- High Economic Impact
- Fastest Women’s Field in its History
- Course Records as Targets
- Inlineskating on Saturday Afternoon
- Inclusivity Events
“The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is the biggest event of any kind in Berlin with a direct and indirect financial benefit of around 380 Million Euro,” explained Jürgen Lock, managing director of SCC EVENTS, during Thursday’s press conference. “Over and above that, the engagement and commitment of Berliners should be underlined, they are vital component of the event,” Lock added. Thursday also marked the opening of the MARATHON EXPO at the former Tempelhof airport where around 100,000 visitors are expected.
Berlin also led the way in terms of weather forecasting for race weekend. The Forecasting Service indicated that Saturday afternoon would bring sunny temperatures of 20 degrees Centigrade for the Inlineskaters and an ideal 11 degrees for the runners as the race gets underway on Sunday morning. Temperatures are likely to rise to 16 degrees Centigrade by midday on Sunday.
Leading Special Olympians on the Start Line
Chris Nikic from the USA and Matthias Hoffmann from Schleswig-Holstein in north Germany will be two successful Special Olympians on the start line of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON.
Hoffmann, who won a silver medal at this year’s Special Olympics World Summer Games, trys run his marathon in less than 3 hours. His motivation and enthusiasm make him a leading example for inclusive sport. That is also true of Chris Nikic, whose ambition is to add Berlin to his growing tally of Abbott World Marathon Majors events he has run.
Gabriela Rueda seeks Course Record for Inlineskaters
When the starting signal for Inlineskaters at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is sounded on Saturday afternoon, Gabriela Rueda, a 22-year-old from Colombia, will begin her great quest: “My aim is to break the women’s course record.”
This stands currently at 1:06:35, set in 2017. She has strong support in her fellow skaters in the Powerslide team, among them last year’s winner Marie Dupuy. For most of the skaters it is not about records but the result of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. “The great thing is that when you stop running, you just stand there.
When you stop skating, you just keep rolling along,” is how Sami Raimann, the Go to Market manager of the Inlineskating manufacturer Rollderblade, described the unique aspect of skating.
Fastest Women’s Field ever in Berlin
The best elite women’s field in its history will line up for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on Sunday. An unprecedented total of seven runners with personal bests under 2:20 will be competing, among them the defending champion and course record holder Tigst Assefa.
Last year the Ethiopian carved her express way through the Brandenburg Gate to achieve the sensational performance with 2:15:37.
Tigst Assefa sets sights on Course Record
Tigst Assefa’s performance at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON last year was a major surprise. She improved her best by over 18 minutes and chopped more than two and a half minutes off the course record with her time of 2:15:37. “I’m delighted to be running again in Berlin.
Last year’s race proved an unexpected success for me. I think I can run even faster on Sunday, a further improvement would be a success,” said Tigst Assefa. In response to the question whether a new course record would mean setting sights on the world record of 2:14:04, she was less forthcoming: “Much can happen so I cannot say at the moment what would be the halfway split. I want to improve my time but I am not thinking about the world record.”
A Kenyan rival could also be capable of matching a very fast pace. Sheila Chepkirui has a personal best of 2:17:29 going into the race. “My aim is to break my personal best. I can imagine going through the first half on Sunday in around 68 minutes,” said the 32-year-old.
Both athletes have an extra target in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and that is the Olympic qualifying time. Given the keenness of competition in both Ethiopia and Kenya, the kind of times required to secure one of the three Olympic places can be super fast. Two more Ethiopians have world-class credentials in their respective bids to break 2:19: Tigist Abayechew, personal best 2:18:03, and Workenesh Edesa, best of 2:18:51, are making a return visit to Berlin.
A year ago they finished third and fourth respectively, combining with Tigst Assefa to achieve an unofficial world team record of 6:52:31.
“The women’s course record of 2:15:37 is an absolute world-class time. But, given the strong field, we hope that this can be broken,” said the race director Mark Milde. The elite women’s field has breadth as well as depth. Japan’s Hitomi Niiya has a best of 2:19:24 and could well attack their national record, set 18 years ago on this very course when the Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi ran 2:19:12 for victory. Another to note is the Ethiopian Senbere Teferi whose best is 2:24:11 and is a world record holder for 5km on the road with 14:29.
A keen contest among the German Women is also expected. The home contingent is the strongest in the event’s history in Berlin including five showing personal bests of under 2:30:00. The Schöneborn twins, Deborah and Rabea, Domenika Mayer, Kristina Hendel and Laura Hottenrott have all run within the range of 2:25 to 2:27, making the race for possible Olympic places a thrilling one.
Eurosport 1 and RBB broadcast on TV
The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON will be shown this year on Eurosport 1 (Free-TV Germany, Austria), from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on TV as well as via Livestream on discovery+ (Germany and Austria). From 12.00 to 14.30 the RBB will broadcast the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. Click here for a list of all national and international TV broadcasters.