• AFP-Jiji


Organizers hope that up to 35,000 runners can take part in the Berlin marathon this September as part of a pilot project as Germany eases COVID-19 restrictions.

In a joint press conference on Monday, Berlin’s senate and marathon organizers outlined plans to first hold two test events, a 10-kilometer race in July and a half marathon in August.

Providing all goes well and the rate of infection remains low, the Berlin marathon would take place on Sept. 26.

Runners would either have to prove they are fully innoculated or undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as part of a hygiene program still to be approved by Berlin’s health authority.

“There is no certainty that the Berlin Marathon can take place, but the probability is there,” said Berlin senator Andreas Geise.

“If the incidence rates continue to fall, approval of the pilot project is conceivable.”

A maximum field of 35,000 would be 10,000 fewer than the 45,000 who took part in the 2019 Berlin marathon, the last one before the 2020 race was canceled due to the pandemic.

The official world record for the men’s marathon was set in Berlin in 2018 when Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the distance in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

The top three fastest race times for the men’s marathon have all been run in Berlin.

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