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What a brilliant day for running on the streets of Berlin. Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto certainly thought so, as he became the first person to run under two hours and three minutes with a World Record time of 2:02:57. Behind him were tens of thousands of runners, making their way through the city on the 42 kilometre course. We had a good number of guests running the marathon, as well as an old friend. Rebecca first visited us at the Circus back over thirteen years ago, when the hostel was on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and the hotel and apartments had not even been imagined yet. So we had a great time racing across the city to cheer her, and her fellow runners, on…

Below you can see some more images from our own marathon journey through Berlin, but here are the results from our guests… and if you are not on here, and want to be, send paul an email at paul.scraton (at) circus-berlin.de and we’ll get your name and time added!

The Circus Berlin Marathon Roll of Honour

John Dowling (GB) 2:29:08
Jose Silva (Chile) 3:10:57
Carlton D’Souza (GB) 3:20:35
Corradino Corrado (Italy) 3:21:00
Bart Van Cant (Belgium) 3:27:20
Otis Shoebridge (GB) 3:58:13
Nick Dunn (GB) 3:28:09
Lorange Florian (France) 3:02:56
Duncan Macadie (Scotland) 3:11:20
Matthes Synofzk (Germany) 3:00:03
Dominic Muri (Switzerland) 2:51:41
Palle Biggaard (Denmark) 4:11:43
Carla De Almeida (Canada) 4:06:00
Laurel Holmquist (USA) 5:46:00
Marc Jeuland (USA) 2:30:53
Tom Emmerson (Scotland) 3:31:42
Michelle Rowley (Ireland) 4:15:21
Kristian Jewsen (Denmark) 3:38:50
Mike Locke (USA) 3:59:00
Mike Madison (USA) 3:59:00
Rory Doherty (Ireland) 3:32:00
Gerard Darragh “Barefoot” (Ireland) 3:55:00
Jim Smyth (Ireland) 4:57:00
Alan Warren (USA) 3:27:00
Michelle Warren (USA) 3:27:00
Chris Truman (USA) 3:48:00
Steve Henrie (USA) 3:58:00
Jim Pickard (USA) 5:03:00
Paul Doherty (Ireland) 3:07:00
Kevin Bannon (Ireland) 3:16:00
Francois Gervaix (Switzerland) 2:48:44
Rebecca Johnstone (GB) 3:47:32

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It is that time of year again… as regular readers of the Circus blog will know, we love running and we love the Berlin Marathon. It is always an amazing weekend, whether at the hostel, hotel or apartments, as we welcome so many runners and their friends and families to the city. As the runners amongst you will know, Berlin is one of the fastest of the big city marathons, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that everyone achieves the time that they are aiming for…

On the map above you can see the route, and Rosenthaler Platz is just after kilometre 9 … so you don’t have to go very far to cheer the runners on in the early stages of the race. There is loads of information on the Berlin Marathon website, but here are some important things for you to know…

Marathon Expo at Tempelhof

The former airport at Tempelhof is the venue for the Marathon Expo, where runners go to collect their start numbers and there are all manner of exhibitors there as well as a programme of entertainment. The atmosphere is always fantastic, and you don’t have to be taking part in the marathon to check it out (although there is a small entry fee).

The opening times for the Expo are Thursday 25th September 2pm-8pm, Friday 26th September 11am-8pm, and Saturday 27th September 9am-7pm. The Expo website is here.

Breakfast Run

If you have stiff legs from your journey to Berlin, the marathon organizers have a special Breakfast Run for all participants on the morning of Saturday 27th September. The run starts at Schloss Charlottenburg, finishes at the Olympic Stadium, and is about six kilometres in length.

Marathon Specials at The Circus

On Saturday evening at Fabisch we have a very special all-you-can-eat pasta buffet for €15 per person. This has been very popular in previous years, so make sure you book your table at reception. The buffet is available from 5pm.

The next morning we have two options for early breakfast, and members of our team will be opening up Katz & Maus and Fabisch for all you runners early to get the fuel you need. Katz & Maus at the Circus Hostel will be open from 6am, and Fabisch at the Circus Hotel from 6.30am.

Once again, we wish our runners all the best for the big day, and keep an eye out at reception when you come back after the race… we will be collecting the times of everyone staying with us so we can publish a very special Circus Roll of Honour here on the blog.

Keep on running!

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Oh yeah! We might be convinced that Berlin is the world’s greatest city, but our mates down in Munich certainly do a couple of things right… namely beer and sausages. Which is why – in the spirit of imitation being a form of flattery – we present to you our annual Mocktoberfest.

Yep, that’s right. We’ve got some Oktoberfest beer heading north to Katz & Maus as you read this, and starting tomorrow evening we will have beer and sausages on special for the next two weeks. Keep an eye out for some of our bartenders… they have been known to enjoy a little dressing up and a thigh-slapping dance or two…

Prost!

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Over the past three years we have welcomed many fascinating speakers to The Circus as part of our series of monthly eyewitness history talks in cooperation with the ZZB (Centre for Witness to Contemporary History). It has been wonderful to hear of the personal experiences of people who have lived in our city, and the tales they have to tell, and we are always extremely happy when they want to come back to speak to us again. Salomea Genin spoke with us in March, and it was an absolutely fascinating evening…

Salomea Genin was born in Berlin in 1932 to Polish-Jewish parents, and the family fled the Nazis to Australia in 1939. By the early 1950s Salomea was a committed member of the Australian Communist Party, and visited the German Democratic Republic as a delegate of the World Youth Festival. Out of this visit was born a desire to help build an anti-fascist state in East Germany, and in 1963 she moved there. Twenty years later she came to the realisation that she had willingly participated in what was a police state, and in turn this led her to join the political opposition and build a new life, even before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of East Germany.

We are really excited to be welcoming Salomea to The Circus on Tuesday 25th March to hear her story of exile and the joy and anguish of her multi-faceted homecoming. As always, the talk will be in English, open to all and free of charge, although we will be collecting donations for the ZZB to help them fund their important work.

Eyewitness History Talk: Homecoming – A Jewish Australian in the GDR
Speaker: Salomea Genin
Date: Wednesday 24th September
Time: 6pm
Venue: Fabisch at the Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Platz 1, Berlin-Mitte

Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-M0804-754 / CC-BY-SA

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On Saturday evening we welcomed a fine collection of writers and translators to Katz & Maus for a literary evening organised by our friends at Readux Books entitled ‘The Wall, the City and the World’. This is the title of an upcoming Readux release by Eliot Weinberger, who was on hand to read a couple of different pieces of his work, but before he took to the microphone we had some other very special guests with us.

Readux publisher Amanda DeMarco introduced the event and then welcomed Maren Kames to the stage. Maren read some of her poetry (in German) and then Amanda followed with her translations of the work. Next up was David Wagner, to read a short extract of his work Mauerpark in German, before translator Katy Derbyshire presented her translation of his love letter to the park in English. The evening reflected on both the world at large and the Berlin that we know and love, and it was a fantastic experience to welcome these very talented writers and translators to the Circus, as well as the many literary lovers who found their way to the basement of the Hostel to listen to them speak.

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Starting tomorrow at the Moviemento cinema in Berlin Kreuzberg is the fourth edition of the Down Under Berlin, the Australian Film Festival. This year the festival is operating under the motto “Make It Home”, and it runs from the 11th to the 14th September, so if you want to catch some of the best storytelling from the other side of the world, you need to head down south over the next couple of days. Here’s some more info from the festival themselves:

“Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival was established in 2011 and has developed into the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film. As such it provides not only a window to the unique storytelling, cinematography and stories from Down Under but also a platform for filmmakers, who want to present their work to international audiences in Berlin. Down Under Berlin seeks to strengthen ties with the German film industry and presents a wide range of films including Indigenous cinema, short films, documentaries, experimental films and features.

Each year Down Under Berlin recognizes outstanding work of up-and-coming Australian and New Zealand filmmakers with its two audience choice awards in the following categories: The Down Under Berlin Audience Award for best short, feature or documentary and the New Talents Showcase Audience Award for the best student film.”

You can find out more information, including a full progamme of screenings, via the flyers we have in the reception of The Circus Hostel and Hotel, or check out the Down Under Berlin website.

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Writers from around the world are descending on the German capital as you read this, for the fourteenth installment of the International Literature Festival. Over a hundred authors from more than fifty countries will be in Berlin for a series of readings, discussions, interviews and more, with much of the action taking place at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in the west of the city.

Although many of the events are in German/translated into German, there are a number of readings and other events taking place in English, including those from Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Diaz, Jhumpra Lahiri, and the winner of the 2014 Leipzig Book Prize, Pankaj Mishra, who will be opening the festival on the 10th September. The English language magazine ExBerliner has a good round-up of the English language events on their website.

The festival runs from the 10th to the 20th September and you can find more about it, including the full programme, on the official website. Meanwhile, here at the Circus we have a literary event of our own as we host our friends from Readux on Saturday 13th September, whilst across the park in ACUD there is the opening edition of a new literary Salon which looks like it is also going to be a wonderful evening of words here in Berlin.

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We have something very special coming up on Saturday 13th September at Katz & Maus – a reading hosted by our favourite publishers of small-yet-perfectly-formed books Readux. Three times a year Readux publish a series of four teeny-tiny books of (mostly) translated literature in English. Sometimes stories, sometimes essays and sometimes poetry, one thing is for sure is that they are perfect to slide in your pocket for that next train or plane journey, and if you want to get a copy to see for yourself, then we sell them in the Circus Hotel.

On the 13th Readux will be crossing the street to the Circus Hostel for an event hosted by Readux Publisher Amanda DeMarco, under the title “The Wall, the City, and the World”. This is the title of Eliot Weinberger’s upcoming Readux release, and Eliot will be at the Circus to give us a sneek-peak (and the only chance you will get to buy an advance copy). We will also hear from two of the stars of the last Readux series – David Wagner and translator Katy Derbyshire – about the Mauerpark, in keeping with the Wall theme, as well as poetry from Maren Kames.

Sounds good? The event will start at 7pm, and after the reading there will be plenty of time to stick around for drinks and some good conversation. We are really excited to be welcoming the different members of the Readux crew to the Circus, and we are sure it is going to be a great evening.

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