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Berlin New Year's Eve Run

The New Years Eve Run, a tradition in the capital and beyond

Berlin New Years Eve Run is the crowning end to the year

Few people today know that each day on the calendar is dedicated to a saint. In Germany, people do know who the saint of the day is for December 31, as New Years Eve is called Silvester, named after St. Sylvester. The saint himself, who was Bishop of Rome and died on December 31, 335, is considered the patron saint of domestic animals and is said to guarantee a good food harvest for the following year.

Berlin New Year's Eve Run 2022: Runner in toadstool costume bites into a jelly donut @ SCC EVENTS / Tilo Wiedensohler

The jelly donut tasted even better in costume in 2022

Berlin New Years Eve Run on the rubble mountain, Teufelsberg

Regardless of what your athletic plans for the new year look like, you have plenty of choices in this country when it comes to a New Year's Eve run. These kinds of runs take place in every region, and they are usually between 6 and 10 kilometres long (or short) and therefore suitable for anyone and everyone. Many of these events also have other categories such as Bambini, masquerade costume, etc. The type of running event also varies, ranging from cross-country to road running.

The oldest New Year's Eve run in Germany is the Gummersbacher Silvestercrosslauf (Gummersbach New Year’s Eve Cross Country Run). This will be held for the 65th time in 2023. It is not only the oldest, but also the toughest New Year's Eve run. The Berlin New Years Eve Run on Teufelsberg in Grunewald started in 1977 as the "1st Berlin Mountain Run"—but was immediately canceled due to heavy ice. However, a successful tradition was started the following New Year's Eve.

Berlin New Year's Eve Run 2022: Group of runners straining to cover the final meters @ SCC EVENTS / Tilo Wiedensohler

The last meters of the 2022 New Year's Eve run

Numerous formats for the end-of-year event

The 15K New Year's Eve Run from Werl to Soest is quite different—not only is it carried out on the closed B1 highway, it also has the most participants. Incidentally, SCC Berlin athlete and top runner Gina Lückenkämper showed off her skills for the first time as a 12-year-old on the 5-kilometre course. The Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre in São Paolo is probably the oldest New Year's Eve race in the world, now in its 98th year. The founder likely brought the idea over from France. When women were first allowed to compete in 1975, Christa Vahlensieck of Germany immediately snatched up the victory. Two years later, Christa Vahlensieck set a world record of 2:34:48 at the BERLIN-MARATHON.

The best costumes are awarded prizes in Berlin

For most participants, however, the focus is on having fun on the final day of the year. After all, the days at the end of the year aren’t usually dedicated to athletic performance, and one should always leave room for improvement for the classic spring races a few months later. Like in Berlin, many runners also compete in costume in Brazil. At the Berlin New Years Eve Run, prizes are awarded for the best costumes. The New Year's Eve runs are usually held in the morning or afternoon of the last day of the year, which would otherwise be spent waiting around for the big party in the evening. Now, that is a good reason to take part. And then you can really celebrate at your New Year's Eve party.

Berlin New Year's Eve Run 2022: Costumed runner passes spectators in the finish lane @ SCC EVENTS / Tilo Wiedensohler

The atmospheric finishing lane 2022 provided the final push just before the finish line