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Paul Tergat became the first man to cross the new finish line when he ran a world record of 2:04:55, passing through Brandenburg Gate – the symbol for reunification.

A group of runners from one of Germany’s most prestigious athletics clubs, SC Charlottenburg, organized the first BERLIN-MARATHON in 1974. It was not until 1981 that the race moved from the Grunewald (a big forest) into the city center of West Berlin. Supported by the three western allied forces (Britain, France and USA) it quickly developed into Germany’s biggest and best quality marathon.

It was after the Berlin Wall collapsed in November 1989 when a new era started. On September 30, 1990, three days before reunification, the course of the Berlin Marathon led through Brandenburg Gate and both parts of Berlin. In 2001 Naoko Takahashi became the first woman to break the 2:20 barrier in Berlin. The flat and fast loop course then was changed significantly for the 2003 race. Paul Tergat became the first man to cross the new finish line when he ran a world record of 2:04:55, passing through Brandenburg Gate – the symbol for reunification.

The inaugural Berlin Marathon, October 13, 1974

 

In 2007 and 2008 Haile Gebrselassie broke that record, first lowering it to 2:04:26 and then to 2:03:59, the first sub-2:04 time ever. In 2011, Patrick Makau reclaimed the record for Kenya, finishing in 2:03:38, only to be eclipsed two years in a row by his compatriots Wilson Kipsang, who clocked 2:03:23 in 2013, and Dennis Kimetto, who ran a barrier-breaking 2:02:57 in 2014. In 2018, that mark was erased by Eliud Kipchoge, who ran an astonishing 2:01:39.

Inaugural running

1974

Recent participation

Year Finishers Male Female
2006 30,190 24,103 6,087
2007 32,638 26,136 6,502
2008 35,913 28,354 7,429
2009 35,035 27,965 7,070
2010 34,002 26,603 7,399
2011 33,312 25,817 7,495
2012 34,485 26,542 7,943
2013 36,527 27,547 8,980
2014 28,946 22,178 6,768
2015 36,767 27,857 8,910
2016 35,999 26,772 9,227
2017 39,091 28,057 11,034
2018 40,775 28,440 12,335

Course records

Men 2:01:39 (Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 2018)
Women 2:18:11 (Gladys Cherono, KEN, 2018)
Men's Wheelchair 1:21:39 (Heinz Frei, SUI, 1997)
Women's Wheelchair 1:36:53 (Manuela Schar, SUI, 2018)

PRIZE PURSE

US$416,629 (US$50,000 to male & female champions)

Wheelchair prize purse: US$28,100 (US$5,600 to male and female champions)

Largest field

40,775 finishers (2018)

Estimated spectators

1 million

Highlights