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Elite handcycle and wheelchair athletes round out the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON

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  • Runners: Bekele and Gebrekidan as favourites
  • Wheelchair racers: Paralympics champions de Rozario and Hug on the right track
  • Hand cyclists: Zeyen and Merklein with ambitions of victory
  • Environmental management: the hydration systems project

After the announcement of very strong women's and men's fields at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inline Skating, we now have received confirmation of the participation of several top handcycle and racing wheelchair athletes. As announced in previous press releases (see PRs from Aug 13 and September 2), Kenenisa Bekele will return to the German capital for the last weekend of September. His race in 2019 was unforgettable, when he missed the world record by just two seconds with a top time of 2:01:41 at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. In the women's field, Ethiopian Hiwot Gebrekidan presents herself as the clear favourite with her best time under 2:20 (2:19:35) achieved at this year's Milan Marathon.

Wheelchair racers and hand cyclists
The confirmations for the elite entries for the wheelchair racers and hand cyclists are now in. The favourite for the women's race is Madison de Rozario from Australia, who won a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. Manuela Schär took silver in Tokyo but won the 2019 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, making the Swiss woman de Rozario's biggest rival. Merle Menje is currently being celebrated as a new German talent. The 17-year-old will make her marathon debut in Berlin. Marcel Hug competed for the first time along the Spree in 2005 and has won three times since then, so of course he is hoping for his fourth victory. At the Paralympics a few days ago, the Swiss athlete won gold. He beat out Daniel Romanchuk from the USA, who took bronze—in 2019, Romanchuk won the London and Boston Marathons, and he now plans to do the same at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2021. Among the hand cyclists, Annika Zeyen of Germany (gold at the Paralympics) and the former course record holder Vico Merklein are among the favourites.

The hydration systems project
For SCC EVENTS, as the organiser of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, intelligent environmental management is a matter of course, and long-standing environmental protection measures are constantly being developed.

One environmental impact of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is the waste along the refreshment stations, such as that created by approximately 800,000 PET recycled disposable cups. Even if the streets of Berlin are as tidy after our cleanup as they were before the event, we want to act in a more resource-conserving way. One of our approaches in this area is to save cups by having athletes wear hydration systems. In order to obtain tangible results for future environmental protection measures, the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2021 has set up a hydration systems project. For this project we are looking for participants of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON who will compete while wearing their own hydration backpack, vest or a belt for self-supply and will be available for a survey after the race. You can find more information about the hydration systems project here.