Why Cologne?

Why Cologne?
What makes us special?

Therefore Cologne

The myth is still alive!

There are marathons in numerous cities – but the Cologne Marathon is unique: a mixture of elite and John Doe runners, carnival, a folk and running festival! The entire city is vivid and the spectators cheer passionately for the runners on the course! Everywhere you can hear your name and you run through espaliers!

The typical Cologne and warm-hearted way of the spectators let your run get unforgettable! They cheer for you and ‘carry you to the finish’ – it does not matter whether you are a top athlete, an ambitious recreational sports guy or a running connoisseur! The scenery at Rudolfplatz is comparable to the ascent to Alpe d’Huëz of the Tour de France!

The spectacular finish at the landmark of our city, Cologne Cathedral, is a gross swaying of emotions: exultation, tears of joy and the amazing feeling having beaten your body after such a long distance. You can be really proud of this!

This is what runners say about us

Johanna Buch

“Et gitt kei Wood, dat sage künnt, wat ich föhl, wann ich an Kölle denk“ (‘There is no other word that could express what I feel when I think of Cologne’ = song title of a local Cologne music band) – The same is valid for the Cologne Marathon! Definitively a race that should not be missed by running junkies, marathoners and ‘jeck’, carnival-loving supporters.”

Johanna Buch

Gerd Mausbach

“The Cologne Marathon is an intoxication, a fascination – you will already be infected after one killometre! This marathon is unique and famous for its atmosphere on and along the course! ‘Hey Kölle, du bes e jeföhl!’ (‘Hey Cologne, you are a feeling’ = local Cologne saying). Come along and experience it – otherwise you will have missed something in life!”

Gerd Mausbach

Renate Dikta

“In Cologne we do not only have the 5th season (= carnival), but also the 6th: Cologne Marathon time! The atmosphere is just superb! Numerous bands, drummers and cheering spectators … and in the finish you will get refreshments with no wishes unfulfilled! Super organisation and absolutely to be recommended!”

Renate Dikta

Felix Huetter

“Half marathon, Tough Mudder, Hidden Run … Time for a change: 42 (kilometres) with 42 (years of age) in Cologne – as not the sizes counts, but the atmosphere …!”

Felix Hütter

Sabrina Mockenhaupt-Gregor

“The Cologne Marathon is a big family gathering year by year and it feels like ‘coming home’! A very special emotion!”

Sabrina “Mocki” Mockenhaupt

Botschafterin Verena Hajek

“Despite more than 100 successful marathon participations it is always a very special experience starting in my hometown! At every run I rave over the unforgettable atmosphere that again and again motivates you and proverbially carries particularly rookies to the finish. The dot on the i is the unique refreshments in the finish!”

Verena Hajek

Tobias Blum

“The Cologne Marathon is not only a race for me – it is an experience! The familial flair and the incredible atmosphere along the course are unique in whole Germany! It motivates you to peak performances!”

Tobi Blum

Experience Cologne!

Cologne Marathon Song

Thanks to the local Cologne musician Björn Heuser we have been having our our Cologne Marathon Song (Köln Marathon Song) – “Spitze vum Dom’ since our 20th anniversary in 2016.


Best refreshment – this is what Cologne is famous for!

The unique portfolio of refreshments particularly in the finish in Cologne is legendary: Wherever you look – a diversified and comprehensive runners buffet is awaiting you in the REWE Group refreshment village!

Your sportive performance should be rewarded – here in Cologne you can refuel energy in the finish!

The offer set the runners’ hearts aflutter: fruity, salty, sweet, savoury, warm, cold, …!

Indulge yourself and select from …

More about refreshments

Our ambassadors

Hendrik Pfeiffer
Sabrina “Mocki” Mockenhaupt
Tobias Blum
Achim Happel
Alexander Hörniß
Alexander Wolgast
Andreas Albrecht
Anja Rubik
Anke Kerstein-Sutter
Anna Mauersberger
Arne Pelz
Christian Claßen
Christina Heinrich-Diekmann
Christoph Nierkens
Daniel Döring
Detlef Blässe
Dieter Gunkel
Dirk Herres
Dirk Pretorius
Frank Stinn
Franziska Ebstein
Gerd Holz
Gerd Mausbach
Guido Heinrichs
Harald Band
Heike Mück
Henry Günther
Isabel Bettendorf
Jessica Jasper
Joachim Schulz
Joerg Thoma
Jörg Peters
Jörn Martens
Josef Riefert
Karl „Charly“ Guth
Karsten Kunkel
Katrin Schuhmacher
Kim Pruß
Klaus Nofftz
Lena Metzler
Leonie Ronzon
Marco Rauber
Mario Michael Seidel
Markus Kredinger
Markus Mandt
Michael Lieder
Michael Lüdenbach
Michael Schmidt
Michael Volquardsen
Michaela Pfau
Michel Descombes
Nadine Quaas
Nicole Peters
Nina Genser
Norbert Nikelowski
Oliver Bruns
Philipp Kerkhoff
Raphael Kampshoff
Sandra Dorf
Sarah Gall
Sascha Bergerhausen
Sebastian Schmitz
Sven Günther
Sven Kemper
Thomas Boelter
Thomas Huth
Thomas Witteberg
Tina Feix
Tomm Königs
Torsten Merten
Vanessa Teipel
Verena Hajek
Zsófia Feher


Sustainability is one of THE topics of the 21st century. We, the employees of the Cologne Marathon, together with our partners would also like to contribute to save and conserve our planet and to use resources, as far as possible, reasonably.

And in order to reach our aims we need your help! Please support us by throwing the cups on the course and in the post-finish refreshment area into the corresponding nets. But also by disbanding from the widespread “We have done it always like this” idea. The first step towards more sustainability is thinking about it.

Icon Nachhaltigkeit

Social Wall

Your most beautiful marathon moments on our social wall

What Cologne has to offer

Cologne – or “Kölle” as we locals call it –, our lively city on the Rhine, offers you a wealth of cultural activities, international trade fairs and conferences, and numerous major events. Attractions such as Cologne Cathedral, which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city’s 12 large Romanesque churches create an unforgettable impression.

Further, our city is home to many museums and galleries that present top-class art treasures of all styles and from all epochs.

Cologne is considered an insider tip as one of Germany’s greatest cities for shopping and our celebrated way of life – friendly, sociable and outgoing – is very much on display in over 3,000 restaurants and eateries.

Logo KölnTourismus

The Cologne Tourist Board (KölnTourismus) is the official tourism organisation of the city of Cologne and thus the first point of contact for visitors from all over the world, whether they are coming here on business or to spend their leisure time.

Futher, you will get valuable tips how to make your trip to Cologne a very special experience. Tickets for events are also available there. In the KölnShop you can grub among crockery with the Cologne skyline, ‘cuddle cathedrals’ and Cologne suitcases and become an ambassador for our city! Or just have a look online at der-koelnshop.de.

Discover Cologne in an easy and inexpensive way with the KölnCard. The ticket includes free travel on public transportation within Cologne for 24 or 48 hours and up to 50% off at many museums, restaurants, shops and cultural attractions. The KölnCard is available for single persons or groups of up to five persons. You can purchase the card directly at the Cologne Tourist Board, in the KölnShop, in a lot of local hotels as well as in the service centers and tickets machines of the Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB). As of now the KölnCard can also be bought at the ticket machines of the German railway (Deutsche Bahn) within the VRS net.