Spring Half Marathon

Berlin, Germany
Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

After a two year hiatus, we are very happy to announce that our 2022 WRW European half marathon will be in Berlin, Germany.

A hub of history, art, music and graffiti, Berlin is home to 3.7 million people and three UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city has more museums than annual rainy days, more bridges than Venice, and is 9x the area of Paris. It has a bohemian vibe, yet is ordered, efficient and cultured. David Bowie, who wrote much of his music there in the 1970’s, declared the reunified Berlin “the greatest cultural extravaganza one could imagine!”

The Berlin Half is Germany’s largest half marathon. First held in 1985 and now hosting 30,000 runners, the race starts in the Tiergarten (Germany’s largest urban garden and home to the Berlin Zoo), passing many of Berlin’s famous sights and streets, before finishing at the historic Brandenberg Gate. The race boasts great support from local fans, excellent on-course support (water, refreshments, toilets and medical) and is consistently highly rated by runners eager to break records on the flat and flat course. The cut-off is 3 hours 15 minutes. The race organisers have just successfully completed the running of the (rescheduled) 2021 Berlin Half in August, as well as the Berlin Marathon three weeks ago, with health requirements in place (more below). We are optimistic that the 2022 Half will proceed as planned on April 3rd.

As we have welcomed many new WRW runners over the last two years, a quick word about how our annual trip works.  Our half marathon trip is for WRW runners only, ie: no spouses, no partners, no kids, no non-runners.  This weekend is for you and the women in our group, only. The entire trip is largely organised for you. We simply ask that you read each trip email (including this one) to the very end and follow instructions to register promptly for the race (now), the hotel (soon) and dinners and optional tours (early 2022). This greatly helps our planning for a large group. Dinners will be pre-booked and pre-paid, and we will collect money for those in the new year.

COVID adjustments
The race organisers have strict health requirements in place. EVERY runner will be required to show digital proof of vaccination at the Expo (or receive a negative PCR test while there) and receive a confirming wristband. We will share more information later, but those receiving a provisional QR wristband based on a test at the Expo, will have that wristband re-scanned on race morning. Only with negative results confirmed will an official wristband be issued. You will be unable to enter the race start area, or step on the course, without the official wristband. 

As this is a private trip of running friends, and we will be spending significant time indoors together, out of respect for your fellow WRW runners, please only plan to join us if you have been fully vaccinated (absent a medical exemption which prevents you from being vaccinated). If you have any questions about this, let us know.

Obviously, we will all need to comply with any testing mandates that may be in place in April, to enter Germany or return to the UK.

Schedule for the Weekend

  • Friday, April 1st – Fly to Berlin and check into our hotel. Visit the race expo (Fri or Sat) to complete covid formalities and collect race bibs. Gather for happy hour at the hotel, before pace-group dinners at local restaurants.
  • Saturday April 2nd – Explore and enjoy Berlin at your leisure. Visit the race expo if you didn’t on Friday. Private guided tours will be offered, for advance sign up. In the evening, we’ll have a pre-race dinner together at a local restaurant.
  • Sunday April 3rd– The half marathon starts (in strictly enforced waves) between 10a -11a. We encourage early finishers to cheer on later finishers and Beginners, before all retiring back to our hotel for a well-earned liquid refreshment. We’ll then switch running gear for evening wear, for a WRW celebration dinner in a private space at our hotel!
  • Monday, April 4th– Return to London

What happens now?

  • Race registration – ** IMPORTANT ** Registration is OPEN and is expected to sell out before the end of the year, possibly as soon as late November, as it has the last two years. This is hard to predict this year, and we will endeavour to monitor registrations with our race contacts, but if you think there is even a chance you will want to come on the trip, please sign up here as soon as possible, to secure your spot. Race registration is €69 (~£59) and is non-refundable and non-transferable given concurrent vaccination requirements. We understand some may be uncertain about committing to a race this far out, but this is one concession we needed to make this year, to find a confirmed spring date in our race window, which meets all our other WRW criteria. (Online registration is mostly self-explanatory, though we have instructions coming right after this, in a separate email. For those who don’t need instructions, note that you will need to create an SCC user account (easy) and then please list “Women Running The World” as your club, when prompted, so we can track registrations.)
  • Flights  – There are many non-stop daily flights to Berlin, so choose whichever suits you best. Prices will rise over time, so either book now, or keep an eye on flights, and make your own decision about whether to buy refundable fares, book mileage tickets, or snap up a low-priced but potentially non-refundable fare now. If you have travelled to Berlin previously, note that Tegel airport closed in November 2020. All flights now go into the newly opened Brandenberg airport (BER). The old Schönefeld airport operates as Terminal 5 of Brandenberg. We will share info on airport transfers, and using Berlin’s transit system, in an email closer to the trip. 
  • Hotel.  We have negotiated a large block of rooms at a hotel in Berlin that is a 10 minute walk to the race start/finish. We’ll email in the next week or so with details about how to book those. Rooms will be cancelable without penalty up until one week before arrival.

Looking ahead to the overall cost of the weekend, hotel rooms are approximately €165 (single) – €185 (double) per night (~£145 – £160), including breakfast. Dinners will likely be in the range of £45 – £70 per night.  These costs are not finalized yet, but shouldn’t change significantly. 

Please save the dates of April 1st – 4th, 2022. We are really excited to share this weekend with you. The most important thing is that you register as soon as possible and secure your bib, before the race sells out. Once the race is full, you will not be able to sign up. Entries are not transferable from one runner to another, and everyone will need their own registration. 

If you have any questions, please let us know at wrwlondon@gmail.com. In the meantime, feel free to follow the 2022 Berlin Half on Facebook or instagram @berlinerhalbmarathon. It’s going to be an incredible weekend. And, yes . . . . keep on running!