01 January 2024, 9am
hella hamburg half marathon
Sun 30 June 2024
The 30th anniversary edition this summer promises to be the biggest running party in the event’s history.
When countless running fans start singing the traditional crowd chant at the start on the Reeperbahn (a world-famous nightlife district in the heart of the city) veterans will know that things are getting serious. Then the starting signal is just a few moments away, when over 12,000 participants will once again set off on a journey of partying and sightseeing. The event is an experience.
It starts with the course. The city route was designed to accommodate as many tourist attractions as possible in 21.0975 kilometres. There are almost 50 of them. It starts on Hamburg’s “sinful mile”, this is what the locals call it, where the party animals are on the streets instead of the pavements for a change. From there it’s down to the harbour, past the Landungsbrücken (an impressive waterfront building and a major public transport hub for ferries), along the historic Speicherstadt (a UNESCO World heritage site), through the Wallring Tunnel (with DJ), over the Kennedy Bridge, where you get a great view of the Jungfernstieg (the city’s foremost boulevard), around the beautiful Alster lake until the finish line at the expo. These are just some of the sightseeing highlights. There are so many that you can afford to miss a few along the way.
The 40 or so event points, which on average give the half marathon runners a boost every 500 metres, will also play their part. With DJ support, live music, African, South American, and Japanese drums, real Swiss alphorns, a German shanty choir, several cheering zones, sign spinners and acrobats, you are practically carried along the course. One acoustic and visual feast follows the next – and the kilometres fly by. The people of Hamburg and the running crews also play their part of course.
Approaching the finish line a blue carpet is rolled out for the participants while they are applauded by a frenetic crowd. This is their moment and they earned it. A few metres later they are official finishers of the hella hamburg half – only about 1.5km from the starting point on the Reeperbahn, where the party began. After bathing in applause, they may want to take a real shower. No problem – and of course there will be plenty of refreshments, fruits, baked goods, and local sweets served in the finish area.
Hamburg will once again host a sports spectacle that attracts runners from over 80 nations. A large international field of elite runners who push the limits beyond the 61-minute mark and many running crews have already marked their calendars when one of Germany’s biggest half marathons opens its doors again. On 30 June 2024, it will once again be: Hamburg Half – Double Fun!