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Marathon season kicks off (finally!) this fall with the 48th annual Berlin Marathon, which takes place on September 25. One of the six World Marathon Majors, this fast, flat course through the German capital has seen 11 world records—more than any other marathon. Not only is it where Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record for the fastest (official) marathon ever run in 2018, but Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele ran the second-fastest time ever in Berlin in 2019.
If you’re racing Berlin this year—or plan to run it in the future—here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Berlin Marathon, including course details, professional athlete fields, race day info, streaming options, and more.
What to Expect from the Berlin Marathon Course
Runners head to Berlin for PRs. “Berlin is the fastest course, it’s where a human being can showcase its potential to push the limits,” Kipchoge said earlier this year. That’s not just true for the pros; runners of all levels can take advantage of generally cool conditions, wide roads with few sharp turns, and a pancake flat course.
Berlin is actually the flattest course of all the World Marathon Majors, with a total elevation gain of 241 feet and loss of 260 feet. (The biggest “hills” come between miles 16 and 20, but they max out at less than 30 feet of gain.) Berlin annually produces some of the fastest pro results in the world, in part, because it’s a flat course, but also because it provides pacemakers to ensure the elite fields are able to run as fast as possible. (There are no pacemakers at the New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon, so those races play out only by the tactics of the runners in the field.) But those fast elite times have become contagious through the years, inspiring age-group runners to target Berlin for their own fast marathon efforts.
At its inception in 1974, the marathon was run only in West Berlin; now, it starts and ends near the Brandenburg Gate (which you pass under before the finish), weaving through Charlottenburg, the Tiergarten, Moabit, Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Schöneberg, Friedenau, and Zehlendorf. As you run, you’ll pass tourist sites like the Reichstag, the Siegessäule, Berliner Dom, and Potsdamer Platz. Live music is played at more than 60 locations along the course, including at all the famous landmarks.
You can download a map from the official race website, but FYI: It only includes kilometer markers. Water and refreshment stations (which include Maurten Drink Mix 160) start at the 5K mark and are highlighted on the map.
Which Pros Are Running the Berlin Marathon This Year?
The biggest name running the 2022 Berlin Marathon is Eliud Kipchoge, who won the race in 2018 in 2:01:39, a new world record by 1 minute 18 seconds (he won twice before that as well). Can he run under 2:00:00 on an official course this year? On paper, Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, who has run a 2:03:46 will be his primary competition.
During the women’s race, all eyes will be on American marathon record holder Keira d’Amato (2:19:12), American half marathon record-holder Sara Hall (2:20:32)—both of whom just finished in the top 10 in the World Athletics Championships marathon—and Kenya’s Nancy Jelagat Meto (2:19:31), who came in second place at Berlin last year.
Last year’s wheelchair winner Manuela Schär, from Switzerland, will be back to defend her title; her countryman Marcel Hug will be vying for the men’s win.
How Many People Will Run the General Race This Year?
The World Marathon Majors are the largest and most renowned races in the world, and Berlin is no exception. Now that the race is back to full capacity—after the 2020 race was canceled and only around 25,000 runners were allowed to race in 2021 due to Covid-19—the organizers expect more than 45,000 runners from around 150 nations to cross the starting line this year. That’s an increase from the last pre-pandemic race, which had 44,064 runners.
When Does the Race Start?
Like the rest of the Major Marathons, the Berlin Marathon goes off in waves. The official start times are:
- 08:50 a.m.: Handbiker (Elite)
- 08:57 a.m.: Wheelchair competitors
- 08:57 a..m.: Handbiker
- from 09:15 a.m.: Runners (in four waves)
For anyone back in the U.S. tracking runners, 8:50 a.m. Central European Summer Time is 2:50 a.m. Eastern Time and 11:50 p.m. Pacific Time—so be prepared for a very late night (or early morning) if you’re looking to virtually cheer on your running friends.
How Can I Watch or Stream the Berlin Marathon at home?
Several websites offer live streaming so people can watch the Berlin Marathon from anywhere in the world. Watch Athletics will be broadcasting the race online in real time for free, while FloTrack requires a subscription (it’s $29.99 for one month) in order to view their livestream.
How to Track Berlin Marathon Runners
How Can I Register for Next Year’s Berlin Marathon?
Berlin Marathon registration is done via a lottery. You can enter the lottery as a solo runner or as a team consisting of two or three people. (If the team is drawn, all persons from the team are included.)
Dates for 2023 have not yet been announced, but registration typically opens shortly after the current year’s event. The draw for the 2022 edition took place in December 2021 and those who received a spot in the race were notified in January 2022. If you’re selected, registration costs $150 Euros (which is about the same in U.S. dollars right now).
You can also secure a spot in the race based on previous marathon times. In 2022, female runners up to 44 years qualified if they ran faster than 3:00; female runners up to 59 years qualified if they ran under 3:20; and female runners over 60 years qualified if they ran under 4:10.