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Handcyclers at the 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON for the first time on September 26, 2004

Racers from around the world have come to this fast record-breaking course

2004-02-02

Since the 8th BERLIN MARATHON 1981, there have been wheelchair competitors at the start. Georg Freund from Austria was the first one to be written in the list of champions. To the amazement of the event organisers, he reached the finish before the first runners. It was the pioneer era of wheelchair athletics in Germany, which had just taken on all of the classic running disciplines. The number of racers grew yearly, reaching up to over 200 finishers.

Racers from around the world have come to this fast record-breaking course; the last Sunday in September has become a constant on their calendars of events. The German wheelchair championships have been carried out numerously as part of the BERLIN MARATHON, and in 1994 it was the race for the world championship.

The basis for participation was the rule that the wheelchair had to had to be a push-rim wheelchair, powered without any mechanical gears or levers, as required by the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) for athletics. Now for the 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON, participation has been opened to a further wheelchair sport-handcycles

Handcycles, or handbikes, are powered through hand pedals and the front wheel. This racing devise—which can be equated with a bicycle for the non-handicapped—can reach a much faster speed than is possible with a racing wheelchair, and, due to the mechanical gears, it is not considered to be part of athletics. For this reason it will be scored as a separate discipline.

Registration is possible on the runners registration form: The various classifications for the handcycles or the racing wheelchairs are listed. In order to avoid getting the two groups of wheelchair athletes mixed up or in each others way during the real,- BERLIN MARATHON, they will start at different times on Sunday, September 26, 2004: Handcylces at 8:30 a.m., Wheelchairs at 8:45 a.m. (Times subject to change)


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