14 January 2017, 8am
Sun 2 April 2017
Running the course of the Berlin Halfmarathon gives you free passage — unobstructed by cars — past some of the most impressive sights the city has to offer.
The start and finish area is on Karl-Marx-Allee in the former East Berlin where this race was founded. The starting line is near Kino International, one of the more famous movie theatres of Berlin, right opposite the Café Moskau, another legendary landmark of the East Berlin past.
The course then passes by Germany’s tallest building, the TV Tower (368m high) at Alexanderplatz and turns left onto Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse to cross over the River Spree and pass Berlin’s largest cathedral, the Berliner Dom.
The first real highlight of this race is passing through the Brandenburg Gate. Then the course leads straight down the “Strasse des 17. Juni”, a grand boulevard through Tiergarten Park, with the Siegessäule (Victory Column) at Grosser Stern, Germany’s largest roundabout, and through the Charlottenburg Gate (Charlottenburger Tor). At 8.8 km the Charlottenburg Palace, built between 1695–1699, appears on the right.
Running along the famous thoroughfare Kurfürstendamm the Wertheim department store welcomes you on the right-hand side between 13–14km, followed by the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church shortly afterwards on the left. This was the centre of West Berlin until reunification in 1989.
The course then leads to Potsdamer Strasse running past the New National Gallery, the Philharmonic and the State Library to Potsdamer Platz (17.5 km) with its post-reunification architecture and, traditionally, with lots of spectators. After taking a right runners then head down Kochstrasse and Friedrichstrasse past the former US Army border crossing known as “Checkpoint Charlie” (18.5 km).
Through Leipziger Strasse, with its East German 1970s-style systems-built prefabricated architecture, and down Gertraudenstrasse the course leads into Mühlendamm, passing by the historical Nikolai Quarter on the left. A little later runner find themselves at the back of the Berlin City Hall. From there you can almost smell the finish line which is visible after you turn right back into Karl-Marx-Allee. After you have received your finisher medal, joined friends and recovered from 21,0975m of agony and joy you will look back at an unforgettable course through the City of Berlin.