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.

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.

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.

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

Course records

Men 2:02:57 (Dennis Kimetto, KEN, 2014)
Women 2:19:12 (Mizuki Noguchi, JPN, 2005)
Men's Wheelchair 1:21:39 (Heinz Frei, SUI, 1997)
Women's Wheelchair 1:42:02 (Janette Jansen, NED, 1992)

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

36,767 finishers (2015)

Estimated spectators

1 million

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