Could Usain Bolt catch a squirrel?

Be a Berlin legend!

2:01:39 Challenge - Thanks for taking part!

2:01:39 Challenge


No matter if inRunning shoes or inline skating, with a wheelchair or hand bike:
You took on the challenge on September 26th and 27th, 2020 and showed us how many kilometers you can cover in 2:01:39 hours.

You couldn't take part in the challenge or you still haven't had enough of the challenge weekend? Then check out our Recap video with some highlights from 2 hours. 1 minute and 39 seconds.


Eliud Kipchoge | Greetings to everyone

# berlin42united Community


  • Two days
  • 121 nations
  • Over 14,000 hours
  • 138,973 kilometers traveled

Wow, we are overwhelmed! We thank and congratulate our # berlin42united community to participate in the 2:01:39 Challenge!


Be a Berlin legend!

Be ready for a legendary event.

Berlin legends

The German capital is bursting with history and stories, with historical happening on every corner. Legends were and are created here and you can do that too: experience the streets of Berlin, crown yourself a finisher - be a Berlin legend. #berlinlegend


Laura Andreea

How do you become a Berlin legend?

  • The # 20139 Challenge took place on September 26th and 27th, 2020, in which around 15,000 endurance athletes worldwide tested themselves to complete as many kilometers as possible in 2:01:39 hours. No matter whether in running shoes, on inline skates, by hand bike or wheelchair. The associated 20139 app created a live experience that was worth listening to for everyone involved and encouraged the community idea. In addition, on Sunday there was a women's, men's, skater and youth relay with a top line-up in the world record time around the Berlin Victory Column.

    You can find them here Story by Laura from Ås in Norwaywho competed in the GENERALI Berlin Half Marathon 2018 in Berlin and was now on their home track in the 20139 Challenge.

    How everything began
    In my school days and at university, I was pretty sporty. If you want to call dancing & partying a sport, I was a top athlete. 20 years went by, a child and two countries later, I was a middle-aged woman, stressed, overworked, overweight, with a slight tendency towards depression. What occurred to me at the time about the marathon was lying on the sofa watching the "Extended Version" of "Game of Thrones" or "Lord of the Rings" and pouring down a huge bottle of Pinot Grigio.

    Motivation to help
    My running story started four years ago. One fine day in March 2017, I went for a run. I made it just 2 km before my lungs started burning and my knees were shaking. The really crazy thing was that I was comfortable with the feeling. I wanted more of it. And more ... and more. After a while a miracle happened. I found my breath again and lost weight. And it became very clear to me how grateful I can be that I can walk and run and that there are so many people who cannot. This “aha experience” was motivation and an incentive for me to help people. Since then I have been supporting a group of children who have a rare genetic disease - ADHD - and who cannot walk or run.

    Keep walking
    That September I ran my first 5km in a nearby race and shortly afterwards the 10K at the Oslo Marathon. It was such an indescribable feeling when I got my first medal! While I was still runners high, I bet my husband that I would run my first half marathon very soon. Said and done. He registered me for the GENERALI Berlin Half Marathon 2018. It was followed by a terrible winter in Norway, I reeled most of the kilometers on the treadmill. I was really afraid that my training would not be enough for the 21 km. But I ran the half marathon in Berlin, finished happily and it was indescribably beautiful, the audience that cheered us on, the beer, the music and the whole fantastic atmosphere. Incomparable!

    I'm going to be a marathoner
    One thing led to another and in November of the same year I tackled one of the most difficult marathons in Europe: the Athens Marathon, the 42.2-kilometer-long original route. When it started I was overtrained, injured and very unmotivated. I walked through the villages where devastating major fires had claimed deaths in the weeks before. The residents cheered us on, had olive wreaths in their hair. The smoke from the still smoldering fire was in the air. I was so overwhelmed that I broke down mentally. I cried and sobbed for the next few kilometers and thought of giving up. Then I remembered that I not only run for myself, but also for my kids and their smiles. For the remainder of the marathon, I mentally pronounced the name of one of my beloved kids for every kilometer, making sure not to skip any of them until I got to the finish. I sprinted the last 200 meters, and when I arrived at the Panathinaikos Stadium, I felt intoxicated. I was a marathoner and only 1% of the world's population can say that.

    Stay motivated
    Last year I struggled to improve my personal best, had a fantastic race in Prague, screwed up my run in Tallin, was about to give up in Amsterdam, but beat my weaker self and finished. 2020, with all its corona consequences, were difficult for motivation. Virtual races can be an interim solution, but I miss the crowd, the excitement, the music, the noise of a real race. Am I disappointed that I couldn't start the real marathon in Berlin on September 27th? Of course I am! But if you look at it positively, I have an extra year for training!

    There are people who tell me that they started running because they used me as a role model. My transformation from a couch potato into a marathoner is her inspiration.

    I am not an athlete, I am not fast and I am very far from being a legend. I am no longer a young hopper either. But I love running, I enjoy the self-talk and contemplation during the long runs, the pumping of blood in my veins during a Fartlek run and the feeling of satisfaction afterwards when the endorphins flood through my body. And I'm resilient and stubborn. I never give up because I am the personal heroine of my AHDS children. When I put on my running shirt and pink tutu, I feel like I'm pulling on my superhero suit!

    The # 20139 challenge is a wonderful idea. Thank you for the start number and the bracelet, it was a wonderful surprise to find it in my mailbox.

    Laura's # 20139 Challenge on September 27, 2020
    On September 27th, like so many of us, I was supposed to be at the Brandenburg Gate and cross the finish line of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. To say that everything turned out differently in 2020 sounds like a gross understatement. When the opportunity arose to lace up my shoes at the # 20139 Challenge, it was a matter close to my heart to put on my favorite running outfit and start running.

    In our part of the world it doesn't rain, it pours! The whole of last week we had terrible wet weather with stormy gusts. After all, the forecast for Sunday only spoke of "winds". I was hoping for warm support from my cheering team, but half of them were still soundly asleep at 8:15 am. My start was great, I was highly motivated, everything went as planned. Then came the trail part of my challenge, I had to struggle with mud, slippery rocks, bulky branches on the way and slippery softwood surfaces. The mayflies had survived the storm last night and gathered on my running shirt.

    There was once…
    Last May, I ran in the same running outfit in a virtual marathon. On my way I met a little girl with her grandma. When I passed them, the girl called: “Look grandma! There's a fairy! ”I stopped, bowed like a fairy would, and kept walking, giggling because I thought it was very funny to be mistaken for a fairy.

    Yesterday at the Challenge, I only met a few residents of my home village on their morning walks and some squirrels who were curiously looking at what was strange in their neighborhood.

    Music is the bringer
    The music and support in the app helped so much! So here I was, "Eye of the tiger" deafening on my headphones, coming back from the vast woods of my home route and feeling like Rocky Balboa, the boxing machine ... my heartfelt thanks to the person (s) responsible for the playlist. AC / DC's “Thunderstruck” saved my day!

    After the trail I walked through my neighborhood and then again a part of the way right next to the train tracks. We always call the section “faster than the train”. This is meant ironically, because our trains often come late. Here I wanted to beat my best time and lo and behold: it worked out in the Challenge.

    A goal with a view
    I did my last laps in the stadium, where my entire support team welcomed me warmly and cheered me on. My dog ​​Ozzy was totally confused because I didn't stop to cuddle him as usual. Instead, he had to watch as I continued to run like a mad hamster in a circle.

    The last 90 seconds were very unique. I felt like I was part of a great story. That was a great challenge. You have outdone yourself! The support, the app, the motivation, the reports, all together, you can be proud of your performance and I think all runners worldwide were just as enthusiastic as I was.

Christa Vahlensieck

1977 - First world record at the BERLIN MARATHON

Ronaldo Da Costa

1998 - world record by a Brazilian

Patrick Makau

2011 - forecast confirmed and new world record set

  • After breaking the marathon sound barrier of 2:04 hours Haile Gebrselassie 2008 In 2011 a Kenyan stormed onto the podium of the BERLIN-MARATHON. In the previous year, slowed down by continuous rain, found Patrick Makau this time perfect running conditions and used them for the World record time of 2:03:38 hours.

    Florence Kiplagat won the women’s race in 2:19:44 hours, underscoring the importance of the fastest marathon route in the world.


Eliud Kipchoge

2018 - Kenyans make marathon history

Uta Pippig

Boundless through Berlin

  • When you hear the name Uta Pippig, the Brandenburg Gate immediately appears in front of your eyes. Born in Leipzig, she marked the beginning of a new era for the capital and the BERLIN MARATHON in 1990 with her run as a GDR runner across the boundaries of the divided city. Just three days before reunification, the route led through east and west for the first time.

    Top sport behind the iron curtain

    Uta Pippig began to train on long distances at the age of 13. In 1986, when she was not even 20, she won the marathon and thus the GDR championship in Leipzig. However, when she traveled to the Tokyo Marathon in 1988, her trainer Dieter Hogen was not allowed to accompany her. She was runner-up with a time of 2:32:20 hours. The political conditions in the GDR restricted people's self-determination. This also limited Uta Pippig's opportunities to establish himself in the international world of sport.

    The fall of the wall and Uta Pippig's breakthrough

    1990 therefore marked a breakthrough in various respects, for the overall German relationship, but also for Pippig's career. The wall had fallen and the participants of the BERLIN MARATHON were able to pass through the Brandenburg Gate on the new route for the first time. For many participants this was a special moment. Uta Pippig describes this moment in our video interview, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, with an incomparable feeling of freedom that inspires her in all her ways to this day. This day was crowned by her victory over 42.195 kilometers and the achievement of a new course record with a time of 2:28:37 hours.

    International success series

    Inspired by this experience, Uta Pippig appeared on the global stage of running in the early 1990s, collecting marathon victories in Boston and New York. In addition, she was named Runner of the Year in 1995 and 1996 by the Association of International Marathon and Road Race ‘1996. Between 1990 and 1996 she won the marathon distance competitions seven times in these cities. Participation in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 (7th place over 10,000 m) and Atlanta in 1996 complement these exceptional achievements.

    After the sport is before the sport

    Despite such a diverse athletic biography, Uta takes stock and says: "My victory in Berlin that day (BERLIN-MARATHON 1990) was probably the high point of my career emotionally." She remains with us to this day as the running expert of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON can more than deserve to call itself Berlin Legend!

Kenenisa Bekele

A sensational comeback

Winner Kenenisa Bekele (Podcast in English)

The winner right after the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2019

© Andy Edwards

Kenenisa Bekele | before the marathon (podcast in English)

Winner of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2016

© Andy Edwards

Tegla Loroupe

1999 - Kenyan breaks own world record by 4 seconds

Haile Gebrselassie

2006-2009 - Quadruple victory for the Ethiopian running legend

Wilson Kipsang

World record for the anniversary

  • In the presence of the previous world record runners of the BERLIN-MARATHON, who followed the race due to the anniversary celebrations of the 40th BERLIN-MARATHON 2013, the Kenyan Wilson Kipsang in world record time through the capital. The clock showed 2:03:23 hours when he was at the finish.

    Second by the way, in 2:04:05 hours there was a certain one Eliud Kipchoge in his second marathon. Never before has a runner-up in the world been faster than him.

    36,527 finishers were also a record.

Gladys Cherono

2015-2018 - The Gladys Cherono era

Interview with top German athletes

Anna Hahner | before the marathon

Fifth place at the 2017 BMW BERLIN MARATHON

© Andy Edwards

Philipp Pflieger | before the marathon

He ran a personal best at the 2015 BMW BERLIN MARATHON

© Andy Edwards

Gladys Cherono | before the marathon (podcast in English)

3-time winner of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, course record 2018

© Andy Edwards

Naoko Takahashi

2001 - The first woman under 2:20 hours

  • In the 28th edition of the BERLIN MARATHON in 2001 there wasn't just one more Women's world record. The Japanese Naoko Takahashi With her winning time of 2:19:46 she was the first woman in the world to need less than 2:20 hours over the classic distance of 42.195 km. The Olympic champion from Sydney 2000 was a folk heroine in her home country, which led to the fact that an audience of millions followed the live coverage of a Japanese broadcaster when the Berlin race was broadcast live in her home country. Naoko Takahashi's world record was only a week, as the Kenyan Catherine Ndereba was 59 seconds faster in Chicago.

    The Winner in the men was Joseph Ngolepus from Kenya in 2:08:47.

    Subscription winner Heinz Frei (Switzerland) got the once again Victory among the racing wheelchair users (1:30:24), while Edith Hunkeler won the women's race (1:47:46), also from Switzerland. In the finish were with 25,916 participants as many as never before.

Paul Tergat

2003 - World record set by former long-distance rail star Paul Tergat

  • To the 30th BERLIN MARATHON the destination was moved to the Brandenburg Gate, the start was on Straße des 17. Juni - a setting that has been in place to this day and ensures striking images around the world. The world record had been 2:05:38 for a year (Khannouchi / Chicago 2002) when the former long-distance rail star Paul Tergat set out on September 28th to run very fast.

    This was his sixth marathon he had never won. At the end of this anniversary marathon stood with 2:04:55 hours Not only was it a splendid new world record, it was also the result of a very animated course of the race, thanks to the second Kenyan at the top: Sammy Korir was Tergat's training partner, drove him to the finish line and thus played a major role in it new record. His deficit at the finish was 1 second.The fastest woman that day was she Japanese Yasuo Hashimoto (2:26:32).

    The finishers also set a record: they came for the first time more than 30,000 to the finish (30.837). Together with the school relay, the Bambini runs and the inline skaters were on the Berlin marathon weekend over 47,000 people active. Race Director Horst Milde retired after 29 years and passed the position on to his son Mark.

Irina Mikitenko

2008 - first German female runner under 2:20 h

  • At the BERLIN MARATHON 2008 ran Irina Mikitenko in 2:19:19 hours German record and was the first German female runner to stay below the 2:20 hour mark, the threshold to international top class. At the time, this was the fourth fastest time worldwide.

    From 2008 to 2010, she won the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series overall standings three times in a row for $ 500,000 each.


Dennis Kimetto

2014 - first runner under 2:03:00 h

  • In 2012 he was just second at the BERLIN-MARATHON behind his training colleague Geoffrey Mutai, although expert observers had the impression that he had held back out of respect or stable orders.

    Two years later the time had come: The Kenyan Dennis Kimetto benefited at the BERLIN MARATHON 2014 from the competition from his compatriot Emmanuel Mutai and won in world record time: With 2:02:57 hours he was the first runner to stay below the 2:03:00 mark.

    Three women stayed under 2:22 hours - a record for the BERLIN MARATHON.


Mare Dibaba

Promised is promised

  • Anyone who has ever run a marathon knows what agony the last few meters to the finish can mean. You just want to pull on your boots and not have to react to anything. In such a moment, in addition to true sportsmanship, the focus on the essentials helps. The top athlete Mare Dibaba possesses such useful qualities. If you ask the 29-year-old how she got it, she explains: “It comes from the strong ability to take my work seriously. I am able to stay focused and not allow myself to be distracted by other situations around me. "

    It certainly has to do with her strong self-confidence as well. And that in turn was the trigger for Mares sports career. Early success in school competitions inspired them to compete with their friends who were talented in running. It also withstood these tests. According to her current training concept: work hard, be respectful and plan with foresight, she conquered the world of athletics when she came from a small Ethiopian farm.

    Mare is always aware of where it comes from. She even sees it as a key to her development into a self-confident, successful power woman who can now give her family a payback. “Sport has changed my life. I used to be a nobody who didn't even have a dime on public transportation. Now I am self-employed and help my family lead a better life, ”said the 2014 Chicago Marathon winner, describing her situation. She is happy to give all women interested in running two or three tips for a successful sports career: “Stay strong and create a healthy base for yourself. Say no to everything that holds you back from your goal - even if that is difficult. Take the trainer's instructions seriously and pay full attention to your efforts ”.

    Mare is happy to return to the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, she appreciates the race with its fast course, in which she wants to improve her personal best of 2:19:52 hours. If you also want to set a personal best on the Berlin asphalt, the exceptional athlete advises: "Implement what you have learned in training in competition and never doubt yourself." On August 30, 2015, Mare Dibaba came true at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing a lifelong dream: she won the women's marathon.

    Even as a child, Mare promised her family that she would one day be at the top of a World Cup podium. True to her life motto "Never give up - stay strong", she contested the race in the Chinese capital. After almost 42 kilometers, the Ethiopian pulled away from the leading group. Mare was the first to reach the tartan track in the national stadium. There, however, she experienced the horror scenario described at the beginning. The Kenyan Helah Kiprop attacked her in the final meters. Mare mobilized all her strength and kept her word. With a gold medal around her neck, she returned to her family.

Katharina Rumpus

From the parking lot to the first place

  • “Don't compare yourself to others, concentrate on yourself and make the most of your options.” Inspired by her sporting role model Allyson Felix, coupled with down-to-earthness and determination, Katharina Rumpus has worked her way up to the top of inline skating - the true story of one Superwoman.


    The story of the footballer who metamorphosed from Gossenkicker to million-dollar professional is often told in the media. However, this storytelling is more likely to be attributed to resourceful player agents than to the truth. It is completely different with Katharina Rumpus, who actually began at the very beginning of her career. The 26-year-old from the Powerslide Matter World Team is currently one of Germany's fastest inline skaters.

    And that although Katharina started her legal traineeship in Neckarsulm at the beginning of the year. Such a double burden is not unknown to the athlete from Heilbronn. Even during school and university, she had to organize herself as a dual system. The prospective grammar school teacher for math and sports openly admits: “However, I also have to say that the legal clerkship is much more stressful than studying. I can no longer divide my time so flexibly and had to significantly reduce my workload. ”The thing seems to be worth it. Katharina had always made the decision to study. Her urge to impart knowledge is great, or as the Heilbronn native puts it so sympathetically: “I really enjoy the legal clerkship. I just love working with children and passing on my knowledge to them ”.


    What Katharina loves, she can do well, very well in fact. It was the same with skating. Actually, she never wanted to become a professional athlete. That rather develops out of love and enthusiasm for sport. Initially, Katharina stood on skis and not on rollers. She started her sporting career at a young age at Ski Sport Franken Heilbronn. In order to stay fit for the upcoming winter season in the summer months, Katharina trained inline slalom with her brother, always under the aegis of her father. Following her irrepressible will to win, she naturally also took part in competitions in this discipline. At one of these competitions, the family got to know inline speed skating by chance. "We were immediately on fire and so the insane journey began," the super woman explains that decisive moment. What followed were training sessions in parking lots that were lit at night or on bike paths. Her father gave the training, son and daughter implemented it skillfully. When asked about the miserable conditions of the training facilities, Katharina says straight out: “That didn't bother us, on the contrary, it made us tough and incredibly versatile. The competitions were not only an opportunity to compete with my peers, but also the chance to skate on tracks and real street courses ”. The concept worked. Katharina Rumpus won three world championship titles during her time as a junior. And in contrast to the kickers mentioned at the beginning, the Heilbronn native did not focus on sport as a full-time employment. She switched to the professional camp, but also studied. During her studies, the prospective academic concentrated on the marathon scene. The athlete was helped by her abilities to reflect on herself and to come back stronger from defeat. In 2016 Katharina became European champion over the distance of 42.195 kilometers. Last year she won the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON in 2018 when she was able to prevail against her competitor with a brilliant final sprint.

    Back to now. Katharina is also to be expected in this year's race and she is one of the top favorites, even though she had to cut down on her training due to her legal clerkship. “I think that despite everything, I'm in pretty good shape,” she says, modestly assessing her situation. Her sporting role model is Allyson Felix, so this statement takes on a completely different meaning. All women, like Katharina, who are interested in success on roles, she gives on the way: "Do not compare yourself to others, concentrate on yourself and make the most of your options."

Legendary hotspots of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON

Cult factor guaranteed