The Berlin Marathon is one of the largest and most famous marathons across the globe, Berlin is part of the World Marathon Majors and known as the fastest course in the world. In 2018 Kipchoge was able to set a new world record with an incredible time of 02:01:39.
Time to check out the Berlin Marathon 2019 course to be 100% prepared:
Berlin Marathon 2019 course
The Berlin Marathon attracts runners from around the world because of it’s a great flat and fast course. Looking at the Berlin Marathon map you’ll see that the 26.2 miles loop through the historic city of Berlin is more of a fun sightseeing tour for the runners. Okay, you’ll have to run it but it is still one of the most exciting routes for a marathon because there is so much to see. The crowds are out there and cheering but from my experience, nothing compared to the NYC Marathon.
The Berlin Marathon 2018 course takes you along the main sights of Berlin such as the Reichstag, the Siegessäule, Berliner Dom, Brandenburg and Potsdamer Platz in a big loop through the entire city. The finish through the Brandenburger Gate is magical and something you won’t forget.
Elite runners from all over the world like Eliud Kipchoge (33) and Wilson Kipsang (36) are running along 40.000 other runners to finish strong at the Brandenburger Tor. It’s a special race and the entire city is celebrating it.
For me personally who was born and raised in Germany running the Berlin Marathon 2018 was a special way to celebrate my love for this sports. This marathon has a special meaning to me not only because it was also my very first one outside the States.
Berlin Marathon 2019 course strategy
There are a few things that make a race in Germany different from a race here in the United States.
For example, water stations are a little further apart (like 1.5 miles ish starting at the 3 miles mark), there will be water, a special sports drink (make sure to try it on the expo) and tea (hot and cold) and later on even coke. There are also fruit stations that hand out cut apples and bananas which I found super amazing.
There are cheering zones along the course with bands and spectators – a very tremendous one will be at KM 36 with the adidas runners Berlin and all the other coming from all over the world to cheer on you. There are no mile markers, only kilometers and the time will be shown at every kilometer mark.
But now lets talk race strategy for the Berlin Marathon:
One of the major mistakes that happen to runners during a marathon or even a race, in general, is that they start out too fast. So take your time at the beginning of the race and don’t let the excitement and adrenaline take over. Save the energy for later, because 26.2 miles is a long distance where you have to pace yourself well to finish with a happy smile on your face. It’s very temping to start fast when you see the famous Siegessäule and all the excitement kicks in.
Make sure to soak in all the energy from the cheering friends, family, and strangers but don’t let it get to you too soon. There will be a time, most likely around mile 20 (KM 30) when your body needs this extra source of strength both mentally and physically. Mile 20 is the official halfway point in your marathon distance.
No, it’s not at mile 13.1 even though the numbers tell you that. Mile 20 is when you should ask yourself, “How do I feel?” – is there more energy left to actually start racing the Berlin Marathon 2018 course right now, or am I in “OMG when is this over mode” already.
If you feel great, around mile 20 is the time to speed these legs up a little bit to run negative splits at that point. If you feel tired and not ready to run faster try to keep up with the pace that you were running before.
Pacing yourself right during a marathon is key to success and especially on a flat course such as Berlin, it is very tempting to run faster than you probably should. It will get to you later on. The last mile is probably the longest ever, but the crowds here are amazing. They will push you through no matter what. I was even able to speed up a bit in the end just because of the support from the cheering spectators.
During the New York City Marathon in 2018 I kept telling myself “save it, save it, save it” when my legs wanted to go faster before mile 20. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the race while crossing the finish line at the Brandenburger Tour when you’ll be one of the runners who are still able to run with a great form, looking good with a big smile all over your face. I will be running the Berlin Marathon this year again and I hope to see you all out there.