The annual marathon in Düsseldorf takes pace in part on some exceptionally attractive lengths of course alongside the rhine. Spectators turn out in their masses, especially if the sun is shining and are tremendously responsive. Groups of drummers appear from nowhere to motivate thousands of amateur participants while the professionals pave their way to impressive record-like times.
A carnival-like atmosphere characterises the whole event traditionally held in April.
The official distance of 42.195 kilometres may seem rather unusual. The distance is equivalent to 26 miles and 385 yards and is the exact distance between the east lawn at Winsor Castle near London and the Royal Box in the White City stadium in London. When the Summer Olympics were held there in 1908, the Princess of Wales wanted her children to have a marvelous view at the start and the wife of King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, wanted to have the best view of the finish. Tough life, history decided.