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5 Biggest Marathons


4
Berlin Marathon
Runners pass the Brandenburg Gate during the 36th Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009. Some 40,000 runners take part in the competition.
Runners pass the Brandenburg Gate during the 36th Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009. Some 40,000 runners take part in the competition.
AP Photo/Gero Breloer

Formed in 1974, the Berlin Marathon was originally run through the Grunewald, a heavily forested borough of the capital city. In 1981, the course moved into the city proper, with runners competing in the center of West Berlin. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 1990 race was rerouted to incorporate sections of East Berlin as well. Like Chicago, the Berlin Marathon is known as a flat and fast race that's a favorite for runners looking to break personal bests amid the cool September temperatures.

The race draws vast and enthusiastic crowds that number more than 1.5 million, and its scenic route through historic architecture and the famous Brandenburg Gate draws runners and spectators alike. The most finishers the race has seen came in 2008, when 35,913 out of 40,000 entrants broke the tape. The total purse for the race is $340,000, with $64,000 going to each male and female champion. Course records were set in 2007 and 2005 for the men and women, respectively, with times of 2:04:26 and 2:19:12. The entry fee in 2010 for the Berlin Marathon was $170.


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