35th Half Marathon of Berlin
This weekend will take place in Berlin the 35th edition of the Berlin Half Marathon. On Sunday March 29th at 9:30 a.m., at the Karl-Marx-Allee, the 21.0975 km race starts with the Skaters (Inlineskating) at 9:55 a.m. followed by the athletes on wheelchair and hand cyclists (handbiker), and finally at 10:05 a.m. 30,000 runners from over 100 nationalities will start the race.
For this great event, participants are prepared many months in advance, to achieve perfect condition and reach the goal. By nightfall promptly at 20 hrs. a closing party is organized for the participants in a popular disco in the heart of Berlin.
The chronology of the Half Marathon reflects an important part of the history of the German capital. It all started during the era of the Cold War and continued during the German reunification. The events leading up to the event today could really only have happened in this city. Their ancestors came from East and West Berlin.
On November 29, 1981, the Lichtenberg Marathon was staged in East Berlin. It was the first real race in the capital of East Germany. A year later this race was replaced by the “Berliner Friedenslauf” (Run for Peace), covering various distances up to a marathon. The “Friedenslauf” was the biggest road race in the former GDR. While in previous years the East German government had not shown any interest in races in the city, this attitude changed when some large and spectacular races were developed in some Western countries. Such as the New York City Marathon, and until then the Berlin Marathon in the western part of the city was successful. So the government decided it would be good to have a great race as well – and as usual in those days was devoted to peace. For runners the slogan did not matter. They were just happy to finally get what they asked for many years. Peace.
On September 2, 1984, the Berlin Half Marathon was launched in West Berlin. Organized by SC Charlottenburg (Sports Club) and was designed to be the ultimate test for the BERLIN MARATHON, which took place four weeks later. The race was only local. There were about 1,800 runners.
After the fall of the Wall in 1989 and the political system of the GDR had collapsed, support to the “Berliner Friedenslauf” was gone too. So the former organizer Stefan Senkel had to quickly find a new partner to save his career. The SCC-RUNNING, organizer of the BERLIN MARATHON joined him. And the traditional “Berliner Friedenslauf” suddenly had a bright new future. For some time the name “Berliner Friedenslauf” remained apart from the new title of the event: BERLIN HALF MARATHON. In 1990 the organizers of east and west had agreed on a distance: the half marathon of 21.0975 km.
Good luck to all the runners !!
The upcoming Berlin Marathon will take place on September 27, 2015, ensure your place and we’ll help you arrange your visit in Berlin.