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The 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON on September 25 and 26:

A new, top-notch spectacle

2004-09-20

The real,- BERLIN MARATHON belongs to the most spectacular and top-notch street races in the world. Together with New York, London and Chicago, Berlin is also one of the largest marathon races in the world. And the real,- BERLIN MARATHON will defend its position this year as well.

Despite the proximity to the Olympic marathon in Athens, on September 26 there will be an excellent field starting in Berlin in front of millions of spectators. Leading this field will be Felix Limo and several of his fellow countrymen. With a time of 2:06:14, the Kenyan is the fastest marathon runner of the year 2004. There is also a big favourite for the women: Yoko Shibui of Japan. Both the Kenyans and the Japanese hope to continue their series of successes in Berlin. Both nations have been dominating the race in the past few years. At least for the women, three German runners have a chance to be in the front of the field: Sonja Oberem (Bayer Leverkusen), Kathrin Weßel (SCC Berlin) and Romy Spitzmüller (LAZ Leipzig).

The real,- BERLIN MARATHON will once again be the largest German sporting event on one day. When 35,000 runners and several hundred walkers, wheelchair athletes and hand cyclists (participating for the first time) take to the start on Sunday, about a million spectators will find their spots to spurn them on along the course. Berlin will experience the largest city festival, distributed along the classic marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres. There will also be a new record number of participants for the real,- MINI MARATHON, with over 8,000 school-aged children and youth.

In addition, the real,- BERLIN MARATHON has established itself this year as a 2-day event. Last year for the first time, the inline skaters received their own separate race on Saturday. After the sensational success in front of about 250,000 spectators, which meant a break-through for this young sport, this competition will once again take place one day before the real,- BERLIN MARATHON for the runners. Over 8,000 inline skaters will be at the start.

It is difficult to calculate the exact publicity value of the 2-day event for the city, but it is certainly priceless. The media around the world will be reporting on the event. Last year the Hamburg economist, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maennig, published a study on the regional economic value of the running events organised by SCC RUNNING. According to his results, the multiplicative income effect for the city through the events is about 35.1 million Euros. Profiting the most is the hotel and gastronomy industry. Through SCC RUNNING events, for instance, 127,000 nights of accommodation are booked in Berlins hotels…most of them for the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON.

The supporting programme of the event is excellent. The BERLIN VITAL, the sport and health fair of the real,- BERLIN MARATHON will take place from Thursday to Saturday at the Berlin Fairgrounds under the Funkturm (Radio Tower). Over 100,000 visitors are expected. The sport medicine service will once again play a central role. Two further traditional elements of the supporting programme are the Breakfast Run and the Literature Marathon. The top-notch 2nd International Endurance and Sport Medicine Congress will take place parallel to the trade fair from September 23-25 in Berlin.

The real,- BERLIN MARATHON has made a name for itself over the past few years as being a race to break all limits. In the last six years, four world records were set at the marathon in the German capital. The flat course, the mostly good weather conditions, and excellent organisation all play a role in the top performances by the athletes. Last year it was Paul Tergat who pushed the world record into a new dimension. With a time of 2:04:55 in Berlin, the Kenyan became the first runner to finish the classic distance in under 2:05. "We are pleased that one year after the world-record race by Paul Tergat and despite the proximity to the Olympic Games, where many top athletes naturally participated, we will still have such a strong field at the mens start, and for the womens race we are looking forward to seeing what Yoko Shibui will do," said Mark Milde. This past spring, Mark Milde took over the position of race director from his father, Horst Milde, who had led the organisation of the BERLIN MARATHON for 30 years.

The starting time for the inline skaters had to be moved up to the morning this year. For the first time, the finals of the World Inline Cup (WIC) will take place within the framework of the real,- BERLIN MARATHON for inline skaters. The skaters race, which will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 25 on the boulevard Straße des 17. Juni and end at the Brandenburg Gate, will be staging top athletes once again.

Defending champions Julie Glass from the USA and Juan Carlos Betancur from Columbia, will both be competing. Betancur could even achieve a Hattrick at the real,- BERLIN MARATHON this year, as he also won in 2002. In addition, Chad Hedrick will also be participating in Berlin. The US American won the real,- BERLIN MARATHON in 2000, and with over 50 world championship titles he is the most famous skater in the world. He also made the unique accomplishment last year of beating the entire world elite in ice speed skating and was world all around speed skating champion, as well.

FACTS AND DATA

Registrations

36,193 Runners
29,211 Men
6,982 Women (19%)
8,191 Skaters
5,361 Men
2,830 Women (35%)
38 Wheelchair competitors
38 Men
130 Hand Cyclists
106 Men
24 Women (18%)
44,552

of which:
Participants over the marathon distance
(22% percent women)
19% are from Berlin
35% are beginners
26% are foreigners
8,023 real,- MINI MARATHON of the schools
(ca. 640 School Teams)
52,575 total participants

Internationality: 91 countries

including:
Denmark: 2,909; Switzerland: 1,075; France: 1,050; Netherlands: 995; Austria: 902; Great Britain: 894; Italy: 643; USA: 506; Sweden: 463; Finland: 316; Poland: 212; Spain: 179; Japan: 169; Belgium: 124; Norway 121; Australia: 84; Mexico: 83; Brazil: 67; South Africa: 67; Luxembourg: 67; Ireland: 65; Canada: 59; Korea: 36; New Zealand: 36; Israel: 35

Start:
Straße des 17. Juni (skaters, runners, wheelchair athletes and power walkers)

Blue Line: The Blue Line, the shortest distance to the finish, will be applied to the streets on Monday, September 20, 2004 starting at 8:30 p.m. -with a police escort-as part of the course is on the opposing lane of traffic. Meeting point: 8:30 p.m. at the Russian Monument, Straße des 17. Juni.

Medals: Every participant who finishes will receive a medal with a portrait of Paul Tergat, the world record champion of the 30th real,- BERLIN MARATHON in 2003. The participant certificate similarly also has the portrait of Tergat. This certificate will be sent to all participants with the list of results a few weeks after the marathon.

Sunflowers: All women will receive a sunflower at the finish.

Grandstands: For the first time up to 4,000 spectators will have the opportunity to experience the finish up close on grandstands at the finish line. Early risers will get the best spots. The first runners are expected at 9 a.m.-the real,- MINI MARATHON kids, and it will keep going from there.

Final stretch: The boulevard "Unter den Linden" makes up the extended final stretch. The last kilometres will be rung in there. Lots of music and catering for the spectators should evoke a marathon-feeling like on the Kurfürstendamm. The square Pariser Platz is open to both runners and spectators.

Music Marathon: Everything is easier with music-running too. SCC RUNNING calls all Berliners to contribute music to the atmosphere at Berlins greatest festival. That includes music groups, your own musical instruments that can be taken down to the course, radios, etc. Over 60 musical groups (with over 600 musicians) and jazz bands will be playing along the course, and especially lots of samba teams will be firing up the participants.

Massages: Six Berlin schools of physiotherapy will be offering a special service for the athletes exhausted muscles. 360 students will be on the course to knead the hard muscles soft again.

Television:
RBB will be sending live pictures of Germanys largest sporting event
from 8:45 - 9:45 a.m. in RBB
from 9:45 - 11:30 a.m. in ARD
from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. in RBB
FUJI TV will broadcast live to Japan. Results: On Monday, September 27, 2004, the Berliner Morgenpost will publish a preliminary list of results with the times for every participant.

Oldest male runner:
Egon Bethge, Berlin, born: 1st April 1923

Oldest female runner:
Pina Gurtner, Switzerland, born: 5th June 1925

Breakfast Run:
Saturday, September 25, 2004 at 9:30 a.m.
From Schloß Charlottenburg (Palace) to the Olympic stadium.

Bambini Run:
Saturday, September 25, 2004 at 3 p.m. in the Summer Garden

Pasta Lounge:
September 23 to 25, 2004 from noon - 16:00

Ecumenical Evening Prayer:
Saturday, September 25, 2004 at 8:30 p.m.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Award Ceremony and Supporting Programme:
At the Brandenburg Gate/Platz des 18. März
Skaters: Saturday, September 25, 2004 from 2:30 - 3 p.m.
Runners: Sunday, September 26, 2004 from 2-3 p.m.

Following the award ceremony there will be live music which will continue on Saturday until 9 p.m. and on Sunday until 5 p.m.

After-Race-Party in the subway station Reichstag, at the Paul Löbe House:

Saturday, September 25, 2004, 9:00 p.m. Skaters
Sunday, September 26, 2004, 8:00 p.m. Runners

Participants have free entrance, other guests are welcome too.

real,- BERLIN MARATHON telephone hotline:
There will be a telephone hotline available for participants, spectators or other people who have questions about the 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON. If they want to know when their road is blocked or what the breakfast race is they can call: 030 - 3012 8810.

Hotline times:
Thursday: 10 am to 6 pm
Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 7 am to 5 pm


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