42nd Leipzig Marathon 2018: a traditional competition for the runners

The annual Marathon in Leipzig is one of the oldest on German soil and has an impressively long tradition dating back to 1897. Today the running event attracts hobby runners and professional athletes from all over the world. The variety of courses also allows the inline skaters, wheelchair users, student teams and children to assess their own physical fitness and to compete in endurance.

42nd Marathon in Leipzig poster

A brief overview of the Leipzig Spring Classic history

The roots of the official marathon of Saxony’s biggest city reach back to 1977, when on 18 June the University Sports Community of Karl Marx University organized the first race in the Clara-Zetkin-Park. However, the first sporting event of this kind took place almost century before, in 1897, and stemmed from the inclusion of the marathon into the program of the 1896 Summer Olympics. Accordingly, that city run initiated by Leipzig Club Sportbrüder is considered to be the first one in Germany and marks the beginning of an epoch of popular races, gaining more and more popularity.

Throughout the history of the marathon that has existed for over 40 years, the date, location of start and finish lines as well as number of laps have been changed several times. In different years, the classic course ran through the city center or through the outskirts. Apart from the Clara-Zetkin-Park, such famous city attractions as Arena Leipzig, Alte Messe Leipzig and Kohlrabizirkus have been chosen as the start and finish points. As for participants, changes are also striking, as since 1982 the wheelchair users gained an opportunity to register for the race, and the first half marathon for inline skaters was held in 2002.

The event hosted by the biggest city of Saxony gathers all runners in a single place.

Deutsche Bundesbahn and Stadtwerke were among the race sponsors in former times, which is why the event was once even renamed into Stadtwerke Leipzig Marathon and was being called so in 2000-2004. Since 2003 Stadtsportbund Leipzig e.V. and the Leipzig Marathon e.V. are the organizers of the race.

Running seminar as the first step to the marathon success

A special seminar "Running fit! - Targeted cardiovascular training", scheduled for the period from 7 December 2017 to 19 April 2018, is a part of the city run and is designated not only for the beginners, but for the advanced runners as well. In 2018 it will take place for the 14th time in a row and will primarily serve the all-round, i.e. emotional and physical training of the future marathoners.

By registering on the official website and paying a participation fee of 75 Euro, one can join in the 4-month seminar and enjoy a whole range of services: from weekly running meetings in one of nine performance groups under the supervision of experienced tutors and sports trainers, to lectures on sports-oriented nutrition and testing of running shoes and various equipment before the big event.

During the seminar you can also have performance diagnostics carried out for an extra charge.

Besides, the participants will receive an individual and group training plan along with the opportunity to run the race.

Leipzig Marathon 2018: route map and schedule

This year, the 42nd race through the streets of Leipzig will be held on Sunday, April 22. The event invites performance-oriented athletes as well as ambitious amateurs to participate, offering a rich program, so anyone can choose a suitable course corresponding to their body condition and fitness and try their skills. There are generally four running distances: a 42.195 km long distance, a 21.2 km long half marathon, 10 km and 4 km races.

Wheelchair users, hand cyclists and inline skaters run separately on the circuit and can win the race, if they complete the distance of 21.2 km faster than others. Team performances are evaluated in the marathon relay and student race, where the teams of 4 and 10 members respectively pit the endurance against each other within their category and fight for the prize.

The marathon program offers this year the following distances: 4 km, 10 km, 21 km and 42 km.

For very small fans of healthy living, who are at the time of registration in the age between 3 and 10 years, a 600 m race will be organised. All the participants will be honored and presented with medals and certificates at the end of the distance.

All runners have different distances and number of laps to deal with, so the coordinators encourage to follow the schedule of the Leipzig Marathon and to stick with it, what would help to prevent possible delays and embarrassing misunderstandings.

Marathon program

Beginning time

Start and finish line

Running distance

9:40 at Sportforum complex Inline skating half marathon for licensed skaters
9:43 Wheelchair and handcycle half marathon
9:45 Inline skating half marathon - mass sport
10:00 Marathon
10:20 Relay
10:50 Children's team marathon
11:00 4 km run and walk
12:00 Kids' run (up to 10 years)
12:45 Half marathon
13:45 10 km run and walk

Features of the 42nd race

The 21 km long route is fully paved, has only a small difference in height on some of its sections and passes past many sights of the city, such as Arena Leipzig, City-Hochhaus and Alte Messe. In addition, culture and arts lovers can marvel at the splendor of Gewandhaus, the Opera House and the Monument to the Battle of the Nations. There are beverage stands every 5 km. Musicians and bands cheer up the marathoners at 13 different locations along the route.

The entire 21.2 km running track is marked with kilometer signs.

You can find a detailed route map of the Marathon 2018 in Leipzig below.

Route map of the Leipzig Marathon 2018

Some disruptions of the public transport operation are inevitable on the day of the event, so a specific timetable was designed for the duration of the event. Moreover, some roads could be possibly blocked, hence the possibility of long detours for the car drivers.

Eligibility to participate

According to the regulations of the International Athletics Federation (IIAF), the Leipzig Marathon runners are subject to certain age restrictions that are set separately for each course:

4 km: from 8 years (born in 2010);
10 km: from 14 years (born in 1004);
Half marathon: from 16 years (born in 2002);
Marathon: from 18 years (born in 2000);
Inline skating: from 13 years (born in 2005);
Relay: from 16 years (born in 2002) for sections 2 and 4 and from 14 years (born in 2004) for sections 1 and 3.

Presentation ceremony

As a rule, the first three runners, who are the fastest in inline skating, 10 km run, half marathon and marathon, are being welcomed to the podium and greeted with cheers. The award ceremony as well as the classification are done separately for women and men.

All finishers receive a medal as a nice bonus and commemoration of the Spring Classic. The results are usually published on the official site following the event.


All runners, who have registered in time and paid the organization fee, can enjoy many inclusive services, such as entertainment events and access to the catering in the start and finish area, participation in the marathon fair, free meals and beverages stands on the route as well as medical assistance.

The result accuracy is secured by means of the transponders, provided to each participant free of charge and integrated in the personalized start number. For the inline skaters, however, return obligation of the transponder applies shortly after the finish line has been reached.

You can get a limited edition shirt for additional 15 Euro.

The running fair takes place in the foyer of the registration office on the day before the race, where the novelties and various accessories for the marathon are demonstrated. For marathoners’ convenience, they will be granted free access to the changing rooms, shower cubicles and wardrobes at the faculty of Sports Sciences of the University of Leipzig. As far as equipment is concerned, you have to prepare your own outfit before the start of the race and follow some of the organizers' instructions. For example, it is forbidden to wear earphones or headphones during the run and to take dogs and baby joggers. The inline skaters must wear helmets, and protective clothing is also desirable for them.

The route is not intended for Nordic walking

Registration and prices

If you want to participate in one of the running competitions, you should register as early as possible. It can be done in two ways: online on the official website or on site, by filling the form. Pre-registration lasts from 18 September 2017 to 2 April 2018, with the lower participation fees. You can pay with your bank card and receive a receipt confirming your participation. Those applying for a race after April 3, 2018, can make it either online or at the registration office, paying cash or with their bank card, and have to reckon with higher participation fees due to the late registration.

You can get an overview of all marathin prices for 2018 here:

Registration fee

16.06.2017 - 03.12.2017

04.12.2017 - 28.01.2018

29.01.2018 - 02.04.2018

03.04.2018 - 19.04.2018

Kids' run 1,00 € 1,00 € 1,00 € 1,00 €
4 km run and walk 8,00 € 10,00 € 13,00 € 15,00 €
10 km run and walk 15,00 € 18,00 € 23,00 € 25,00 €
Weelchair and handcycle half marathon 20,00 € 25,00 € 30,00 € 40,00 €
Inline skating half marathon 30,00 € 35,00 € 40,00 € 50,00 €
Half marathon 30,00 € 35,00 € 40,00 € 50,00 €
Relay 70,00 € 80,00 € 90,00 € 100,00 €
Marathon 35,00 € 45,00 € 55,00 € 65,00 €

Lodging options near the starting and finishing points of the course

After registering for the spring marathon, you should think about all the other details, such as where to stay in Leipzig before and after the event. Given that the start and finish are at the Sportforum complex, it would make sense to look for a comfortable accommodation not far from it.

HotelFriend recommends you to stay in the four-star Hotel Arena City, which is near the Sportforum comlex and the RB Arena. It offers its guests standard rooms as well as suites with Wi-Fi, flat screen TV and a spacious bathroom.

If you arrive in the Saxony’s state capital by plane, it would be comfortable for you to stay at the three-star Best Western Hotel City Center. It is a perfect place to stay for the business travelers, who would appreciate a good soundproofing of the rooms, a rich breakfast buffet in the morning and the possibility of a sauna visit.

To find a comfortable and well-located accommodation before the marathon day, take on planning your trip in advance. With the help of HotelFriend you can book a room at a reasonable price and order many services beforehand. Plan your trip with us and let yourself enjoy an excellent hotel service.


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