstructions due to blocked roads all weekend long.
What a weekend
But there is not only the grand marathon race on Sunday (9 am), the wheelchair race (8:35 am) and the one for hand bikers (8:45 am) take place on the same day. On Saturday already, the inline skaters will start their race (15:30 am), shortly after the two kids’ competitions Mini-Marathon and Bambini-Marathon.
Run, Forest, Run
To finish a marathon once in their lifetime is a dream, that many share. And the Berlin Marathon, as one of the biggest and fastest races in the world, is on many runners’ shortlist. Around 80,000 people register for a slot, the 41,000 actual starters are determined by a fair drawing. For the 2017 marathon, all slots have been assigned months ago, but the registration period for Berlin Marathon 2018 starts October 18, 2017. Which would still give you some 11 months of training…
By the way: For all of you, who need to be on the track by 9 am on the day of the marathon, Industriepalast Hostel offers a healthy breakfast as early as 7am.
Bildnachweis: Datei: #133533413 | Urheber: JFL Photography
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.