The Berlin Marathon (branded BMW Berlin Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards) is set up as a citywide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate. Initiated in 1974, the event traditionally takes place on the last weekend in September, with the exceptions of 2000, because of a conflict with the Olympic Marathon date, and 2018, held two weeks earlier due to Day of German Unity preparations.
The course within the metropolis starts and finishes near the Brandenburg Gate. Because of the division of the city, the marathon events before 1990 were limited to the area of West Berlin. Only on 30 September 1990, were athletes able to run through the Brandenburg Gate and the unified city saw its first race running through both halves. It was reported that a great many of the runners had tears in their eyes as they ran through the gate.
Nowadays, after leaving Brandenburg Gate, the course passes Charlottenburg, around Tiergarten, along Moabit and Mitte, and then south to Friedrichshain. After that, it winds west between Kreuzberg and Neuk|lln, through Sch|neberg, over to Friedenau and Zehlendorf, before turning north back toward the city's center. Looping above Sch|neberg, the course comes full circle as it finishes through the Gate.
On different routes there have been two major international marathons at the 1936 Olympic Games and 2009 IAAF World Championships. Also Ulrich Hutmacher (GER) won a marathon in Berlin on 14 Oct 1973 with a time of 2:19:32 but that race is not considered part of this series.