On 04 September 2015 at 22:49 | updated on 15 September 2018 at 00:00

History of the Skating Marathon of Berlin

History of the Skating Marathon of Berlin

With the upcoming 2015 edition of the Skating Marathon of Berlin, we wanted to trace history fragments of the biggest skate race in the world, since its opening to skating in 1997 until today...

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

Back to the Past

1997: From running to skating

Marathon Roller de Berlin• 446 skaters

For the first time in 1997, the Berlin Marathon is opened to skating, at the instigation of Mark Milde, a running lover who also practices long distance triathlon (Ironman). While the runners start on Sunday morning, the skaters invade the Berlin asphalt as soon as Saturday morning.

'When skating became more and more popular, I thought we could organize a race in the streets. We had lots of requests to add skating to the running marathon' Mark remembers. 'The skating marathon of Berlin is now the biggest in the world. Nearly 10.000 skaters took part in the 2003 edition. The race takes place one day before the running category so that the skaters can have their own event. This sport deserves to be under the spotlight.'


• 1.945 skaters

The French seize the Women's Top-3 and the Men's Top-2!


• 4.350 skaters

In 2 years, the number of registered skaters is multiplied by 10.

2000: Time has come

• 6.741 registered skaters

Tristan Loy breaks the record of the race in 01:01:08. The organization breaks its skating participant record, and countless spots in the streets are completely jammed.

2001: Lack of space

• 6.150 skaters in the running

The organization still mixes skaters and runners. The running marathon is such a success that the number of places for skaters is considerably reduced. The organization decides to limit the number of skaters to 6.000 to avoid accidents. The skaters start from a different start area than that of the runners, on An Der Urania Street. Waves are also implemented to avoid the streets to get jammed.

2002: All kinds of croppers

• Officially 8.365 skaters
• Many swindlers join in the packs

A mixed review for that edition. The organization notices a lot of swindlers in addition to the 8.365 officially registered skaters. At the 7th kilometer of the race, a wheelchair athlete is ejected from his chair by skaters. Not great for the image of skating! The event review also states many falls due to the lack of technique of the skaters... and to the water spilt at the supply points by careless skaters!

2003: 9.612 skaters, the biggest year!

• 9.612 registered skaters (6.214 men / 3.398 women)
• 7.571 take the start (4.976 men / 2.595 women)
• 7.521 finish the race (4.947 men / 2.574 women)

Considering the crowd, the organization decides that the skaters will have their own start on Saturday. 2003 is the hat-trick year for the women of the Verducci International Team. Julie Glass wins in front of her team mate Jessica Smith and Theresa Cliff. Laura Lardani finishes 4th for Rollerblade, with the same time as the 3rd skater. In the men's, Juan Carlos Betancour (Salomon) is the first skater to win twice in a row.

2004: After rain comes fair weather

• 8.191 registered skaters

The skaters take the start on a wet ground and finish at the sprint on a dry ground. The Swiss Roger Schneider and Cecilia Baena (Colombia, 17, junior women's) both confound all forecasts in being faster than the favorites. The two skaters get 5.000€ each for their victories.

On the demonstration side, the public attends a speed challenge on 100 m between the cyclist Jens Voigt and the world champion in skating, Chad Hedrick.

Hilde GoovaertsThe organization offers the skaters to relive their race in video. A DVD is offered to the participants after the race: a 50-min production with the afterparty, the warm-ups, the highlights...

2005: Another Italian hat-trick

• 8.098 registered skaters

Luca Saggiorato (Italy) achieves the stunning time of 01:01:21, the fastest time in history since Tristan Loy's (01:01:08). The Italians seize the Top-3 places. In the Women's, Brigitte Mendez (Colombia) performs the fastest time since 2000 in 01:10:43.

2006: Italian Top-4

• 7.932 skaters on the start line

In 2006 the organization sets up the course we know today, passing under the Brandenburg Gate.
Italy achieves another hat trick with Luca Saggiorato, Massimiliano Presti and Francesco Zangarini... The same Top-3 as the previous year but in a different order. Let's note that Pierre Davide Romani (MMCmicro Salomon), also Italian, finishes 4th!

2007: A rainy edition

• 7.624 registered skaters

Rain crashes the party that year, with downpours falling on the skaters. The organization however notes far less falls than for the previous editions, the skaters were probably more careful!
For the first time, the skating marathon is broadcasted live on TV, on the German channel RBB (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg). All along the course, 150.000 spectators are there to support the skaters.

2008: Mantia regulates the sprint and almost goes under the hour

Photo finish du marathon roller de Berlin 2008• 7.685 registered skaters

A speed challenge is organized at the foot of the Brandenburg Gate, between the then-best skating sprinter in the world, Gregori Duggento, gold medallist at the world championships of speed skating on 200 m, and another skater (both on wheels and ice), Matthias Schwierz, German #1 in sprint and several times European champion.

200.000 spectators standing by the road side watch the victory of Joey Mantia in front of the Alessi Powerslide formation in 01:00:33.

2009: Schedule conflit

• 7.612 skaters on the start line

In 2009, the Skating Marathon of Berlin takes place at the same time as the World Championships. The organization ironically points out that many skaters have chosen the German capital over China.

Cecilia Baena (Colombia) and Luca Saggiorato (Italy) both make it three that year.

2010: Focus on the 'double starters'

• 7.583 skaters

Skaters have to brave the rain for that edition. Giovanna Turchiarelly (ITA, Alessi World Team) and Severin Widmen (SUI, Luigino Rollerblade World Team) win their respective races. Felix Rijhnen is the first German to rank in the Top-5.

The organization says a few words about the 'double starters', the skaters who do both the skating and the running race: Ulla Hingst (1:24:12/4:08:43) et Nico Wieduwilt (1:17:01/3:06:26)

2011: A tragical year for the organization

Alexandre Uphues• 6.572 registered skaters

Alexander Uphues, the organizer and one of the key figures of the Berlin Marathon, dies as a result of a tragic accident in Tibet, run over by a truck, that very same day.

As for the race, more than 50 countries are represented on the start line of the greatest skating marathon in the world. The American Joey Mantia (Team Simmons/Schänkel) comes back with the will to break his own record of 01:00:32 from 2008. But it is without taking into account the French Ewen Fernandez who signs the most beautiful victory of his marathon career with a 21-km breakaway!

2012: 52 countries are represented

• 6.846 registered skaters

52 countries are represented for the 16th edition, including Denmark with 619 participants. More than 2000 women line up on the start line.

2013: under the hour

• 6.298 registered skaters

Bart Swings shows his superiority in winning the Berlin Marathon in solo, and finally skating under the hour, 16 years after the creation of the event, in 00:59:28.

2014: The year of doubt

Logo marathon roller berlin 2015• 5.652 registered skaters (only)

In July 2014 an alarmist release announces that the greatest skating marathon in the word is in danger for 2015 and that the organization considers a possible annulation of the race. Human commitment and financial investment are such that the future is called into question. The Skating Marathon of Berlin mobilizes several hundreds of people on a single day (volunteers, medical staff, security services...) The SCC Events Company announces that the 42th edition will take place as planned on September 26th, 2015 but that they count on the support of the industry and of the skaters for the race to carry on. The organization expects much of the inclusion of skating into the Olympic Games, which would give a new boost to the practice.

2014 is also the year where Bart Swings breaks his own record of the race in a breakaway in 00:58:10. The Dutch Manon Kamminga (Powerslide Matter) also breaks the women' record in 01:07:44... Faster than the first man to win the race in 1997! It goes to show the evolution of the technical level, training and equipment.

2015: Stabilization

  • 5585 registered skaters

The 2015 edition of the Berlin Marathon gathers more or less the same number of competitors as in 2014. Bart Swings beat his on record, once again, after a long solo breakaway: 56:48" !
Another reassuring sign, the date of the 2016 edition is already announced. If you couldn't register this year, save the date: September 25th, 2016!

Evolution of the number of participants

Evolution of the number of participants at the Skating Marathon of Berlin since 1997

Evolution du nombre de participants au marathon roller de Berlin

The chart above shows the evolution of the number of participants at the skating marathon of Berlin since its creation. Despite a drop in 2001, the growth rate is steady until 2003, peaking with a number close to 10.000 registered skaters. The event reaches maturity and a stabilization phase follows from 2004 to 2010. Since then, attendance as been diminishing year after year. Let's hope that it won't drop any lower for the event to carry on!

A marathon cut out for records

Berlin is one of the rare marathons the course of which respects the official 42.195 km. It is one of the fastest by foot. It is very suitable for skaters who reach impressive average speeds on the wide straight roads of the German capital. In 2013, Bart Swings (Powerslide Matter) skates under the hour in 59:28 after one of his special solo breakaways. In 2014 he does it again and goes down to 58:10!
Berlin is a bit like the 'Wimbledon of skating' as the organization likes to say: The symbolical strength and the worldwide reputation of the race are such that winning the Skating Marathon of Berlin is often more valuable than winning the marathon at the world championships.

Berlin: Final of the German Inline Cup

Logo marathon de Berlin

2014 was a special year: For the first time since its opening to skating, the Berlin Marathon serves as the final of the German Inline Cup, the German Cup of Skating Marathon.

The Skating Marathon of Berlin smiles on the French

Since 1996, the Skating Marathon of Berlin has been won 6 times by French skaters! Pascal Briand won the first edition in 1997, then Johann Langenberg in 1998, Tristan Loy in 1999, Arnaud Gicquel in 2001 and more recently Ewen Fernandez in 2001 and 2012. France is ahead of Italy with the 3 victories of Luca Saggiorato in 2005, 2006 and 2009.

In the Women's, Colombia won the race 4 times with Cecilia Baena in 2004, 2008 and 2009 and Brigitte Mendez in 2005... Just like France with Caroline Jean in 1997, Caroline Lagrée in 1998, Angèle Vanda in 2000 and 2002. Germany is 2nd thanks to Anne Titze and Sabine Berg. Here is a recap of all the Top-3s since the creation of the event...

Senior Women


1Caroline JeanFRASalomon1:15:30
2Caroline LagreeFRASalomon1:15:30
3Anne TitzeGER 1:15:31


1Caroline LagreeFRASalomon 1:14:20
2Sandrine PluFRA 1:15:08
3Estelle FlourensFRA 1:16:21


1Anne TitzeGERGroß-Gerau1:09:32
2Nathalie BarbotinFRASalomon1:09:32
3Caroline JeanFRASalomon


1Angele VaudanFRA
2Andrea GonzalezARG
3Caroline LagréeFRASalomon 1:11:11


1Sheila HerreroESPVerducci International1:12:57
2Angele VaudanFRARoces1:12:57
3Jessica SmithUSA


1Angele VaudanFRARoces International Team1:13:59
2Silvia NinoCOLRoad Runners Rollerblade1:13:59
3Laura LombardoITARoces International Team1:14:00


1Julie GlassUSAVerducci International1:11:28
2Jessica SmithUSAVerducci International1:11:28
3Theresa CliffUSAVerducci International1:11:28


1Cecilia BaenaCOL 1:17:08
2Julie GlassUSA 1:17:08
3Laura LardaniITA 1:17:09


1Brigytte MendezCOLK2 Empire Team1:10:43
2Brittany BoweUSAPowerslide1:10:43
3Julie GlassUSAPowerslide1:10:43


1Giovanna TuchiarelliITAAlessi Powerslide1:14:02
2Angele VaudanFRARollerblade World Team1:14:02
3Sandra GomezESPAlessi Powerslide1:14:02


1Hilde GoovaertsBELCadomotus World1:23:20
2Sabine BergGERPowerslide Phuzion Junior Team1:23:20
3Laura LardaniITASportvital Rollerblade1:23:20


1Cecilia BaenaCOLBont Wheels1:13:23
2Giovanna TurchiarelliITAPowerslide Alessi World
3Simona Di EugenioITA MPC Rollerblade World Team1:13:23


1Cecilia BaenaCOLPowerslide Matter World Team1:14:47
2Giovanna TurchiarelliITAPowerslide Matter World Team1:14:47
3Kelly MartinezCOLBont Wheel Team1:14:47


1Giovanna TurchiarelliITAAlessi Powerslide1:22:25
2Cecilia BaenaCOLPowerslide Matter World1:22:25
3Katharina RumpusGERPowerslide Matter World1:22:26


1Sabine BergGERPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:14:56
2Giovanna TurchiarelliITAAlessi World Team1:14:56
3Tina StrüverGERExperts Race Team1:14:56


1Sabine BergGERPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:14:13
2Jana GegnerGEREOSkates1:14:13
3Ulbrich, KatjaGERGB Racingteam1:14:13


1Manon KammingaNEDPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:09:58
2Katharina RumpusGERPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:14:12
3Sabine BergGERPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:14:12


1Manon KammingaNEDPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:07:44
2Katharina RumpusGERPowerslide/Matter Race Team1:09:15
3Elma de VriesNEDTeam Sprog1:09:15


1Sandrine TasBELXL Tulips Powerslide1:09:20
2Manon Kamminga
NEDPowerslide/Matter racing1:09:21
3Katharina RumpusGERPowerslide/Matter racing1:09:48

Senior men


1PascalBriandFRA Salomon World Team1:07:52
2ArnaudGicquelFRA Bauer1:07:52
3TristanLoyFRA Salomon World Team1:07:55


1Johann LangenbergFRA 1:07:32
2Fabio MarangoniITA 1:07:34
3Arnaud GicquelFRABauer1:10:30


1Tristan LoyFRASalomon World Team1:01:08
2Cedric MichaudFRASalomon World Team1:01:08
3Alban CherdelFRA AMS / Roces1:02:03


1Chad HedrickUSA 1:01:45
2Diego RoseroCOLRollerblade1:01:45
3Shane DobbinNZL 1:01:45


1Arnaud GicquelFRARollerblade1:04:17
2Baptiste GrandgirardFRAFila1:04:17
3Massimiliano PrestiITA Salomon World Team1:04:17


1Juan-Carlos BetancurCOLSaab Salomon World Team1:04:44
2Kalon DobbinNZLRollerblade World Team1:04:44
3Jorge BoteroCOLRollerblade World Team


1Juan-Carlos BetancurCOLSalomon World Team1:02:03
2Massimiliano PrestiITASalomon World Team1:02:03
3Diego RoseroCOLRollerblade1:02:03


1Roger SchneiderSUISport XX1:04:43
2Luca SaggioratoITAFila1:05:00
3Massimiliano PrestiITAFila


1Luca SaggioratoITA 1:01:21
2Francesco ZangariniITA 1:01:21
3Massimiliano PrestiITA 1:01:21


1Luca SaggioratoITAMMCmicro Salomon1:02:25
2Massimiliano PrestiITAMMCmicro Salomon1:02:25
3Francesco ZangariniITAMMCmicro Salomon


1Nicolas ItenSUI Sportvital Rollerblade World1:12:30
2Peter MichaelNZL Powerslide Phuzion1:12:35
3Roger SchneiderSUI Athleticum Rollerblade1:12:35


1Joey MantiaUSALuigino Answer Wheels 1:00:32
2Fabio FrancoliniITAPowerslide Alessi World Team 1:00:32
3Elio CuncuITAPowerslide Alessi World Team 1:00:32


1Luca SaggioratoITARollerblade World Team1:02:50
2Yann GuyaderFRAPowerslide Matter1:02:50
3Christian Diaz GranadosCOLPowerslide Phuzion1:02:50


1Severin WidmerSUILuigino Rollerblade1:09:19
2Gary HekmanNEDPays-Bas1:09:19
3Thomas BoucherFRARollerblade1:09:19


1Ewen FernandezFRAPowerslide Matter1:01:26
2Roger SchneiderSUISwiss Skate Team1:02:38
3Julien LevrardFRALevallois SC1:02:43


1Ewen FernandezFRAPowerslide Matter1:00:04
2Bart SwingsBELPowerslide Matter1:00:04
3Felix RijhnenGERPowerslide Matter1:02:48


1Bart SwingsBELPowerslide Matter0:59:28
2Maarten SwingsBELPowerslide Matter1:01:23
3Gary HekmanNEDTeam van Werven1:01:27


1Bart SwingsBELPowerslide/Matter Race Team0:58:10
2Severin WidmerSUISwiss Skate Team1:01:01
3Gary HekmanNEDTeam van Werven1:02:48


1Bart SwingsBELPowerslide/Matter Race Team0:56:48
2Gary Hekman
NEDTeam van Werven1:00:03
3Peula, Francisco JoséESPEl Pilar Marianistas1:00:03


Skating Marathon of Berlin 2015

Texte : Alfathor
Photos: organization, all rights reserved
Released  on 04 September 2015 - Read 12188 times

By :
Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

Web site Google+ Facebook Twitter

Want to join? Email us!