Berlin’s 40th marathon lines up

Berlin Marathon, which is reputed to be one of the fastest in the world, takes place on 29 September this year with about 40,000 runners from 120 countries, helped along by 5,000 volunteers.

It is one of the big five runs, the others being London, New York, Boston and Chicago, and seven men’s and women’s records have been broken on its flat loop course.

However the BMW Berlin run involves more than just running. It also combines a festival atmosphere of music and dancing, with the triumphal touch of running under the Brandenburg Gate. There are also the finals of the children’s inline skating races in front the Gate the day before the big run.

The marathon dates back to before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 but one of its most important events was when participants were finally able to pass through the Brandenburg Gate, the one-time symbol of division of the two Germans which then became the symbol of reunification.