Star studded field set for BMW Berlin Marathon

Posted by: Races News Service
Photo: SCC EVENTS / Petko Beier

A contingent of some of the world’s top runners and around 25,000 mass participants will be on the start line next Sunday, September 26, for the 47th edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. The Ethiopian superstar Kenenisa Bekele heads the men’s entry while his compatriot Hiwot Gebrekidan is an equally strong contender for the women’s title.

If Kenenisa Bekele can summon similar form to that which he showed on the streets of Berlin two years ago when he came within two seconds of the world record with his time of 2:01:41, a very fast and dramatic title defence should be in prospect.

The women’s race also offers potential for a top time, given the presence of Hiwot Gebrekidan in Berlin, who has run the fastest women’s marathon in the world this year in taking the Milan title with a personal best of 2:19:35.

Good strength in depth is also a keynote of both elite fields: the men feature a ten runners with personal bests of sub-2:07 while the women’s field shows six who have run under 2:25 and another five sub-2:30.

Two of Germany’s leading marathoners will be competing on Sunday: Philipp Pflieger and Rabea Schöneborn, the latter competing in her home city.

The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON forms the Abbott World Marathon Majors series together with the races in Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo. It is Germany’s biggest and most spectacular road race. 

The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON will take place under strict hygiene rules after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled because of the Corona pandemic. Given the continuing conditions imposed by the pandemic, the number of starters for this year has been considerably reduced. Two years ago the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON registered a record 43,987 finishers who ran through the Brandenburg Gate to the finish line. This year around 25,000 runners are expected to compete. This number potentially could make the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON the biggest marathon worldwide since the Corona pandemic began. Organizer SCC Events has already staged two big running events in the past two months in the German capital, a 10k race and the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON.

The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON has an unparalleled history in terms of the eleven world records broken on its course. Marathon landmarks in history have been achieved here, firstly in 2001 when Japan’s Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi ran 2:19:46 to become the first woman to break 2:20; then two years later when Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05 when the Kenyan won in 2:04:55. The current men’s world record was also set at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON when Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran 2:01:39.

Fastest Runners on the Start List


Kenenisa Bekele ETH 2:01:41

Guye Adola ETH 2:03:36

Eliud Kiptanui KEN 2:05:21

Philemon Kacheran KEN 2:06:05

Festus Talam KEN 2:06:13

Tadu Abate ETH 2:06:13

Olika Adugna ETH 2:06:15

Tesfaye Lencho ETH 2:06:18

Hidekazu Hijikata JPN 2:06:26

Michael Njenga KEN 2:06:43

Josphat Boit KEN 2:07:20

Kazuki Muramoto JPN 2:07:36

Taku Fujimoto JPN 2:07:57


Hiwot Gebrekidan ETH 2:19:35

Shure Demise ETH 2:20:59

Helen Tola ETH 2:21:01

Ruth Chebitok KEN 2:23:29

Bethelhem Moges ETH 2:23:38

Fancy Chemutai KEN 2:24:27

Rabea Schöneborn GER 2:27:03

Iwona Bernardelli POL 2:27:47

Martina Strähl SUI 2:28:07

Izabela Paszkiewicz POL 2:28:12

Edith Chelimo KEN 2:29:03

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