Overall Rating
Overall Rating (54 Reviews)
4.2
(54 Ratings)  (54 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.6
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.1
SWAG
3.3
The fact that the past eight men’s marathon world records (most recently in 2022) were all set in Berlin speaks to the course’s fast and flat profile. As the first of three World Marathon Majors series races staged in the fall, Berlin typically offers perfect running weather on a course … MORE
Local Weather (Sep 24):
2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
 
H (° C) 18 17 22 19 13
L (° C) 9 11 14 13 7
Powered by Dark Sky
Find Nearby Lodging (hotel, rental, etc.):

Recent reviews

    theslimrunner FIRST-TIMER '22

    Great race! This was a highlight for me. The course was great and though I didn’t get a PR it was a solid race. The course is filled with so … MORE

    Great race! This was a highlight for me. The course was great and though I didn’t get a PR it was a solid race. The course is filled with so many buildings that have great history and architecture. Lots of portapotty’s, though I don’t know if there’ll ever be enough for all the runners. I also really liked the corral starts as they held each corral back until all runners from the previous corral had passed the start line.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    dionnewaugh FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was probably the funnest race I've ever run, especially for a marathon. You can feel the excitement of running with people from around the world, you're literally running through … MORE

    This was probably the funnest race I’ve ever run, especially for a marathon. You can feel the excitement of running with people from around the world, you’re literally running through history, and everyone is SO supportive. From your fellow runners to community members, you’ll have a great time from start to finish. There is no boring section of this race. The sights and sounds are incredible and when you finish running through the Brandenburg Gate, it’s magical. I can’t recommend this race enough.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    greg.kanyicska FIRST-TIMER '22

    The course is [mostly] flat and fairly easy and if you stay within your training -- or in my case, lack of it -- you should be able to finish. … MORE

    The course is [mostly] flat and fairly easy and if you stay within your training — or in my case, lack of it — you should be able to finish. Little wonder this is where WR are so often attempted and set.

    Note that unlike NYC, there won’t be water every mile. But, unlike NYC, you can wear backpacks and camelbacks. And I’ll have to remember that if I ever run Berlin again.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first international race. Full Disclosure: I'm not a fan of massive races! I've only done a few, but this one was by far the best and easiest … MORE

    This was my first international race.
    Full Disclosure: I’m not a fan of massive races! I’ve only done a few, but this one was by far the best and easiest to navigate, which is surprising because it was in a foreign country. But they did an amazing job with it!

    I spent the week before the race exploring the city, so I got to see the park & the main finish/start area before it was closed for race activities.

    EXPO: The expo is insanely massive. I went an hour after it opened on day one (Thursday) and waited in line for hours! Bib pickup was quick and easy, but the security line to get into the expo took a while. The expo was in the old airport terminal (a cool venue to wander around itself – complete with old airline signage). You have to walk through the building, then out to where the airplanes/airport vehicles were housed. Then your start card is scanned. After that you walk to the next stop and you are given a bracelet. THEN, you go back into the building (what looks like an old hangar) passed the expo/merchandise section and through another check point (where they check for your bracelet), and THEN through like 3 other doorways until you FINALLY reach the counters to pick up bibs. There were probably 50 or more volunteers handing out bibs. This didn’t take too long (on Thursday at least….I heard horror stories about friday and saturday). After that you went to a different line to pick up any pre-ordered merchandise. This line was the worst. There were maybe 8 volunteers at that time handing out items. (FYI: no free swag with this race.) I ordered a finisher shirt. Other options were a jacket which turned out to be not as nice as the ones sold at the expo.) Once you got your pre ordered items, you could go through the Adidas section for more race merch. The rooms you walked through to get there were the other vendors. (By the time I got out of the adidas section, I was mentally done.)
    BOTTOM LINE: Plan to be there as soon as the door opens OR prepare to be there a WHILE!
    HALL OF FAME: At the Brandenberg Gate, there was several hall of fame & meet the elite opportunities. I just happened to stumble upon this on Friday night and got to see the top 3 male & female elite athletes being introduced. That was pretty cool.
    INLINE SKATE MARATHON: The inline skate marathon was held on Saturday afternoon. I managed to see the tail end of it after dinner.
    RACE DAY: Always expect to have to walk a couple miles to get to the start area. This is definitely the case with this race, no matter how close your hotel is. The start area was well managed and easy to navigate through. There were tons of volunteers around (I read there were over 4500 over the weekend). The corral system was pretty decent. Volunteers were checking bibs as you entered. But as the crowd got larger, it became a free for all.
    The race was well managed and aid stations had plenty of water/sports drink and gels. Bands were out all along the course and I never felt bored. Lots of beautiful sights to see and some sections of the city I had not been to as well.
    The finish area was very “olympic”. Big and loud and you felt as if you were a part of something massive! (well, you were!) It was pretty cool running through a huge finish line with fanfare and evidence of history that was just made. About halfway through the race i checked my phone to learn that Eluid Kipchoge had broken his world record. So that was pretty cool! Someone had made a cardboard sign and hung it on a lightpole. Everyone was taking pictures with it.
    Overall, this race was definitely worth the trip overseas! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Definitely managed well and the amount of spectators that came out made the run enjoyable!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    sohobrad FIRST-TIMER '22

    Berlin is fascinating and the course packs in as much history as one could get ending with the epic sites of Museum Island and the Brandenburg Gate. Crowd support was … MORE

    Berlin is fascinating and the course packs in as much history as one could get ending with the epic sites of Museum Island and the Brandenburg Gate. Crowd support was surprisingly strong throughout. Course is flat with just enough slopes to break up the leg work. Mostly long, straight stretches between turns. Complaints I had heard that were NOT a factor for me included congestion and distance between water stations. Rest area at end is lawn for the iconic Reichstag. Mass transit is FREE for runner in days around the Marathon. Weather for 2022 was just a few degrees warmer than perfect. Recommendations: Do NOT go the Expo at opening time. The lines are terrible at first, but clear out within an hour. Portapotty lines were LONG. Get there early or make other arrangements so you can get to your corral. And, of course, allow days to see Berlin and deal with jet lag! EARLY! Biggest shortcoming: water stations are more frequent in second half, but they’re not well organized. Short with too much water/Maurten in cups. I was lucky to grab a bottled handed out by a thoughtful spectator. Handout gel was Maurten, but caffeinated gel was gone pretty quickly. On the other hand, the stations hand out TEA, which I love. All in all, a world class, not-to-be-missed Marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    sohobrad Oct 18, 2022 at 11:26am

    Oh, my time was disappointing. Could be jet lag because I ran Chicago much faster two weeks later.

    Oh, my time was disappointing. Could be jet lag because I ran Chicago much faster two weeks later.

    Please login to reply to this review.

    marekabucewicz REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Super maraton z super Bramą Brandenburską i nie zapomniane wrażenia oraz super doping ludzi. Wspaniałe Expo ze śniadaniem przed maratońskim. Polecam 🙂 👍 MORE

    Super maraton z super Bramą Brandenburską i nie zapomniane wrażenia oraz super doping ludzi. Wspaniałe Expo ze śniadaniem przed maratońskim. Polecam 🙂 👍

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    rrusso6 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was a great course and race! I was on track to PR, finished the half in under 2, but the second half killed me because I left my gels … MORE

    This was a great course and race! I was on track to PR, finished the half in under 2, but the second half killed me because I left my gels back in the US and wasn’t properly hydrated since I was afraid to have to find/pay for restrooms. I forgot they’re not as easily accessed in Europe like in America! Not my worst time, it was actual right in the middle. (This was my 5th marathon and my 3rd best time). I would absolutely do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mprosser FIRST-TIMER '22

    A flat and fast course that through Berlin which is a city with lots of history. You get to through lots of that history and get a close up view … MORE

    A flat and fast course that through Berlin which is a city with lots of history. You get to through lots of that history and get a close up view of the area, wall and buildings. The city does a great job of hosting the marathon and you feel like a celebrity when walking around with your medal. Of course there is never enough port-a-johns at the start area.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I couldn't even get a PR. This was my first trip overseas and therefore my first race out of the country. Due to flight issues, etc, I didn't get to … MORE

    I couldn’t even get a PR. This was my first trip overseas and therefore my first race out of the country. Due to flight issues, etc, I didn’t get to Berlin until late on the Friday before the race. That left me with just Saturday to get everything done.
    One challenge that I had was being able to eat and hydrate enough before the race. I usually down a couple Power Ades and plenty of water. I couldn’t find a single Power Ade and water is a little different over there. They have still and sparkling water. In restaurants, the water comes in fancy bottles. I was able to find an Aldi to get a banana and bottled water.
    I would suggest really understanding the transportation routes before going. The subway is the best way to get around, but understanding how it works and where to catch it, could be challenging. It was closed in one section and I had to walk a long way to find the next station. I walked way too much the day before the race.
    The race expo/packet pickup was in an old airport. It was large, but still very busy. It took a while to get in to pick up my bib. They put a bracelet on you that you need to keep on for the race as well. I made the mistake of taking it off after the expo and they almost didn’t let me through security on the day of the race. Your bib is not enough. There were the usual expo items and a decent amount of marathon souvenirs. You have to buy your own shirt because you don’t get one with your race admission. The race bib is huge and does not have a timing chip. If you want to be timed, you have to make that choice when you signed up. They give you something to put through your shoestring. They also make sure to get that back after the race.
    I stayed at a hotel that was a little ways from the start, but they offered a shuttle to the start. No matter how you get to the start, there will be a lot of walking to get to the starting corrals. You go through security and need to show them your bracelet from the expo (oops). And then more walking. There is a park close to the start with paths to do a little prerace warm up. All of the walking and warmup was on gravel paths and I had to empty all the pebbles out of my shoes.
    Before the race they do a nice intro for the top 3 contenders. The race started promptly at 9:15. Luckily, the streets are wide at the beginning and helps with crowding. There are other parts of the course where the streets are a little more narrow and it can be a little congested. They have lines on the road that are supposed to be for the tangents, but I was still about 1/5 of a mile over by the end.
    There are spectators along the entire course. It is very well supported. The only issue it that people like to cross the road in front of runners. This can be a little frustrating. Luckily, I didn’t have any close calls with spectators, but it looked like other might have. There were a lot of water stations and one place with Maurten gel. There was even a place with Coke Cola. All the stations used plastic cups. It had to do with recycling, but it’s different having plastic cups all of the ground vs paper cups. Also, it makes it more difficult to drink while running.
    You get to run past a lot of interesting architecture and other areas. The finish is soon after passing through the Brandenburg Gate. It was a very cool way to end the race. The course is fairly flat and the weather was pretty good as well that day. It wasn’t my day, but I am still grateful for the experience.
    They give you a bag with goodies at the end. It’s interesting because it is local items that you don’t see in the US. The medals were nice with Kipchoge on the reverse side. The lanyard could have been a little better, but it’s all good. At the race registration, I choose the poncho. I think the other option was a bag drop. The poncho was good quality and a good choice to keep my warm afterwards.
    Make sure you know how to get back to your hotel afterwards. I took my phone and still had a hard time getting back. I ended up getting an Uber. I didn’t know until right after I finished that the world record had been broken.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Profile photo of Cecelia Sciuto
    ceceliasciuto FIRST-TIMER '22

    Can’t complain about a 31 min pr and being part of a world record setting race. Kipchoge is a legend. The course is very flat and beautiful and the weather … MORE

    Can’t complain about a 31 min pr and being part of a world record setting race. Kipchoge is a legend. The course is very flat and beautiful and the weather was great.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    alwoods FIRST-TIMER '22

    What can I say? It is one of the Majors and it was absolutely incredible. If you qualify or get in through the Lottery, do it. 100% worth it! MORE

    What can I say? It is one of the Majors and it was absolutely incredible. If you qualify or get in through the Lottery, do it. 100% worth it!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    katiebak REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I received a lottery entry into the marathon and was beyond excited. We arrived in country on Wednesday (from chicago) and were able to explore Berlin before race day. Expo … MORE

    I received a lottery entry into the marathon and was beyond excited. We arrived in country on Wednesday (from chicago) and were able to explore Berlin before race day. Expo was at an old airport which was so cool to see. The course really is fast and flat and the temperature was perfect. It was easy to navigate as nearly everyone speaks English and it was incredible running through the Brandeberg gate at the end. Some folks had trouble finding bathrooms but I found there were a lot without lines adjacent to the starting corrals so use those instead of the first ones you see when you enter the runners village. Would for sure recommend this race to anyone looking for an international

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mwpotter5 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was such a great race. The weather was perfect, the course is pretty much flat (just a few little bumps over bridges), the race was well run, and the … MORE

    This was such a great race. The weather was perfect, the course is pretty much flat (just a few little bumps over bridges), the race was well run, and the crowds were awesome!! I’m very happy with how everything went.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    cedoyle FIRST-TIMER '21

    Well organized race as you would expect from the German people. The race starts and finishes around Brandenburg Gate. You get to run through the gate just before the finish. … MORE

    Well organized race as you would expect from the German people. The race starts and finishes around Brandenburg Gate. You get to run through the gate just before the finish. The course is flat and had a lot of spectators cheering throughout the race. It was a beautiful day but a little warm for a long race (60-70 F).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mharm78 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is an absolutely fantastic race. If you're even somewhat considering it, just do it. I'm working towards my six star World Marathon Majors, and I have now done 5 … MORE

    This is an absolutely fantastic race. If you’re even somewhat considering it, just do it. I’m working towards my six star World Marathon Majors, and I have now done 5 of the 6 (just Tokyo left). Chicago is my hometown race and I have run it a dozen or so times and absolutely love it, and I’ve done Boston a few times and it’s great. When I decided to do the WMM, those were the only 2 of the 6 I had done. I would say of the 4 I had left at that time, I figured Berlin was the one I was least interested in. Wow was I wrong. I think this might be my favorite out of all the WMM, and it’s definitely one of my favorite overall marathons. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this race. The course is unbelievable – not only do you get amazing views of tons of cool historic sites and just running through Berlin in general is really cool – great city – but I think this has to be the only marathon course in the world flatter than Chicago. The crowds were great, not over the top crazy, but definitely support throughout the race. Race organization was very good, the expo was in an old airport and had kind of a cool vibe. You have the option to get a shirt or not, which is unusual for a race of this size, and is a nice option for people trying to budget for lots of races. That, too – affordable race in an affordable city. Highly, highly recommend this race, especially for a first international marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    hbr245b FIRST-TIMER '21

    Easy to see why this is a fast race - flat & mostly wide open roads so no unexpected bunching of runners to slow you down. Forgot that I didn't … MORE

    Easy to see why this is a fast race – flat & mostly wide open roads so no unexpected bunching of runners to slow you down.
    Forgot that I didn’t pay for a finisher shirt at registration so a little perplexed at bib pickup not to receive one. Bought a different shirt in the end as the finisher was nothing special (black).
    Won’t be back in 2022 but maybe in 2023 if I’m chasing a sub 3!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    TJax FIRST-TIMER '21

    A huge, well organized major marathon with enthusiastic spectator support along the entire course! As a first time visitor to Berlin, the race was an incredible way to see and … MORE

    A huge, well organized major marathon with enthusiastic spectator support along the entire course! As a first time visitor to Berlin, the race was an incredible way to see and experience this fascinating city. The course itself is flat and world records have been set here. Unfortunately, no world record (haha) or personal best for me as I had just arrived on Friday night from the US for the Sunday morning event and underestimated the overall effect of the time zone difference on sleep, my stomach, nutrition intake, etc. I woke up too early, ate, and then waited in my starting block for 1.5 hours before my race began, so I was getting hungry again. Aid stations were plentiful and offered water & Maurten sports drink, with bananas and Maurten gels at later points on the course. Recyclable plastic cups are used at aid stations. Runners were encouraged via starting line video presentations to throw said cups into the one of the multiple trash receptacles after use, however, most runners threw them on the ground, which created an interesting and messy obstacle course after each aid station. Seeing Brandenburg Gate as you run to the finish is exciting, but don’t be like me and think that the gate is the actual finish line. It is not. But it is close. Overall, a great experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in running in a large event! If traveling from far away, my advice: arrive at least a few days ahead of time and be sure to see more of the sights of this awesome city while you’re there.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    The course is fantastic. The aid stations are close together and many of them have bananas and apples. This race is an awesome experience especially after having to wait almost … MORE

    The course is fantastic. The aid stations are close together and many of them have bananas and apples. This race is an awesome experience especially after having to wait almost 2 years to participate.
    I didn’t realize the medals would not have the date on them and didn’t pay for the engraving beforehand – my only criticism.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first international marathon & my 2nd World Marathon Major. Berlin is a very unique city with a lot of history and it really behooves you to spend … MORE

    This was my first international marathon & my 2nd World Marathon Major. Berlin is a very unique city with a lot of history and it really behooves you to spend some time after the race seeing the city and it’s history. From it’s government buildings to the Berlin Wall to the Cold War History and of course the WWII history there really is a ton to see. A nice walking tour in the days after the race will help you get your mobility back and something I would recommend.

    Rather than comparing this race to other smaller local races which this of course blows out of the water, I’m going to compare it to the other Marathon Majors which is more apt comparison. This was also the first Major Marathon to take place in the Covid world so some of my observations may only be truly applicable to 2021.

    EXPO/PACKET PICK UP:
    Getting to the Expo was very easy. It was held at the old Berlin Airport so public transit by bus or the U-Bahn (Subway) were both easy options. There was a long but fast moving line to get into the expo for participants. Considering they were checking for ID proof and Vaccination proof the line went smoothly. Sadly we didn’t notice a seperate line for visitors until we were near the front so that cost us some time. They used this ID check to give you a fabric ribbon that they tightly put around your wrist that you then have to wear until the race was over. We went on Friday and wearing it for 3 days was only mildly annoying. The old airport was a unique place to have any event. The baggage claim area serves as a lobby after the wrist band area and from there you walked out onto the old runway/gate area to walk to some maintenance hanger where the expo proper was. You first had to enter a racers only area to pick up your bib and bag. They print the bib when you arrive at the front of the line and this part was pretty easy. It being a piece of paper meant that it tore more easily than a normal bib and I had to re-pin a torn corner mid race. I run mostly half marathons so although they say you can use a full or half time to prove you pace my bib said I was in the very last corral because i didn’t have a marathon time recently, not accurate at all. There was another line to get this fixed, I was able to move through this line in 20 minutes but I heard many people say it took them well over an hour. When I reached the front the volunteer took a swag at what my full pace would be based on my half marathon time (His opinion a 1:31 half last month => 3:25 full) I disagreed but he didn’t care and put me in the slow corral, I was pretty disappointed by his attitude. Another 30 minute line in the regular customer service/question line got me in the proper corral. My advice, print and bring with you a proven Full marathon proof time recently if at all possible, worst case a half marathon time. I heard many many people say they had registered with a proof time that didn’t process so they had to stand in line to fix their start corral as well. If you didn’t have proof of a recent race time for your desired corral then you were out of luck. Lastly in the runners only area you could pick up any merchandise that you pre purchased.
    The rest of the expo had a large gear purchase area (I spent my fair share as I do at majors but rarely at small races), get there early so everything isn’t picked over in your size. Also heads up several items are only in the women’s section or vice versa. I found my favorite T-shirt over there and another shirt that I couldn’t find in my size in the Mens area. None of them were Women’s cut so it is worth your time if you can’t find what you want in your area. The rest of the area was large with quite a few vendors but in comparison to an expo like NYC this was a tiny expo.

    Parking/Access: Either get a hotel near the finish or take the U-Bahn(Subway). Don’t drive there. Getting into the start area was a breeze with the wristband and bib, zero line very easy. The start area is the Tiergarten (Really big park). This meant tons and tons of room to warm up and stretch with nobody around.

    T-Shirts/SWAG: Oddly the default race shirt is NOT provided for free. I suppose it is nice to not be forced to buy it but it is the only race I have ever run that has done this. The shirt was nice with some track suit stripes on the shoulder which felt pretty European (See picture). The medal seems to follow a similar look each year. German flag ribbon which is very cool and distinct but made out of a cheap fabric. The medal is a silver color and come with quite a few chips and dings which happens when you have medals in a stack but felt like more than usual. One side of the medal was a unique Berlin highlights collage, the other side is apparently always a person. I lucked out that this year it was Kipchoge setting the world record. A few years ago they had the face of the retiring race director, I can’t really imagine anybody wanting that on their medal. I would have been really disappointed with that, but this year was ok.

    Aid Stations: Aid Stations in Europe are different than in the US. Until about the 30k mark they were spread out closer to every 2.5-3 miles rather than every 1.5-2 like you would find in the US. They all had water and some kind of “energy” drink that I had not heard of so I didn’t trust it. They also had tea which was odd but I guess common over there. The other unusual and a little frustrating thing is the cups they use. You are likely used to paper cups that you can crush/crimp to make it easier to pour the water in your mouth. These were more like small clear Solo cups so they didn’t really crush well without breaking. Getting water down your throat without soaking yourself was extremely hard. Also those cups being tossed all over the ground make incessant noise of clacking that you will take weeks to get out of your brain. The aid stations were long and well stocked through and also had food at a ton of them. Aid station frequency did increase near the end, like every 2 miles instead of 3. Also of note each aid station had a hydro pack filling station.

    Course Scenery/Elevation Difficulty: There is a reason the World record was set on this course. It is really really flat. The scenery is a real mixed bag. The start area is pretty and has you run past the victory column like .5k into the race and the finish at the Brandonburg gate is one of the most iconic in the world. That said the rest of the course is really blah, I do tend to laser focus during a race and not notice much but it was mostly just running down residential streets in a major city. The shortest route blue line was well marked and easy to follow and most of the course was kept clear of spectators crowding the runners. In several areas people would cross when there were no barriers but I didn’t see any collisions. I heard the crowds were maybe 50% of normal so it could be a bigger issue in normal years. The course is overall also quite narrow and has some bottlenecks. Again not a huge issue in a year with “only” 25k instead of 43k but certainly something to be aware of in a normal year.

    Weather: This race is held at the very end of September so the weather could be anything from 35-80 during the race. In my case we got upper sixties changing into mid to low 70s during the race. This of course slowed down everybody’s pace. Even the race winner was nearly 5 minutes slower than 2 years ago. If those guys lose 5 minutes I feel great about only losing 6 minutes from my goal time.

    Race Management: Overall pretty good but also a bit of a mixed bag, of course some grace has to be afforded to the organizers for actually pulling off the first major since Covid happened. Communications in the months leading up to the race was really lacking in my opinion. I found the event Facebook page comments from other runners to have better info than the emails from the event during planning. Eventually the race would send info or respond to emails but it took forever.

    The unique fabric wristband/ribbon system for the event to get into the start area worked well. At first I thought it was odd and useless to make people wear the wristbands but it ensures there is zero bib swapping because only a person with a wristband and a bib was allowed in the start area and on race day it meant the lines to get in the start area were non existent since you just walked up flashed a bib and a bracelet and they waved you through.

    The bathroom situation was however less than ideal and lines were LONG. Men everywhere (and a few women) were making use of the bushes and trees to make their own bathrooms. This race only had 25,000 people instead of the 43,000 they had pre covid, did they have fewer bathrooms? The same? If it was the same then it would have been truly crazy in a normal year. FYI there are additional bathrooms near the start corrals which are a bit of a walk from the warm up area. They also had standing 4 person urinals near the start area, very fast and convenient but probably not the favorite visual for most ladies.

    The start corrals were guarded to make sure you were in your proper area which was nice but of course a few people made it into other areas. They had fun pump up music and a clapping “Skol” chant before introducing the elites on video boards they had throughout the start area. They did a good job making it feel like an epic event in the start area.

    The finish area was a little confusing to navigate and shaped like a cross where you had to go down different arms to get things like a free beer, finisher poncho, bag pick up, or food. Eventually you spill out into the park again with plenty of room to recover before leaving for the family meet up area.

    Pictures for the event are reasonable $35, and I ended up with 266 pictures with me in them (lots of them very similar). I heard that there was an official photographer after the finish where you could take your picture with your medal but I never saw it and nobody I talked to seemed to have done it either. So either be aware to look for it immediately after finishing or use your own camera to take a picture on the podium they had set up in the park after you exited the finish area.

    Overall this race has quite a bit to nit pick about compared to other majors but when compared to other non Majors events it is still epic and very well done. I would highly recommend it as part of both your 6 star journey and just a race that you do as you travel the world.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Oct 08, 2021 at 8:41pm

    Brilliant review Adam, this brought back so many memories of race weekend in Berlin... the stuffy expo in the old airport hangar, the piss-poor (bad pun intended) porta-potty situation, the… MORE

    Brilliant review Adam, this brought back so many memories of race weekend in Berlin... the stuffy expo in the old airport hangar, the piss-poor (bad pun intended) porta-potty situation, the cheap plastic cups bouncing underfoot, the speedy flat course, and above all that amazing finish through the Brandenburg Gate—"iconic" is the right word for it. Luckily I didn't have to deal with the corral placement, that sounds infuriating. And happy to say I didn't get a finisher medal with the retiring RD pictured on it, that's one of those things that's amusing unless it happens to you. But CONGRATS on a shiny new PR—glad you had a great race and a great time in Berlin, it really is an amazing city to get out & explore. Two Majors down, four to go... what a journey! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Chinanow Oct 01, 2021 at 12:12pm

    Congrats....I ran this as well and as you stated it was very warm and the bathroom situation was less than ideal. Great job on your finish!

    Congrats....I ran this as well and as you stated it was very warm and the bathroom situation was less than ideal. Great job on your finish!

    Please login to reply to this review.

    edge FIRST-TIMER '21

    Awesome atmosphere all around. Well supported by the city. Party like scene at the beginning. Has the feel of a smaller NYC marathon. Post race festivities were fine given it … MORE

    Awesome atmosphere all around. Well supported by the city. Party like scene at the beginning. Has the feel of a smaller NYC marathon.
    Post race festivities were fine given it was the first World Major post pandemic. The alcohol free beer not so much and was expecting more from Germany when it comes to beer.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

  1. Races
  2. Berlin Marathon