3. 4. 2016 is the day of 36. volume of 21km race. It does not matter whether you are beginner or proffesional skater. Also it is not relevant if you have fitness skates with 84mm wheels or speed skates with 125mm wheels. The only thing that matters is your passion for skating and desire to experience big and popular race. There are maximum 2 500 skaters in this race.
It is number of attendants which makes this race so special (along with Berlin maraton, which is held on 24. 9. 2016 with 10 000 racers). All skaters, proffesionals and amateurs are here together because of passion for skating. If you ask anyone about their feelings the answer is always - great race, great experience..
Of course, it requires perfect organization because of number of attendants and place - Berlin. Therefore organizers put emphasis on safety rules. If you are interested in Berlin halfmarathon, it is necessary to register in advance via: http://skating.berliner-halbmarathon.de/plane-dein-rennen/registrierung.html, (there are also all information about the race) and it is necessary also to pay for chip 6€ (uless you have your own). You cannot attend without chip because chips are used as a timer. You will also have to fill in a form about your health - whether you are able to attend 21km race or not. Questions are por instance about heart diseases in your family etc.). After one week you will get startpass via email. Despite the race is on sunday, you have to be at Berlin on saturday and visit BERLIN VITAL with this startpass and yor ID. There you will obtain start number and chip (if you do not own your own). Ticket for trade fair will be sent to you along with startpass (for you and other person who is your accompanion but does not attend the race).
The race starts at 9:30. Before the actual start you have to put your personal belongings to certain places (tents of trucks Kleiderablage - according to your starting number). Your stuff has to be put in bag you will get in Berlin Vital on saturday. Take only necessary things with you - mainly some warm clothes, the spring weather can be quite tricky. Things you do not really need are better to leave with your company. It is handy to have in bag copy of your health insurance card or important contacts in case some accident happens.
As for the actual start, you do not have to worry about start of so many skaters at one time. You will be asked to fill in your best time of halfmarathon so far. Your start will be set according to this information. It is therefore not real that some recreational skater will race with professional speedskater.
Starting ways and its division:
A Frauen (women) – Speed < 50:00 min
A Männer (men) – Speed < 40:00 min
B – Fitness < 53:00 min
C – Fitness ≥ 53:00 min
Racers from category A (speed) are evaluated differently and B - C racers (fitness) are always evaluated togethwe (men and women separately). Do not get confused by speed and fitness category, it does not mean that you have to use these types of skates. Your time limit matters, you can skate on whichever skates. However, be prepared that in speed category there are proffesional skaters who also do figure skating or short track (such as Bart Swings, Felix Rijhnen and other. Also they start in the front line).
After finish there will be beverage and snack for everyone, big foils to prevent chilling of the body. It is necessary to return the chip. Also if you show your starting number, you will be given tentative diploma with your time and position. Everyone will also get a commemorative medal.
Announcement of winners from category A - speed, B + C - fitness, is usually not public without long break. Only first three winners are announced. In case you are first, second, or third in fitness category (which is great success by the way), you will receive SMS with invitation for announcement. It is very hard to take 30th place at least - you have to be a great skater. This means you are able to finish 21km under 50:00 minutes as for women and for men under 40:00. If so, you can start in category A - speed, however in case that this is your first race, you will be automatically put into category B. You can ask for trasfering to A group again, but do not forget that the greates skaters are able to finish halfmarathon under 32 min (if the conditions are good). It is better then to stay in B category - fitness and truly compete. Who does not dream about victory or just want to enjoy skating, try category C - where the most important is your personal feeling and joy.
Winners of fitness category are not announced. Winners get free starting to next year Berlin halfmarathon 2017.
Each contestant will receive (by post) official diploma with time and magazine where you can find scoreboard and several reports about race.
In case you are considering attending Berlin halfmarathon, do not hesitate! It does really worth it. The motto of race is: „Der schönste Start in den Frühling“ – which means: the most beautiful start in the spring. It does not mean that you will skate in warm spring weather, but you will experience the atmosphere of this unique event.
Hanka Duspivová /RTS Prague/ - Inline Centrum