Berlin marathon asks climate protesters to respect race

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Berlin marathon asks climate protesters to respect race
Marathon runners pass the Victory Column in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Andreas Gora

Organisers of the Berlin marathon pleaded with climate activists on Friday not to disrupt this weekend's race but said they were prepared for "such eventualities".


Jürgen Lock, managing director of SCC events which is organising Sunday's marathon in the German capital, told reporters that he was aware of the potential for protests along the race route.

"We hope nothing untoward happens in terms of a demonstration but we have plans for such eventualities," he said, adding that his team was working closely with police "to make sure the race goe on smoothly".

"We are looking forward to an enjoyable and peaceful weekend of sport," he said. "We ask anyone who is planning to demonstrate not to interfere with the events themselves."

READ ALSO: Climate activists spray Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

The Last Generation climate action group, known for spectacular stunts to raise awareness for its agenda, had said earlier it intended to target the race.

"Because there seems to be confusion: yes we will interrupt the Berlin marathon," the group said in a statement. "We can't run away from the climate catastrophe."

The Letzte Generation activists, notorious for gluing themselves to roads to draw attention to the climate emergency, have divided public opinion with their tactics.

German prosecutors raided the homes of several activists in May as part of a probe over suspicions they were "forming or supporting a criminal organisation".

Activists have also been fined for disrupting traffic or obstructing police, and some have received jail time.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors admit to tapping climate activists' phones


Last weekend Last Generation activists calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels spray-painted Berlin's famous Brandenburg Gate, which is at the marathon's finish line.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge will be among the top-flight runners participating Sunday, a year after having set a new world record on the same course.

Kipchoge, 38, will be aiming to become the first athlete in history to win the race five times. He is currently equal on four victories with Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie.


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