Construction of the “Berlin Wall Trail” (Berliner Mauerweg) began in 2002 and was completed in 2006.
The Berlin Wall Trail traces the course of the former GDR border fortifications encircling West Berlin, the former western half of the city, along a total of around 160 kilometers. In most sections, this hiking and bike trail runs along the former patrol road used by customs officers in West Berlin or along the border control road used by GDR border troops for their own patrols. Sections of historic interest, with traces or remains of the old Wall, alternate with stretches of natural beauty that underscore the country’s good fortune in regaining its unity.
Signs mark the course of the Berlin Wall Trail, and maps displayed at regular intervals help bikers and pedestrians find their bearings. Berlin History Mile stations and the info markers along the Berlin Wall Trail also provide information in several languages on the division of Germany and the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall. Photographs and short texts describe events that happened at the site in question and recall the political situation and everyday life in the divided city. The “Berlin Wall Orientation System” in the city center has maps and listening stations and gives visitors another way to discover traces of the Wall. People who died at the Berlin Wall are recalled at 29 different places along the route with short biographies. These info markers complement the historical memorial markers and crosses still found in what was once West Berlin. The national memorial for the victims of the Berlin Wall is on the grounds of the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse. (More information on the victims is available at www.chronik-der-mauer.de
The route of the Berlin Wall Race consists – as the name suggests – almost exclusively of the official „Wall Trail“. The course is a big loop around the former „Westberlin“. The race is run clockwise or counterclockwise on alternate years. The race starts in a track and field arena near Cantianstraße (400 metres east of Mauerpark), but this arena is not always open to the general public and should not be the starting point of the FKT Route, which can be run starting at any point along the loop.
The Route leads directly through Berlin City and hence a lot of traffic. The official competition rules of the Race allow a crossing of the street ONLY when you have green light as a pedestrian. If you get caught running ONE red light during competition you are immediately DQed from the race. The Berlin police are quite strict about this. You have been warned!
Note that the overall & supported FKT is likely to be run in the race, and the race website will track these. We welcome submissions from outside the race, e.g., self supported runs of this route.
Surely the route shown is a variant of the actual Mauerweg trail? With the "official" route starting in Kladow/Wannsee Bhf or Wannsee Bhf/Kladow and not the race's route?
I'm biased, for reasons you can see in my other comment, but I'd be inclined to say it doesn't matter.
Ultimately, it's a looped course that's well signposted. If there was significant elevation or variation of surfaces there might be an argument to say different start/end points have more advantage than others but it's mostly flat, and mostly easy footing the whole way round (in my experience, I'm still missing about 35k from my sectional recce runs).
Id be happy to be corrected though if there is a hard and fast FKT rule that applies here. While I doubt I'll be setting the world on fire with my speed it'd be nice to do it right just in case, and the official start point is a short train ride from my house.
How do we summon the FKT gods to come and pass judgement?
I'll be attempting a self- supported run of the Mauerweg in late November. I trained for the race but had to drop out due to Covid, so I'll be running the GPX route provided by the race organizers - it's the one I'm most familiar with as I've trained sections of the course over the past year. I will, however, be starting in the south by the Kirschblütenallee as it's the nearest point on the loop to my home.
The GPX file does have a few doglegs that take you off the path of the Mauerweg for aid stations etc. I'll be avoiding these and following the actual Mauerweg, as shown by the path markers along the way.
There's a discrepancy between the length of the race route, and the length Katherine Welch ran during her (truly incredible and fast as hell, what a badass) solo run that holds the current FKT. I'm not sure if that's down to a different route, or the extra 15 or so k are due to coming off the track to get supplies. Either way, if there's going to be drama if I end up running less distance I'm not going to kick up much of a fuss.
I doubt I'll be anywhere near as fast anyway, but it'd be foolish of me to not post ahead of time in case I have a crazy good day.
Usual self support rules. No help, no spectators, carry everything possible, stop at shops for extras. This will be by far the longest self supported run I've ever attempted. Wish me luck!