The World's Top 10 Marathons

2. Berlin Marathon

Posted: 8 July 2000

2. Berlin Marathon

Berlin has established its world-class marathon credentials with a record-breaking course and a slick and efficient race organisation. But it does offer far more. The crowds are large, loud and enthusiastic (if sporadic), and running here is like running through a modern history class. The course takes you past grand historical architecture, the drab and austere buildings of the East and the modern, hi-tech shops and commercial property of the West. Although its recent world records have captured headlines, Berlin is proud of its reputation as a genuine runner’s race.

The course: Apart from two gentle inclines near 17 and 21 miles, the course is almost perfectly flat. It’s also extremely wide and straight, especially in the first two miles along Charlottenburger Tor and the final stretch on Kurfurstendamm. There’s plenty to catch your eye on the way, but not if you’re running quickly – which is the main attraction of the course.
Highs: Passage through the Brandenburg Gate, marking the entry into formerly Socialist East Berlin.
Lows: Sparse crowds in the eastern section of the city.
Watch out for: The in-line skaters who share the marathon with runners.
Contact: Berlin Marathon, Glockenturmstraße 23 14055 Berlin; e-mail
UK contact: Sports Tours; 0161 7038161
Size: 20,000+
Month: September

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