In 1990, the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON hosted more than 25,000 runners who for the first time ran through Brandenburg Gate and into East Berlin. Runners were crying while they stopped to kiss the ground. It was an emotional run for all. Since then, runners have continued to flock to Berlin each year to experience one of the best organized marathons in the world. This is a race you need to plan ahead for as the event closes entries about mid-November with a max of 40,000 runners. Marathon Tours & Travel has guaranteed entries, which can be obtained when our four-night package is purchased.
This Abbott World Marathon Majors race course is flat and fast with only a few corners. A world record was set at this event in 2014 with a time of 2:02:57 by Dennis Kimetto. The course also produced the first sub 2:20 marathon by a woman, Naoko Takahashi, in 2001. The race is also known for having ideal weather for running and is run on asphalt versus concrete. It is definitely one to target for your PR!
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In terms of the service of Marathon Tours: Everything was planned for us! I didn't have think about anything but how was I going to get to/from the airport, and I hope I don't get lost on my shake out runs. Coordinating with the hotel for an early start to the breakfast on Sunday morning was fantastic as well. I don't normally eat a large breakfast on marathon mornings due to timing, but this worked out perfectly. I was full three hours prior to the race, and had a banana about 45 minutes before the start. Perfect fueling. In terms of Berlin: What an amazing city. I had only ever been to southwest Germany in the past, so coming to Berlin was an opportunity to truly immerse myself in the history - good and bad - of the country. The city did not disappoint. I used the four-hour city tour on Friday to pick out spots where I wanted to explore further on Monday (as I was leaving early on Tuesday). This was so helpful - and having a tour guide like Ulli made it even better. She was so down to earth, and genuine. I wish the folks who do the course tour for the NYC Marathon would take note! In terms of the marathon: I've run big marathons in the past - heck, this was #4 of the six majors for me. But it was such an incredible experience being on the international runner side, as opposed to being a runner in the NYC or Chicago races. The spectators were awesome - and it was great to hear them call out my name, even though no one had any idea who I was or where I was from. The global community of runners was so strong. And ... what's a marathon in Berlin without beer on course? Thank you to the beer stop (unofficial, I believe) at mile 25!
The City Tour was beyond fabulous. I also loved the pre-race dinner. It was spot on. I loved the camaraderie. Meeting new people during the Thursday night Happy Hour and then seeing them again and again over the weekend gave the trip added depth and meaning.