Every September in Berlin, thousands of visitors flock to see possibly the greatest running event in Europe if not the world – the Berlin marathon. The words Berlin and marathon go so well together that one is forgiven for forgetting that there are so many other Berlin running races spread across this city and throughout the year. A common question on our Berlin running tours, I feel it is my duty to let you know the best runs that Berlin has to offer and I’m sure you will agree that there is something for everyone!
Main Berlin Running Races
BMW Berlin Marathon
Date: September 27th, 2020
Time: 9.15 AM for the main waves
When thinking of Berlin running races, we must start with the Berlin Marathon. This truly is a world marathon with over 40 thousand participants and the best athletes from around the globe taking part. So what is the appeal? Well, that’s easy, the course itself passes all the major landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory monument making it a visually brilliant course. When registering for the Berlin Marathon, one is guaranteed to meet folk from all over and experience a festival atmosphere. Added to that is the efficient German organization making this a seamless experience.
Did I mention that the course is as flat as a pancake and is home to Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds?! No wonder so many want to run this (both professional and amateur runners), but please remember to register early or you may need to enter a lottery 😊
Generali Berlin Half Marathon
Date: April 5th, 2020
Time: 8.00 AM for the main waves
Last year roughly 35 thousand participants took to the streets to complete the Berlin Half Marathon. Just like its bigger brother the full marathon, the half passes many of the cities famous sights like Potsdamer Platz and Tiergarten. And also like the full marathon, the half is extremely well organized and attracts the best athletes from around the globe. Book a place early if you want to be guaranteed a place as this one sells out fast!!
Avon Womens Race
Date: May 16th, 2020
Time: 1 PM
In the scenic setting of the famous Tiergarten Park, thousands of women will be all set to run either the walk, 5km run, Nordic walk or 10km run. For some, the aim will be to win, for others a new personal best or just to accomplish the distance. But all agree that helping charities in fighting breast cancer is a just cause. The atmosphere is electric with shopping, party and chill-out zones lined up along the course around Tiergarten. I love coming out here with my son and supporting all the athletes including my wife 😊
Smaller and Club Races in Berlin
If you’re a lover of mixing up your runs and sampling those lesser known, fun and quirky Berlin running races;
Date: May 3rd, 2020
Time: 10.00 am for the main waves
Personally, I love this race! Starting in the iconic Olympic stadium the S25 Berlin makes its way into the city
Berlin Street Art Run
Run off the beaten track on this Street Art Run to discover the hidden artworks and murals in the alternative parts of the bohemian city. This is a guided run that will take you to the best locations and discuss the street art scene.
Mercedes Benz Half Marathon
Date: February 16th, 2020
Time: 9.00 AM for the main waves
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, 2000 running enthusiasts toe the line at the Mercedes Benz Half Marathon. This race certainly has more of a local club running scene than the bigger events and is why I love this race! So why not make your way out to Reinickendorf in North Berlin for this fast flat 2 lap course? Additionally, if the half marathon distance is too much, there’s also the option of 10km.
Grunewald Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k and Kids Run
Date: TBC, always in November
Time: 8.45 AM
For those of us who prefer the feel of running through a trail, up hills and generally through nature, this is definitely for you! Out in Grunewald forest in West Berlin, local athletics club SCB Berlin do a fantastic job organizing a very intimate local event. This has something for everyone, from the small 5km to the full marathon there is a challenge for all. From personal experience, the route is challenging from trail to path to long inclines but nevertheless, I loved it. Another reason to for some to come out is to try and topple the course record – I set it in 2018 in 2 hours 44 minutes😁
Spielbank Berlin New Years Eve Run
Date: December 31st, 2020
Time: 12 PM
After a heavy Christmas of festivities and big dinners most of us by December 31st need a run to get back into the swing of things! Why not head out to the hills of Grunewald forest for the Spielbank New Years Eve Run to loosen the legs and get chatting to fellow runners? The atmosphere is quite relaxed with around 2500 visitors ready to hit the 2k, 4k, 6.3k or 9.9k distances. The route itself is a challenge as 2 large hills (Teufelsberg and Drachenberg) need to be navigated. But for those ready to rise to the challenge, the views of Berlin are amazing once at the top! The best part about this race are the Berliner Doughnuts given out after the race has been finished – perfect motivation!!!
I could go on and list many more Berlin running races but this blog would turn into a novel 😊 Berlin has something for everyone from short to long distances, from hitting the streets to running on trails. I highly recommend a trip to Berlin and get a run in 😊 If none of the above tick your box then perhaps a private running tour seeing the sights and learning the story of Berlin suits more? Check out Berlin Go Running Tours for some excellent sight tours. For more information on running in the city, take a look at my complete guide to running in Berlin.