Berlin (Germany), Sunday 27 September 2015
The Berlin Marathon keeps pulling the crowds. The route is mostly flat, fast and interesting, the atmosphere on the course is outstanding, and Berlin is all the rage anyway.
Fourty thousand runners, selected randomly in a lottery process, were happy to pay €98 each (the highest of all entry fees in our Run International Race Guide) to take part in Germany's most popular running event.
The entry fees had to be paid almost a year in advance, and the bibs are not transferable.
Inevitably, many entrants will be unable to run the marathon, and the number of finishers will be much smaller than 40,000. Last year, the race had less than 29,000 finishers.
So, prepare wisely for the marathon, and let's all hope German pilots and train drivers won't be on strike over the marathon weekend.
The race begins and ends in the vast Tiergarten park in the former West Berlin. The start and the finish lines are about 850m apart.
At first, participants run on the wide Straße des 17. Juni past the Siegessäule (Victory Column) to the university campus of the Technische Universität.
Then, the route takes the runners through the Regierungsviertel ("government quarter", pictured) into Berlin-Mitte, the heart of the former East Berlin.
It passes the Friedrichstadt-Palast (8km), which is home to the world's largest theatre stage, it runs along Torstraße with its many small shops, cafes and bars, and it visits the Stalinist-Empire-style buildings on Strausberger Platz (12km).
Next, the route runs through the "multikulti" district of Kreuzberg in West Berlin, but unfortunately it bypasses the liveliest and prettiest areas.
The second half of the route begins with a long loop through the green and affluent (but somewhat unexciting) south-western part of the city.
After that, participants run along the Kurfürstendamm boulevard and through West Berlin's city centre (35km) to the Neue Nationalgalerie and to the Berliner Philharmonie, before they pass the modern high-rise buildings on the redeveloped Potsdamer Platz (38.5km).
Back in East Berlin, the route visits one of Berlin's best sights — the two cathedrals on the Gendarmenmarkt square in the historic city centre.
Finally, competitors run along the Unter den Linden boulevard and through the famous Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) to the finish line at the Sowjetisches Ehrenmal (Soviet War Memorial).
The time limit to complete the course is 6 hours 15 minutes.
Venue (Map): Berlin
Date: 27 September 2015 (Sunday)
Race distance: 42.2km
Start time: 9.00
Start and finish: Straße des 17. Juni
Race centre: Messe Berlin Vital (24-26 September 2015)
Entries: online; entry limit: 40,000 runners
Entry fees: € 98
Timekeeping: ChampionChip — use your own chip, rent a chip (€ 6), or buy a chip (€ 31)
You get: finisher medal; free massage service; certificate
Showers and changing facilities: yes
Number of finishers 2014: 28,946
Event website (in German and English): Berlin Marathon
No guarantee is made as to the accuracy or thoroughness of the information on this page! Please visit the official event website to verify the above information.