Where world records are set

The BMW BERLIN MARATHON is much more than just a sports event. With mass crowds turning out to cheer on runners from around the world on the 42.195 km course through Berlin, this race sometimes seems more like a street party! Not only are there crowds of around one million lining the route, but also over 80 choirs and bands – ready to give runners a musical energy boost every 500 metres. There are also nearly 6,000 volunteers on hand to provide drinks and bananas for over 40,000 runners, as well as medical assistance if needed. So it’s no wonder that the Berlin Marathon, organised by SCC Events GmbH, is a top annual sporting highlight in the international race calendar. Since Berlin is a flat course, it is also one of the fastest in the world and has seen many world records established and broken. The last world record was set in 2018, when Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge was clocked at 2:01:39 as he crossed the line.

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  •  2018: Eliud Kipchoge sets a new world record in Berlin with 2:01:39. Since 2003, the men’s world record has always been set at the BERLIN MARATHON.
  • 2014: Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto finished in the world record time of 2:02:57 – the BERLIN MARATHON’s tenth world record. Since 2003, the men’s world record has always been set at the BERLIN MARATHON.

  • 2013: At the 40th BERLIN MARATHON, Kenyan runner Wilson Kipsang clocked 2:03:23 – setting the ninth world record on this course.

  • 2011:The eighth BERLIN MARATHON world record was set by Kenyan runner Patrick Makau. His time of 2:03:38 took seconds off Haile Gebrselassie’s record.

  • 2008: Irina Mikitenko won the women’s race – the first German runner to win the BERLIN MARATHON since Uta Pippig in 1995. Although her time of 2:19:19 was eight seconds off the course record, she set a new national record which still stands today.

  • 2008: At the 35th BERLIN MARATHON, Haile Gebrselassie set the seventh Berlin world record when he crossed the line at 2:03:59 – the first time the 2:04 mark had been broken.

  • 2007: Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie was determined to break the previous world record – and with a remarkable time of 2:04:26 set the sixth world record at the BERLIN MARATHON.

  • 2006:The BERLIN MARATHON became part of the World Marathon Majors, making it one of the leading annual city marathons alongside Boston, Chicago, New York and London.

  • 2005: Japanese runner Mizuki Noguchi established a new course record for the women’s race, completing the distance of 42.195 km in 2:19:12. Her course record for the BERLIN MARATHON remains unbroken today.

  • 2003:The BERLIN MARATHON celebrated its 30th anniversary with its fifth world record. Kenyan athlete Paul Tergat ran a world class time of 2:04:55, becoming the first runner to break the 2:05 mark.

  • 2001:The BERLIN MARATHON’s fourth world record was set by Olympic Champion Naoko Takahashi — the first woman to run a marathon under the magic marker of 2:20. When she crossed the line, the clock showed 2:19:46.

  • 1999: Kenyan runner Tegla Loroupe set the third BERLIN MARATHON world record with a time of 2:20:43.

  • 1998: The BERLIN MARATHON celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of new records. This was the largest marathon so far, with 27,621 runners from 71 countries.

  • 1997: For the first time, the BERLIN MARATHON organised a race for inline skaters, initially attracting 446 participants. Over the years, that figure had grown to around 6,000 – making the BERLIN MARATHON the world’s largest inline skater marathon.

  • 1990: The BERLIN MARATHON on 30 September 1990 was a very special event. Over 25,000 runners took part on a route which, for the first time, passed through the Brandenburg Gate and included the former western and eastern parts of this once divided city. Since then, the BERLIN MARATHON has been firmly established as one of the world’s top marathons.

  • 1989: The curtain went up on the first ever mini-marathon, starting with a field of 758 schoolchildren. Today, Berlin’s mini-marathon has developed into the largest school sporting event in Germany, attracting over 10,000 participants every year.

  • 1985: For the first time, the field of runners broke the 10,000 mark. The 11th BERLIN MARATHON had a record total of 11,814 participants from 58 countries.

  • 1977: On 10 September 1977, German runner Christa Vahlensiek from Wuppertal finished in 2:34:48, setting the very first world record at the BERLIN MARATHON.

  • 1974: The first ever BERLIN MARATHON was held on 13 October 1974, starting on a minor road at the Mommsenstadion stadium next to the offices of the organising club, SC Charlottenburg.