Berlin Marathon Start Line

Race Guide: Berlin Marathon

There are five other big-city races that join London to make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) series.

Five of the world’s biggest and best 26.2-mile races – Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City – came together to form the World Marathon Majors in 2006. Since then the series of races has expanded to include the Tokyo Marathon, which joined the club in 2013.

As well as focusing on the elite end of the sport – by awarding a total of US$1 million to the top male and female marathon runners at the end of each series – the Abbott World Marathon Majors also encourages everyday runners to complete all six races in the series and ‘Reach for the Stars’ by becoming a Six Star Finisher. The Six Star Finisher Medal has become one of the most prized possessions in the world of marathon running.

So, if you have yet to run any of the other five races in the Abbott World Marathon Majors family, now could be the time to try...


The BMW Berlin marathon takes place in the German capital every September. The ballot for the 2019 race closed in October 2018, but if you’d like to run in 2020, here’s what you need to know.

Berlin Marathon runner

What time does it start?
Four starting waves from 09:15

Where does it start?
Straße des 17. Juni, between the Brandenburg Gate and Kleiner Stern

How many people finished the race in 2018?

When was the inaugural race?

What’s the minimum age for entry?

What is the hilliest section of the course?
The biggest climb comes between miles 15 and 18

What’s the course record?
2:01:39 (a world record), set by Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) in 2018

Eliud Kipchoge wins the Berlin Marathon

What drinks will be handed out on course?
Water, sweet tea and Ultrasports Sports Drinks

What is the cut-off time?
6:15 hours

How much is entry?

How hot is Berlin in September?
The average temperature is 19°C

How many people finished the first ever race?

How does the entry system work?
Ballot entry is free and opens in October – successful applicants will be notified in November. Charity places are also available.

What was the largest ever field?
40,775 finishers in 2018

How many people will watch the race?
An estimated one million

How many nations were represented in last year’s race?

How much prize money do the winners receive?

  • First male and female runners: €40,000
  • First male and female wheelchair racers: €6,000

How many world records have been set in Berlin?
11 – eight men’s and three women’s

78 seconds – the amount of time Eliud Kipchoge beat the previous world record by in last year’s race.

Over 100 bands line the course.