Among the marathons that all runners must run there´s Boston (which this year has sadly been in the news for all the wrong reasons), New York City, London, Chicago and, of course, Berlin. The experience as a runner or as part of the crowd is definitely worth it because they say that it´s one of the most historical and beautiful routes in terms of architecture. Write this down: the date is Sunday 29th of September and the time is 9am and the majestic Brandenburg Gate is the start and finish of this race.
Photo: Amy EWen
This is a call to all runners around the world. Berlin is one of the World Marathon Majors and a luxury for those runners who enjoy strong challenges. It´s not easy to get a number for this popular race and it´s a luxury to be there for those who understand marathons as an exercise of improvement and daily effort. It´s the goal of all goals and the stage could not be better because the race starts and finishes in the famous Brandenburg Gate. In total it´s 26.2 miles of pure visual training, a different visit to the German capital because the race also goes past all the main city landmarks. The ideal thing is to stay a few days there and walk around it calmly with less people around. The Wall, Alexanderplatz, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, the museums… there´s plenty to see.
The current world record of the Berlin Marathon is held by Patrick Makau, who ran it in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds. If this year you were thinking in beating that time you´ll have a huge task on your hands, mainly because all the numbers have expired. So, for now, you´ll have to wait until 2014. So that you get an idea, 40,000 people sign up for it every year. If you want to race in 2014 you better hurry up because the lists usually fill up by February, with the race taking place during the last Sunday in September. Basically, you have to plan it well in advance.
This competition has a long history behind it. It was created in 1974 with just 280 runners and today it´s one of the most popular races on the planet with 45,000 of them. It´s funny because, during the 80s, when the Berlin Wall split the city in half, the race was also run. 1990 was the first time in history when the marathon runners crossed the Brandenburg Gate, which at that time was part of the Berlin Wall and a monument to victory. There, at the finish line, is where most of the crowd gather. I recommend going there in good time if you want to get a good view, because it sure isn´t easy to find a good spot.
The BMW Berlin Marathon has a flat route that´s comfortable and fast, which will invite you to improve on your marks. That´s what the legendary Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie did in 2008, beating his own world record for a second consecutive year. One could say that we are facing the fastest track in the world because most of the records have been beaten here. They say that it´s a better route than Boston, Chicago, Madrid or London and it´s a must for all those who enjoy the world of marathons, a real adrenaline high for which you should go well prepared.
If Pheidippides woke up today, he´d see Berlin as one of the most attractive marathons in the world, one of those races that nobody wants to miss.
Are you going to the marathon? Find apartments in Berlin city center and don´t miss the race!