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BMW Berlin Marathon 2018: A Run Right through the Iconic History of Berlin!

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One of the largest and most popular road races in the world, the BMW Berlin Marathon is scheduled every year in the month of September. Amongst the six races that constitute the World Marathon Majors, BMW Berlin Marathon is a major sporting event amongst professional athletes and amateur runners held annually in the historic city of Berlin in Germany.

Guinness World Records in partnership with BMW Berlin Marathon offers the opportunity to set the world records for the fastest marathon in a costume. Millions of visitors flock to Berlin to watch the only race where amateurs and professional athletes run side by side. Here are some quintessential details about this legendary race that might be useful to you.

About the BMW Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon 2018
Berlin Marathon 2018

A huge number of marathon world records have been set at the Berlin course, known for its flat profile, even surface, cheering spectators and mildly autumn temperatures. Split over two days, the BMW Berlin Marathon attracts over 40,000 participants and a whopping 1 million spectators.

The BMW Berlin Marathon 2018 will be taking place on 16th of September in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance is 42.195 kilometers, which covers the whole city.

Participating in the Berlin Marathon is a great way to see the city; even seasoned marathoners are left spellbound by the sights that the course track takes them through to the finish line.

The runners get to see Reichstag, Berliner Dom, Bradenburg and Potsdamer during their run; that are some of the key attractions that Berlin has to offer.

More than just a marathon, the whole city comes to life during this time because the course covers all the beautiful sights that Berlin has to offer. The runners are cheered along the course route with over 60 musical bands that have their own music playing in the background.

History of the Berlin Marathon

The first ever Berlin Marathon took place on the 13th of October, 1974 next to the organizers’ club in Berlin. The first winners for the marathon were runners from Berlin itself. When the first Berlin Marathon was organized in 1974, there were a total of 286 athletes who had entered the race and ever since then, the numbers have just been increasing.

Until 1980s, the marathon route led the runners along a forest in West Berlin. But for the first time in 1981, the Berlin Marathon was run through the city streets of West Berlin, which helped to increase participation over the years and in 1985, there were 10,000 entries registered. Ian Ray from Great Britain was the first men's race winner and Angelika Stephan from Germany won the women’s race.

History of Berlin Marathon
History of the Berlin Marathon (source)

In 1990, almost three days prior to German Unification, Berlin Marathon established itself as one of the largest marathons in the world. In 2016 alone, the Berlin Marathon witnessed a participation of 46,950 entrants (41,283 runners, 5445 inline skaters, 185 hand bikers, 37 wheel-chairers).

The most marathon world records for men and women have been set at the Berlin course, which is known for its flat profile, even surface, cheering spectators, and frequently mild autumn temperatures. For a record six consecutive years (2011–2016), Berlin has been the site of the world leading men's time for the year.

Events and Registration

There are 6 different types of races that one can choose to participate in at the BMW Berlin Marathon, which includes:

  • Fast Runners
  • Tour Operators/Charity Partners
  • Entry Drawing Single Runners
  • Entry Drawing Teams
  • Skate, Handbike, Wheelchair
  • Jubilee - Club

There are no particular BMW Berlin Marathon qualifying times. You need to be over 16 years of age to compete and there is a 6 hour and 15 minutes cut-off time for this event.

Register for the Berlin Marathon Here!

The entry details and registration criterion for each race is as follows:

Fast Runner

The BMW Berlin Marathon 2018 registrations for this category were closed on November 8, 2017 (12:00 noon CET). However, the criterion to be a fast runner includes anyone who has completed an AIMS-certified Marathon in the past two years along with a timing requirement as per the rules laid out by the Marathon authorities. The registration fee for the category is 108 Euros.

Tour Operator/Charity Runner

Given the popularity of the marathon and the vast number of applications that are received annually, a secured way of getting a starting spot for the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon is to go through renowned tour operators as part of travel packages or by raising money for a good cause in conjunction with the official charity partners.

Entry Drawing Single Runners

The entry drawing process at 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon lottery is similar to the other marathon events in the Abbott World Marathon Major Series.

If you’d like to register for the Entry Drawing for runners, you should have registered between October 18, 2017 and November 8, 2017.

Entry Drawing Team

A new way to enter the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon is through this category wherein you can run the race with another partner or 2 fellow runners as a team of 2 or 3 members.

There will be an entry drawing system for teams who would like to run together. The registration for the same started on October 18, 2017 and closed on November 8, 2017.

Race Categories
Race categories

Skate, Hand bikes, Wheelchair

The registration for this category opened on November 9, 2017 and the registration fee is for it is 108 Euros. The fee for the first 5000 skaters is 68 Euros following which the fee will be 88 Euros.

If you are a double starter, you have to pay 108 Euros + 88 Euros.

Jubilee Club

To run under this category, it is important to prove that the runner has participated in the Berlin Marathon at least 10 times to get a guaranteed starting spot for the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018. The selection for this category however will happen only in Mid January 2018.

Route map of the Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon boasts of a flat and fast loop course, which makes it ideal for both amateur and professional athletes to test their luck. This is the very course track where over seven world records have been broken.

The course route begins and ends near the popular Bradenburg Gate. From the starting point, which is the Bradenburg Gate – the marathoners start their run, passing through Charlottenburg, around Tiergarten, Moabit and Mutte.

The route then bends south towards Friedrichshain and then westwards between Kreuzberg and Neukolln, through Schoneberg and over Friedenau and Zehlendorf before turning north back towards the city center.

Please Note: The route map below was followed in 2017.


You can find the official course map for the marathon Here!

Marathon Schedule

The BMW Berlin Marathon dates are scheduled to take place on the 15th and 16th of September, 2018. The selected runners must pick their individual bibs during September 13 – 15, 2018 at Berlin Vital Expo located in the Former Airport Tempelhof.

Detailed schedules of all the events that will be conducted are listed below for participants and spectators to witness and enjoy together:


Type of Race

September 15th, 2018 (Saturday)

9:30 a.m.

Generali Breakfast Run at Schloss Charlottenburg

11:00 a.m.

500 m and 1000 m kids Run (born 2008 0r after)
Registration available at the Expo Berlin Vital Fall

3:10 p.m.

Mini Marathon

3:30 p.m.

Inlineskating Marathon

September 16th, 2018 (Sunday)

8:45 a.m.

Wheelchair Competitors

8:58 a.m.


9:15 a.m.

Flag off for Runners


Training for marathon is of utmost importance. Until and unless you train your mind and body, you won’t be able to complete any long race or marathon that you plan to take.

Here’s a 12 weeks’ schedule that the official authorities of BMW Berlin Marathon 2018 have put together for the runners who are aspiring to join the Marathon. Prepare yourself and get going Here!

Logistics and Travel

The BMW Berlin Marathon 2018 takes special care to ensure the right kind of partners to facilitate a hospitable stay for the runners and spectators.

There are various hotels that have special allotments, especially reserved for the event on the 15th – 16th of September 2018. From the Ritz Carlton to Radisson Blu Hotel, one can avail of special rates while making bookings using the code SCC Events. Holiday Inn is the official Hotel Partner of the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018.

You can book a trip using T.O.U.R.S (Tour Operators United for Runners), an association that specializes in travel for runners, which will take care of your travel and accommodation at Berlin Marathon 2018.

Prize Money

Acknowledged as one of the largest marathons worldwide, the prize money for the Marathon winners is quite huge and alluring for all the participanting runners.

The prize money offered for the winners at Berlin Marathon 2018 is 1 million, to be split equally between the top male and female marathoners.

Participation in the Marahon
Berlin Marathon turnout

Last Year Qualifiers

The Berlin Marathon track is the place where the current world record has been set. Given the flat terrain and the perfect weather, it makes it one of the best experiences for runners. Some previous examples of world setting records include Dennis Kimetto in 2014 who set the world record time of 2:02:57 at the Berlin Marathon.

In 2017, there were a total of 61,1131 participants, which was almost 2137 times the participation seen when the Berlin Marathon was introduced in 1974.

The 2017 Berlin Marathon results saw the following winners:




Running Men

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)


Running Women

Gladys Cherono


Wheelchair Men

Marcel Hug (China)


Wheelchair Women

Manuela Schar (China)




  1. When is the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018?
    A: The Berlin Marathon 2018 is one of the September marathons scheduled for the 15th and 16th of September, 2018.

  2. What is the weather like in Berlin during the Marathon 2018?
    A: The average temperature is around 15 degrees during Berlin Marathon 2018.

  3. Can you run in the marathon as a team?
    A: Incase you’d like to register as a team of 2 or 3 individuals; you could do this time at the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018.

  4. Can I get refund after the registration in case I don’t wish to run?
    A: Due to unforeseen situations if you are unable to make it to the event, the SCC Events Registrations are unfortunately non-refundable and non-transferable.

  5. Can I run for charity?
    A: Yes, you can definitely run once you raise money with the supporting charity organization.

  6. What are the Berlin Marathon Qualifying Times?
    A: There is no particular qualifying time for the Berlin Marathon. However, one must try and finish the race within 6 hours and 15 minutes as that is the stipulated time it takes to complete the race.

  7. Will separate age group winners be honored?
    A: The age group winners from 2018 will receive free entry into the 2019 race.

  8. Can someone else pick up the race materials for me?
    A: No one else can pick your race packet for you. You need to present a valid ID at the Expo desk to receive the packet.

A marathon classic with a thrilling history and a scope of witnessing major sightseeing attractions that Berlin has to offer in all its glory awaits you this September.

So pack those bags and head to Berlin to catch one of the most cherished sporting events of 2018!

Cover image source!

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