Hamburg Marathon 2010

Now that the London rejections are out, and I've got my tacky red plastic virgin mac, I was looking for an alternative.  With Brighton also full, and the Scots wanting £2.50 just to pay to enter Edinburgh, I thought I might give Hamburg a pop.   I have heard quite a few good reports about it, and really enjoyed doing Berlin a few times, but any views one way or the other ? 



  • I love running Hamburg and have done it a few times now. I have also run Berlin. Both races are excellently organised and enjoy enormous and very enthusiastic support all the way along the route. I have to say that I prefer Hamburg. The support there is more personal and warmer and it's an excellent time of year to run.

    I can warmly recommend Hamburg. It's a fantastic place to run.

  • Right back at ya, slack al.  Entered Paris as the London alternative.  Do feel just a little bit conned even though you volunatarily let your fee go in return for a jacket ?  My jacket fits nicely though.
  • Another recommendation for Hamburg.

    I did it in 2005, and loved it. Huge event, perfectly organised and enthusiastically supported by (they estimate) more than half a million spectators.

    Nice city too. We found plenty to do over a long weekend, then hired a car and had 2 or 3 days outside the city.

    The course is dead flat. Some of it is a little dull if I'm honest, meandering around the suburbs, but there are plenty of interesting places too, like the dock area, and through the city centre.

    Go for it.

  • Hi,

    anyone know if this sells out generally? I like the look of it, but can't commit just yet

  • just read the below from the official website...  does anybody know of anyone who has been rejected under this selection process?  Don't think I can handle another rejection this year  image 

    Entrant Selection process (runners only)
    Starters will be selected by a selection process after the registration deadline has expired. All entries will be sorted according to time categories. There will be a fixed number of entrants allocated for each time category (3; 3,5; 3,30; …6 hours for first time runners). Within each time category there is also a set quota for women runners. Should a time category be over-subscribed the organizers of Marathon Hamburg will apply a selection process which will be restricted only to the respective time category and will not affect other time categories. The selection process applies only to individual entries and not to team and other group entries which will be treated separately. All walkers and entrants who meet the following criteria will not be affected by the selection process: (i.e. are guaranteed a starter place)

  • No - this is new to 2010. There hasn't been an entrant selection process before.
  • robejo - did NYC Marathon at the weekend and spoke to the Hamburg guys at the Expo as am keen to do this one next year.

    Didn't ask specifically about the selection process, but the guy mentioned that as a foreigner I was almost certain to get in if I applied shortly as I believe they have a quota for overseas runners that is more generous than for domestic entries. He also said that although the entry closes for domestic entries fairly soon (end of Nov I think?), foreign entries are accepted into next year. That said, am literally doing my entry in the next five minutes to be safe!

    Have only heard good things about this marathon. Flat, fast course, yet has good crowds. Well organised (is Germany after all!) and reasonably cheap city to get to (from UK anyway) and stay in. If you were looking for another London alternative, I can definitely recommend Paris. Amazing course and great crowds, although slight downside is cost of accomodation.

    Who else is in for Hamburg?!

  • It's a bit ambiguous to say the least. I have registered online and received the following e-mail:

    Dear Participant!

    Your online registration has been processed under the order ID XXXXXXXXXXX.

    Pending the receipt of your final payment of 93,50 euros,
    you are registered as follows:

    Blah, blah, blah...

    Your account/credit card will be charged the above amount in the next few days.
    The charge can be identified by the reference "XXXXXXXXXXXXX".

    Thank you!

    I also now appear in a list of 'participants' on the website. This would all see to imply that I have secured a place, but I would like to know for sure before booking flights and hotels. Also, if I don't get a place in the marathon, I don't want to miss the opportunity of entering the Barcelona marathon. Can anyone shed any light on this?
  • If they've taken your money and your name appears on the participant list, I reckon it's a fairly safe bet to say you're in.

    For what it's worth, I went through this process some weeks ago and haven't received anything other than what you've mentioned (by email or post), but am working on assumption that I'm in and have booked flights.

    Can always enter Barcelona as well, I have! Am running that as part of a solid training plan for Hamburg (where am trying for Boston qualifying), and there is still sufficient recovery time between the two (so says Hal Higdon anyway)...

  • Thank you theboynice! Now why did you have to go and put that idea in my head!!!! Very tempting!
  • Hi All,

    I'm signed up for this also. Anyone in the know have any suggestions for best area to stay or even a decent hotel suggestion? I'm guessing somewhere in the vicinity of the start/finish area is always a good bet!

     Any info appreciated, ta.

  • also just signed up.

    have just finished Luton which was a bit of a slog in the wind, so I wanted something fast, flat and temperate to go for next.

    ditto for advice on accommodation.  

  • Hi All,

    This will be my first Marathon (after another London rejection, boo!), I have my place confirmed and my accommodation booked (pre and post race anyway).

    Anyone know if the German RW has pacers at this event the way they do at the London Marathon?

  • all quiet since january...

    who is still going? how is training going?

    any more news/info from/on Hamburg? 

  • Birdy123Birdy123 ✭✭✭
    Is there anyone out there who is still going to Hamburg or is it going to be a small expeditionary party from the UK taking on all-comers?I've now completed my last serious long run and would appear to be in much better shape for Hamburg than at the same point for Dublin 2009, my first marathon.  That said, I think that breaking 4 hours for the first time may still be a little ambitious even if I am only trying to shave a further 8 minutes off.

     Interested to hear from anyone else who is going over.

  • Hello Birdy123!

    I think you're right - we are in quite an exclusive group. On the marathon website, you can check the list of participants and search by city. I seem to be the only person doing the marathon from Leeds, the fourth largest city in the country, I think, and I've looked for participants from Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle and Bristol and there's nobody! There only appears to be 30 odd people registered from London, and half of them have German sounding names, so it looks like our country is depending on us!

    Glad to hear you're feeling in good shape. My first marathon was also Dublin 2009, which I managed in 3:42. I did the Liverpool half marathon a week last Sunday to test my fitness for Hamburg, and my result there (1:34) confirms my marathon prediction time from my last 10k in November (the Leeds Abbey Dash), which is 3:20. I have to say, this seems like wishful thinking to me, but, as long as we luck out with the weather (please, no wind or rain), and the course is as flat as its supposed to be, I might stand a chance. I'd be more than happy to break 3:30.

    I too just did my last 20 miler yesterday after a long and boozy weekend in Prague. Thankfully it went okay. Like I kept saying to myself as I downed one beer after another, you build up fitness over weeks and months, not days!! I'm definitely gonna be (a little) better behaved from now to the marathon.

    Anyway, good luck with the magic taper. I look forward to your next post, and to hearing from anyone else headed to Hamburg.

  • Birdy, Marcus - add me to the apparently short list of Brits running this one. Live in London, but thegirlnice is German and so we're seeing her family over in Hamburg before and after the race.

    Being flat and fast, had planned Hamburg for my major assault on the 3 hour barrier, but somehow managed to break that in Barcelona last month, so have been a little slack on the training front since. I now also have a stag weekend starting in Edinburgh tomorrow. As such, just hoping to get round in as close to 3 hours as possible, without being in too much of a mess at the end in front of 'der in-laws'.

    Last long-ish run today, but hoping that the hard training and big mileage I managed over the winter for Barcelona will still stand me in good stead.

    Looking forward to it...

  • Three hours, Master Nice?! That's really awesome - well done. You'll have to give me some training tips. I wouldn't worry about the stag weekend - you've got plenty of time to recover, provided you don't get totally trashed, fall over and break a leg...or summat!
  • Hi all, I'll be in Hamburg too, with my boyfriend. We're both from London and are definitely from the 50% of non-German sounding names. Really looking forward to it. Hoping to break 4 hours - 3 hours is a very distant dream, well done theboynice!!! It's my fourth marathon, and bf's 1st... although sadly I think he's going to find it a lot easier than me, damn him. I introduce him to running and he repays me by becoming faster and fitter than me... how rude!

     Anyone know what the weather tends to be like in Hamburg at this time of year? We didn't really enjoy our first sunny run of 2010 the weekend just gone.

     Good luck everyone!

  • Hi Amelia. I have only run Hamburg 3 times, so I'm not sure I can give ultra reliable weather response, but the times that I have run have been warm - around 20°C. It's a great route though and I hope you have a great run (and beat bf). image
  • Hi all,

    Hope everyone's training has gone well. 

    It does get a bit wearing explaining to people that yes, you live in London yet you're flying to Hamburg to do a marathon on the same day as the VLM.

  • hello,

    back from a few days holiday, and glad to see that the thread has picked up a little life! I thought for a while that I would be a solo Brit challenger.

    training has gone ok, though a few strains here and there, so am now taking it very easy indeed. Last long run was a 22-miler over easter, so I'm hoping that this will be enough. No running at all for last 3 days, and did an easy 4 miles this morning. then maybe 12/13 over the weekend and that will be about it. Aiming for 3h45m, though warmer weather would start to worry me.

    Where are people staying in Hamburg? me and other half are at the Arcotel(?), which I think is in the red-light district, tho also not far from start/finish. Any other post race plans?

     cheers and good luck

  • We're staying at the Best Western... about 20 mins from start I think.

     I do hope we can all get there...! My bf is out in Germany already for work - he had to drive there yesterday. It would be pretty gutting to miss out... Begone ash cloud! 

  • Hi all... Unless there's a minor miracle and the planes start flying again I don't think I'm going to make it to the marathon. No coaches, no trains... Anyone fancy a car share???!!!

  • This is just unbelievably bad luck, isn't it? I am scheduled to fly out Saturday morning, so I haven't given up hope yet. If the worst comes to the very worst, there's bound to be Germans who can't make it to the London Marathon. I wonder what the feasibility of swapping marathons with them would be?
  • I'm on a Saturday morning flight and its starting to get a little worrying.  When are you thinking about alternatives?

  • I actually managed to book a train in the end... although fingers crossed the planes start flying again.

     I had the same thought about the London Marathon MW2. The VLM will be missing loads of international runners if this continues... what are the chances of them letting new people in? Probably fairly slim given the effort it takes to get into the London Marathon in the first place.

  • Afternoon All,

    Just catching up with this thread a little late in the day...

    So I'm another one of the English sounding names on the Hamburg entrant list from London! What a nightmare this is potentially eh! I guess putting it into perspective there are probably people in worse positions stuck around  the globe due to this volcano business but still, talk about bad luck on our part!

    I am booked on a Saturday morning plane out of Heathrow but, like the rest of you it seems, have been thinking through a "Plan B" over the last few days.

    Decided to book myself on a train (well 3 to be precise!) yesterday. All refundable tickets so if, fingers crossed, the ash cloud blows over then I haven't lost out. It basically means I'm having to leave first thing on Friday instead though. Eurostar to Brussels, then Brussels to Cologne and finally Cologne to Hamburg. 9 hours or so all in I think, which although on the face of it seems a mission (and more costly!!) I felt that it had to be done. After 20 weeks of training and all those miles I can't face the thought of just sitting at home watching the guys in London on the telly and thinking about what might have been!

    Anyway the train trip might be fun! If you are thinking about it then after sorting your Eurostar then check out for the train connections from Brussels onwards.

    Touchwood if at least I can get my original flight back home on the Monday it maybe won't be such a nightmare!

    As for swapping with some Germans heading over for VLM, that sounds a great idea but can you see the organisers managing to put that into practise between now and Sunday?? I can't I'm afraid! Oh well.

    Anyway, good luck to all getting there and for the race itself!



  • my back-up is the Halstead marathon 2 weeks later. a good local race by the sounds of it, but not quite the same as a big-city marathon.

    but some airspace open now, so I'm hopeful things will be fine for the weekend. I read that it would be easier for low-cost short-haul operators to get their schedules back to normal.

  • I had to ask, and this was the rather predictable reply:

    "Thank you for your email.

    Unfortunately we over-subscribe places in the Virgin London Marathon knowing that a certain percentage will drop out due to unforeseen circumstances. Due to this we are unable to enter anyone in the marathon at this short notice."

    After moping about all day, I'm feeling much more positive now. Both Sky News & The BBC say airspace will re-open tomorrow and special dispensation will be given to the airports to allow 24 hour flights to clear up the backlog. I've also read a Met report claiming volcanic activity has almost ceased, so hopefully we're back on track.

    Now I think I'll go and celebrate with my daily run - all 2 miles of it. No wonder I'm getting a tad tetchy!

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