The Berlin Marathon Expo is an exciting event that all registered participants get to experience while preparing for the race.
It’s more than just a place to collect your race pack; it’s a must-visit destination filled with thrilling activities and opportunities to explore the world of running.
Whether you’re a runner gearing up for the marathon or simply want to immerse yourself in the energy and excitement of the event, the Expo has something special for everyone.
The expo is a three-day event that features more than 100 exhibitors offering the latest in running apparel, shoes, accessories, nutrition, technology, and more.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Berlin Marathon Expo, including how to get there, parking information, and tips for navigating the event.
And how to not let the excitement of the expo interfere with your Berlin marathon goals!
Why You Should Not Miss The Berlin Marathon Expo
Attending the Berlin Marathon Expo is a fantastic opportunity to soak in the excitement, connect with fellow runners and fitness enthusiasts, and be part of the pre-race buzz. The Expo adds to the overall experience and anticipation leading up to the big race day.
By attending the Expo, runners can gain valuable insights, learn about new products and technologies, and connect with a supportive community of like-minded individuals.
There is of course a risk here though – new products and nutrition always seem like a great idea and I would always opt for athletes to try new things BUT never on race day. So NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY should be your mantra when walking through the expo.
Check out new products and apparel and purchase at will but be sure that none of this new gear goes with you to the start line of the race.
Save it for the next training block where you can practice and train in the new gear and learn about it before taking the risk of trying it on race day.
Also be aware that there may also be products at the expo promoting things like massage guns, and recovery modalities.
This may be good, however, if this is something that you are not used to; I highly recommend that you do not test these out at the expo. You want to ensure that you are in tip-top shape for race day and using any kind of massage device will affect your muscles especially if too deep.
So my advice is rather to avoid these at the expo to negate any risk.
Getting To The Berlin Marathon Expo
Dates and Times of the Expo
The Berlin Marathon Expo takes place three days before the race, typically on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and before the race day on Sunday.
The expo’s hours of operation are as follows:
- Thursday, September 21, 2023
3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday, September 22, 2023
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, September 23, 2023
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Location of the Expo
The Expo is held at the Flughafen Tempelhof, Platz der Luftbrücke 5, 12101 Berlin
Public Transportation Options
To make your journey easier, we recommend using public transportation, as there are no parking spaces available on-site.
If your travel distance is more than 100 km, your event ticket includes the City Ticket for Berlin. This ticket allows you to travel to and from the event.
The City Ticket covers travel within Berlin (tariff zones A and B) on the first day of validity from your destination station to your final destination. The same applies to the day of your return journey. The validity dates are specified on your ticket.
The City Ticket remains valid until the end of service, but not later than 3:00 a.m. on the following day. With your start number, you can travel for free on public transport in Berlin’s ABC fare zones from Thursday (September 21, 2023) to Sunday (September 24, 2023).
Public transport options to the Berlin Marathon Expo:
- U-Bahn (Underground): Take Line U6 to U-Bhf Platz der Luftbrücke.
- Bus: Take Line 104 or 248 to Platz der Luftbrücke.
- Bahn (Suburban Rail): Take Lines S41, S42, S45, S46, or S47 to S-Bhf Tempelhof, which is about a 15-minute walk from the venue.
Becoming familiar with the U-Bahn and S-Bahn will make navigating the city’s transit system much easier for those who are visiting Berlin for the first time. Berlin’s two separate but linked train networks, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, offer dependable and effective public transit.
I remember, for my Berlin Marathon, finding the public transport super easy to use and get around. There were no issues at all with using the underground to get to where we needed to be!
What Does U-Bahn And S-Bahn Mean?
The U-Bahn, which stands for Untergrundbahn,” or underground railway, consists of subway lines that predominantly run underground.
U-Bahn stations are marked with a blue and white “U” symbol and are easily recognizable throughout the city. The U-Bahn is known for its frequent service, connecting various neighborhoods and attractions within Berlin.
It’s an excellent option for traveling shorter distances within the city center.
On the other hand, the S-Bahn, short for “Stadtschnellbahn” or urban rapid transit, operates both above and below ground.
S-Bahn stations are identified by a green and white “S” symbol. The S-Bahn primarily serves to connect Berlin’s city center with the surrounding suburbs and neighboring towns.
It offers a broader coverage area, making it ideal for longer journeys and reaching destinations outside of the immediate city center.
To distinguish between the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, you can look for the signs at the stations. If you see a blue and white “U” symbol, it indicates a U-Bahn station, while a green and white “S” symbol denotes an S-Bahn station.
It’s worth noting that some stations may have both U-Bahn and S-Bahn services, allowing for easy transfers between the two systems.
Both the U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks are efficient and provide comprehensive coverage of Berlin. They are interconnected, allowing passengers to seamlessly transfer between lines when needed.
In all honesty, I used Google Maps to direct me, and it gave me the exact trains and where I needed to be. Super easy. There are also, of course, offline map apps you can download to help you navigate your way.
Now that we’ve covered the important details such as dates, times, and transportation to the Expo, let’s dive into what you can expect when you arrive at the Berlin Marathon Expo.
What to Expect at the Berlin Marathon Expo
Here’s what awaits you at the Berlin Marathon Expo:
Race Pack Pickup
The expo serves as the main spot where runners can pick up their race bibs, and other necessary supplies. Be sure to bring a photo ID and your confirmation email or letter to pick up your race packet and bib number.
The race packet pickup process can be pretty crowded, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to avoid long lines and wait times.
Although in my experience with the Abbott World Marathon Majors races, I have never really struggled with a large crowd. For peace of mind, though, I would suggest planning your trip so that you’re not on your feet for too long before the race.
To avoid the crowds on subsequent days, others opt to pick up their race packets on the Expo’s first day. Runners may tour the remainder of the Expo and take advantage of all of the other offers and activities after picking up their race packets and bib numbers.
Exhibitors and Vendors
The Berlin Marathon Expo is known for its diverse range of exhibitors and vendors, offering a wide array of products and services related to running, wellness, and lifestyle.
Here’s a glimpse of the types of exhibitors you can expect to find at the Expo:
- Running Gear and Apparel:
Be on the lookout for the newest running gear, clothing, and accessories from well-known sports brands and manufacturers.
You’ll discover exhibitors committed to giving runners the best gear for their training and race-day needs, including manufacturers of high-performance running shoes and apparel.
The Berlin Marathon is sponsored by Adidas (at the time of this article), and so you will be able to pick up all sorts of amazing Adidas gear branded with the Berlin Marathon to mark this special occasion for yourself.
My advice – even if there is a slightly pricey item and you’re on the fence about procuring it, if you have the means, do it!
I love all my race shirts that you get in your race pack, but it’s awesome to have a long sleeve, gloves, or beanie branded with the Berlin Marathon, and it will always be a keepsake of this awesome achievement! Be careful, though, because this can turn into an expensive venture 😉
- Sports Nutrition:
You come across vendors who specialize in sports nutrition, providing products like protein bars, energy gels, hydration options, and supplements designed to improve your performance and speed up recovery.
These vendors assist you in finding the most suitable nutrition supplies for your training and race goals and offer insightful advice on fueling strategies.
Again, though, just remember to never try anything new on race day! Only use what has worked for you in the past and your training runs in the buildup to your race.
- Fitness Technology:
Look out for exhibitors like Garmin, Coros, Polar, and Shokz, who specialize in innovative products such as GPS watches, fitness trackers, and smart gadgets designed to enhance your training and maximize your success.
These exhibitors offer state-of-the-art devices that help you track your progress, monitor your performance, and optimize your training regimen.
- Wellness and Recovery:
The Berlin Marathon Expo features exhibitors that offer a wide range of products and services focused on wellness and recovery.
These exhibitors showcase items such as massage tools, foam rollers, compression gear, and other products designed to support muscle recovery and injury prevention.
Just a word of warning again, be wary of trying these at the expo to not put your muscles at risk for race day.
- Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy:
Don’t miss the exhibitors specializing in sports medicine and physical therapy at the Berlin Marathon Expo.
These vendors are dedicated to providing services that focus on injury prevention, injury assessments, and expert guidance on proper running form.
They offer valuable resources, on-site consultations, and demonstrations to assist runners in maintaining their physical well-being.
- Active Travel and Events:
Don’t miss the exhibitors offering exciting opportunities for active travel and unique running experiences at the Berlin Marathon Expo.
These vendors specialize in providing information on destination races, adventure runs, and active vacations tailored specifically for runners like you. Discover new and exciting locations where you can combine your love for running with exploration and adventure.
Whether you’re looking for a scenic marathon in a breathtaking location or an adventurous trail run in a stunning natural landscape, these exhibitors have the resources and expertise to help you plan your next unforgettable running adventure.
These are also always good ideas to have a look at for your next international marathon!
- Presentations and Seminars
Throughout the Expo, there are a variety of presentations and seminars on topics related to running and fitness.
These are great opportunities for runners to learn from experts in the field and improve their skills and knowledge. As well as elite athletes and their experiences.
You can typically access the schedule for presentations and seminars in advance via the official website of the Berlin Marathon, so you can plan which sessions to attend based on your interests and goals.
Some of the most popular topics covered in these sessions include strength training techniques, injury prevention, training plans, and nutrition and hydration strategies.
Speakers may include coaches, nutritionists, and professional runners who can share their experience and expertise with attendees.
Make Use Of The Berlin Marathon App
The Berlin Marathon has an official app that can be beneficial for navigating the Expo and enhancing your overall experience.
The app provides useful features and information to help participants and visitors make the most of their time at the event.
Here are some ways the Berlin Marathon app can assist you during the Expo:
- Expo Information: The app offers comprehensive information about the Expo, including exhibitor lists, booth locations, and schedules. You can access details about specific vendors, their products, and any special promotions or activities they may have
- Interactive Maps: The app typically provides interactive maps of the Expo venue, allowing you to easily locate exhibitor booths, stages, information points, and other key areas. This feature helps you navigate the Expo efficiently and find the exhibitors you’re interested in visiting.
- Schedule and Reminders: The app usually includes a schedule of events, presentations, workshops, and expert talks taking place at the Expo. You can set reminders for sessions you want to attend, ensuring you don’t miss out on any valuable information or experiences
- Notifications and Updates: The app often sends push notifications and updates with important announcements, such as changes in schedules, new exhibitor additions, or exclusive offers. This keeps you informed and ensures you don’t miss any exciting opportunities or last-minute updates
It is also a great way for your family and friends to track you on race day! So it’s not just for athletes!
Tips for Navigating the Berlin Marathon Expo
With so much to see and do at the Berlin Marathon Expo, it’s important to plan and set priorities.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:
1. Plan: Before heading to the Expo, take some time to review the schedule of events and vendors. This will help you prioritize what you want to see and do and make the most of your time there.
2. Get there early: The Expo can get crowded, especially on Saturday and Sunday. Getting there early will give you more time to explore without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
3. Bring comfortable shoes: With over 200 vendors and exhibitors, you will be doing a lot of walking. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes to avoid foot pain or blisters. I would also suggest not wearing flip-flops, and wearing a pair of shoes that have a cover at the Achilles so that the intrinsic muscles in your feet are not working over time. Also, you may want to avoid any glass or accidents while walking in the streets.
4. Bring a backpack: You’ll be receiving lots of free samples and promotional materials, so bring a backpack or tote bag to carry them all.
5. Bring a water bottle: Staying hydrated is important, especially if you’re spending several hours at the Expo. Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated and avoid paying for bottled water.
6. Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Vendors and exhibitors are there to help you and answer any questions you may have about their products or services.
7. Take advantage of discounts: Many vendors offer special discounts and promotions at the Expo. Take advantage of these deals and save some money on your purchases. ( N.B. See point 10)
8. Attend seminars and talks: The Berlin Marathon Expo offers a variety of seminars and talks on topics such as training, nutrition, race strategy, and injury prevention. Attend these sessions to learn from experts in the field.
9. Have fun: The Berlin Marathon Expo is a celebration of running and fitness. Enjoy the experience and have fun exploring all that the Expo has to offer.
10. Don’t try any freebies: There will be lots of free goodies being handed out for you to try and taste. These could have negative effects on your gastrointestinal health and your race day success. Rather, put all the goodies in a bag and put the bag away until after race day.
Lastly, while we want you to enjoy the expo and soak up all the atmosphere, it’s VERY EASY to get caught up in all the excitement while there, and you will end up spending way more time on your feet than you should / want to.
Give yourself a timeline and try not to stay for longer than 1-2 hours. You want to be able to get off your feet as much as you can before you tackle 42.2 km (26.2 miles) on that last Sunday in September, which is the main event of the week, and why you’re really there!
By following these tips, you can make the most of your Berlin Marathon Expo experience and enjoy everything it offers.
Don’t miss this chance to be part of one of the most prestigious and historic marathons in the world!