Race To Remember Berlin Wall Victims, 30 Years On

Race to remember Berlin Wall victims, 30 years on

Where guard towers and barbed wire once stood, runners will this weekend pound the 100-mile (160 kilometre) path along the former Berlin Wall in a race with victims of the Cold War relic at its heart

Berlin, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Aug, 2019 ) :Where guard towers and barbed wire once stood, runners will this weekend pound the 100-mile (160 kilometre) path along the former Berlin Wall in a race with victims of the Cold War relic at its heart.

On Saturday at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), around 500 individual runners from 32 countries, plus double that in relay teams, will start the 8th edition of the Berlin Wall Race, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Wall's demise this November.

The race is part ultra-marathon, part tribute to those who died trying to cross the Wall, which the East German communist regime hastily erected in 1961, and stood for 28 years.

Precious little of the original concrete structure remains, most of it hurriedly torn down when the former East German state collapsed in late 1989.

The longest single section is the kilometre-long East Side Gallery, where the former symbol of oppression is now covered in art, a popular backdrop for tourists posing for selfies.

What was once a heavily-fortified border strip that encircled West Berlin, patrolled by guards under shoot-to-kill orders, was in 2006 turned into the 'Mauerweg' or Berlin Wall path.

It passes iconic landmarks the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie but also crosses through leafy suburbs, farmland and forests.

Along the route, popular with weekend hikers and cyclists, memorials tell the personal stories of many of the around 130 people killed along the Wall.

"When you move around Berlin now, you hardly see any of the Wall left, but when you run the path and see its scale, you have a better understanding of the divide it caused," said race organiser Olaf Ilk, who was born in East Germany and was 24 when the Wall fell.

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