Berlin, GermanyThe impressive athletics collection of the Berlin Sports Museum which incorporates the AIMS Marathon Museum of Running, was recently augmented with the kit from Haile Gebrselassie’s World record run in Berlin on 30 September 2007 (2:04:26).
The Berlin Sports Museum which is situated in the Berlin Olympic Park already boasted some valuable exhibits from the international running scene, and now offers on exhibit in two glass showcases in the Lichthof in the ‘House of German Sport’, the running gear and equipment from three runners who set World records** at the real,- Berlin Marathon.
At the 26th Berlin Marathon on 26 September 1999, Tegla Loroupe (KEN) ran a World record of 2:20:43, and her shoes are on display.
On 30 September 2001, Naoko Takahashi (JPN) became the first woman to run under the threshold of 2:20:00 with a fantastic run of 2:19:46 (ahead of Tegla Loroupe in 2:28:03). From that historic occasion, the museum has on display one signed shoe with its original shoe bag/carrier, as well as her water bottle and her race number, together with the programme and results booklet with autographs from Loroupe und Takashi. Next to them are spectators’ signs and Japanese flags that were waved along the course.
There is even a comic book about Naoko Takahashi, which was published en masse in Japan in 2001 which depicted her breaking the record – even before she had even raced in Berlin!
More recently still, Haile Gebrselassie donated his original racing shirt and his running shorts right after he demolished the World record on 30 September. His water bottle from the 35 km-mark was also gathered-up by the accompanying cyclists and is also displayed.
The collection also has on display the running shoes from Günter Hallas (LG Nord), who won the 1st Berlin People’s Marathon on 13 October 1974 in 2:44:53, and the signed running cap of Alfredo Shahanga (TAN) – he won the 16th Berlin Marathon on 1 October 1989 in 2:10:11.
This only depicts a small selection of the exhibits of the champions and top runners at the Berlin Marathon. Some of the runners were practically ‘stripped’ after the race in order to ‘save’ their clothes for the museum!
In the Lichthof of the museum, one can also visit an exhibit (with 18 panels) on the 25th anniversary of AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Road Races), which depicts the historical development of the marathon with numerous photos and texts in both English and German.
Horst Milde for the IAAF
**Note: two of them World bests, as road races were not recognised for official World record status until 1 January 2004