Digel: "Berlin Half Marathon is a Milestone for the World Championships in Berlin in 2009"
Message of Greeting from the Vice-President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Prof. Dr. Helmut Digel
The Bewag BERLIN HALF MARATHON is turning 25—enough of a reason to take a look into its past, as it has a history that is only possible in Berlin. On November 29, 1981, the Lichtenberg Marathon was already being held in Berlin (East), which in 1982 was then replaced by the “Berlin Peace Run”. The Berlin HALF MARATHON followed in Berlin (West) on September 2, 1984.
In 1990, East and West united in the Berlin HALF MARATHON, which can truly be considered a product of the reunification. But its political importance is not restricted to Germany alone; the Berlin HALF MARATHON increasingly developed into a festival and get-together of the continents. African runners played a significant role, and the lists of participants over the past few years reads like the “Who’s who” of the running world.
But this event has also grown in importance for those who run for fun, for walkers, skaters, and wheelchair athletes, and the ca. 1,500 participants in the FUN RUN, which was initiated in 1994. The sum of over 100,000 spectators along the course last year speaks for itself.
In the year 2009, the IAAF World Championships will take place in Berlin. Every running event that takes place up until that outstanding world athletics event in Berlin is a milestone for the World Championships. The long-distance events are not only fascinating for the World Championships, but they are also a special herald for the IAAF—through athletics the heart of the Olympic Games is thus represented around the world all year round. The IAAF would like to sincerely thank the organizers in Berlin and wish them much success for the Bewag BERLIN HALF MARATHON.
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