Berlin marathon: powered by adrenaline on the background of the parliamentary elections

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberБерлинский marathon. Archival photoBerlin marathon: powered by adrenaline on the background of the parliamentary elections© AP Photo / Markus Schreiber

The Berlin marathon (Berlin Marathon), which is traditionally held in the last weekend of September, known as widely as the Oktoberfest beer festival in Bavaria. This year it is held in parallel with Sunday’s elections to the German Parliament (Bundestag), which created additional problems for the organizers, but seems not to have affected the mood of the participants of the race.

Along with London, new York and Chicago marathons Berlin-Marathon is one of the most massive (40 thousand runners) and the fastest in the world (according to the average time of the first ten participants). On the course in Berlin was established numerous world records.

This weekend the Berlin marathon starts in the 44th. On Saturday, held competitions on roller skates and a children’s marathon (4,2195 kilometers). Main discipline (marathon running, race walking and riding in a wheelchair) on Sunday. At 9.15 am (10.15 GMT) runners in the three groups (start every 20 minutes) will start the race in the Berlin Tiergarten Park. And almost an hour to this point at 8.00 am (9.00 GMT) on Sunday in Berlin will open polling stations in the German capital was 1.7 million voters.

Birthday the Berlin marathon is considered to be November 8, 1964, when West Berlin took place the cross on the hill Teufelsberg which was subsequently built by an American radar station to spy for the GDR and other Warsaw Pact countries. In the very first race was attended by over 700 people. These competitions soon became traditional.

In 1974, the first official Berlin marathon for all runners, it took place in the area of forest Grunewald. The competition was attended by 286 people, of whom 244 ran to the finish line. In may 1981 it was decided to move the race from forest city on hard coating in competition to participate in wheelchairs. The distance passed by checkpoint Charlie that divided the American and Soviet sectors, and was completed on the most famous street of West Berlin – kurfürstendamm. The number of participants has grown every year. For this reason, the start was in 1987 moved to the Tiergarten Park.

Thirtieth September 1990, three days before the unification of Germany and the official opening of the borders between the FRG and the GDR, the Berlin marathon reunited the Western and Eastern parts of the city. The number of people wishing to flee was so great that organizers for the first time in the history of the competition had to reject the applications. The event was first broadcast live on German television.

«For me personally, it was the strongest shock in all the years of participation in the marathon, including the work of sports journalist. The distance was from Charlottenburg through the Brandenburg gate in the Eastern part of the city, and from there to the Leipziger Platz, which is now called Potsdamer Platz. The square was absolutely empty, but there were many people, a record number of 25 thousand people. But it was possible to collect 50 thousand, if not limits. And people were running through the Brandenburg gate. It was something indescribable,» — told RIA Novosti the official representative of the organisers SCC-RUNNING Events Thomas Stevens.

According to him, the authorities of Berlin, which has the status of a Federal state were trying to protest against the organization of parliamentary elections on 24 September. Because the date of the marathon was established before the elections. But when the decision to hold the elections on 24 September, it was still approved, the organizers did a great job with the police, traffic Department, district authorities, and also with the election Commission.

«We are already in January together with all the necessary departments and to decide how to do so on 24 September, the people who go to the polls, was able to get around the venue of the marathon. To 16.00 (17.00 GMT) on Sunday, the marathon will end, the equipment will be dismantled. At 18.00 (19.00 GMT, the time the polls closed in Germany) the path of the Bundestag for the press will be absolutely free,» — said Stevens.

In addition to limiting traffic on the road and the runners will be adopted and other measures to ensure safety and for access of voters to the polling stations, told RIA Novosti Deputy spokesman of the police of Berlin, Thomas Neuendorf. To the question, isn’t it too dangerous to hold elections and a marathon in one day, he kept replied that the timing of different events is determined not by the Metropolitan police service, adding that «to protect a marathon is much harder than the election.»

Due to the fact that in Berlin there is a «high abstract threat of terrorist attacks,» said Neuendorf, of the safety concept developed by the police for September 24, «provides for all possible scenarios». The content of the concept is kept secret, but as said a police spokesman, will be counted experience of the tragedy on 19 December 2016, when a terrorist in a stolen truck rammed a Christmas market in Central Berlin: 12 people dead, 48 in hospital.

The police were going to use concrete blocks and heavy equipment for dividing the streets, and helicopters, at the polling stations will be working with volunteers, and the city will patrol about 1.5 thousand police officers.

The route and rules of participation

This year the Berlin-marathon distance stretching for 42 kilometres and 195 meters starts in the Tiergarten Park. Next, runners will proceed through the district of Moabit, past the office of the Chancellor and Alexanderplatz where the TV tower stands. Then towards the district of neukölln, through Kreuzberg, Steglitz and Charlottenburg, on the kurfürstendamm shopping street to rebuilt after the reunification of Germany, the Grand square Potsdamer Platz. The race finishes near the Brandenburg gate.

The Berlin marathon is quick – 6 hours 15 minutes, because the city is very flat, the maximum slope of only 0.5%. According to the longtime member of the race Marcus is an advantage especially for «fast» runners is usually either professional athletes, or «lovers with big ambitions», who want to set world records. Markus lives in Berlin, and he was one of the lucky ones who will run on September 24.

«Actually, «fast» runners not so much. People go to the Berlin marathon just because we have a beautiful city and the course passes through the most beautiful places. We still have pretty cheap compared to other European cities, such as Paris or London. And the weather – when outside plus 25 degrees, running not really nice, no matter how smooth the track is or was. In Berlin at the end of Sep – 10 ° C, it is optimal», — told RIA Novosti Marcus.

It is not surprising that the number of enthusiasts who would like to run the Berlin marathon continues to grow. To get a starting number, you need to be 18 to register on the site, and to get into a lottery, where there are 25-28. The other places are transferred to charitable organizations as well as companies that organize trips to marathon.

In the marathon involved 40 thousand people, and fall into the lottery, about 60 thousand, says Marcus. But if you are lucky, and won – are left to pay the basic package (about 150 euros) and collect the number at the start. In the price the basic package includes also a medal of the participant of the marathon, as well as free drinks and food on the course.

The mood of «everything is possible»

In the group Berlin Marathon in 2017 Facebook has registered about 400 participants. The correspondent of RIA Novosti was held among them a small survey on the topic «Why do you want to take part in the Berlin marathon?». The answers were very different. Someone wrote that he wanted to prove to myself that I can do it, someone that likes to combine running and travel. Many talked about the love of the run. Almost all talked about the «superdestroyer at this distance», and it was clear that no elections to the Bundestag, nor any trouble can’t spoil the mood.

«In Berlin I feel that it is a great event for the whole city. Along the whole route there are spectators who cheer, support, and sometimes just drink beer and raise a glass to you. By the 30th kilometre when forces are left, you would have wanted to be among them! The support of the fans helps a lot,» said RIA Novosti participant of the Berlin marathon-2017 from Moscow Daria.

Answering a question, whether terribly to run a marathon for the first time, Daria, behind which three of the marathon, I noticed that 42 kilometers is a significant distance even for a car.

«Of course, the first time I was scared. There is a fear that you can’t control. It is important to think about its current state – can I now run, my legs are sore, breathing is fine, heart? You need to concentrate on the process and not think about what needs to be done. And at the finish you can have to push. Understand that power is not necessary to save, the adrenaline of playing. So running at full speed, cross the finish line, come to the volunteers who put on your medal. And, of course, after the marathon, such as: I can do everything», — said Daria.

© RIA Novosti / angelina Timofeeva preparation for the Berlin marathon. 23 September 2017Berlin marathon: powered by adrenaline on the background of the parliamentary elections© RIA Novosti / angelina Timofeeva preparation for the Berlin marathon. 23 Sep 2017