Snapshot of runners of the racing run before the start


Rennsteig Race

Dream scenery and dream products

GutsMuths-Rennsteig race: an institution with a dream backdrop

The Rennsteig race is a true classic among Germany's long-distance runs. It is celebrating its 50th edition this year, making it one of the oldest continuously organised running events in Germany.

Of the ten largest marathons in Germany, the Rennsteig race is the only scenic run. Its more than 15,000 annual participants make it the largest cross-country race in Europe. Against the fantastic backdrop of the Thuringian Rennsteig, the course runs from start to finish over roots, meadows and forest paths - a dream for anyone who wants to escape the proverbial "everyday grey".

Over hill and dale since 1973

Back in the early 1970s, running pioneers and students at Friedrich Schiller University Jena Hans-Georg Kremer, Hans-Joachim Römhild, Jens Wötzel and Wolf-Dieter Wolfram had the idea of organising a memorial run for the educationalist and gymnastics pioneer Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths. The almost 100-kilometre route took the four of them from Hohe Sonne near Eisenach to Masserberg on 12 May 1973. Although they were not travelling with the intention of competing, it took them less than ten hours to cover the distance.

Just two years later, the Rennsteig race was held for the first time as a competition with almost one thousand participants. The marathon distance has existed since 1978 (initially over 45 and 43.5 km), the half marathon since 1992 and still the particularly long race, which today measures 73.9 km as a "super marathon". However, runs and hikes are now also offered for hikers, Nordic walkers, children and people with intellectual disabilities, so that a colourful, cheerful community of runners gathers at the common finish line on the sports field in Schmiedefeld - the "most beautiful finish in the world".

The routes of the 2023 Rennsteig Race

The classic is the super marathon, the long distance of almost 74 kilometres, which the founders of the Rennsteiglauf have already completed. The start is at the market square in Eisenach, after a good seven kilometres it is onto the Rennsteig and, with a few exceptions, up to the Großer Beerberg - the highest point of the route at almost 1,000 metres - basically constantly uphill. Those who persevere can look forward to the last 12 kilometres to the finish in Schmiedefeld, where the terrain slopes downwards. The last 21 kilometres of the super marathon are almost the same as those of the half marathon, which has by far the most starters with over 8,000.

Sketch of the route of the Rennsteiglauf

The Rennsteig Marathon has been a favourite among German runners for years and was voted the most popular marathon in German-speaking countries by readers of the running magazine "Marathon4You" six times in a row (!) from 2014 to 2019. In contrast to the super and half marathon, the marathon approaches the finish line from the other, eastern, direction. It traditionally starts in Neuhaus am Rennweg and leads via Masserberg - with the Rennsteigwarte on the Eselsberg as the highest point of the route at 841 metres - via Neustadt am Rennsteig and Frauenwald to Schmiedefeld. The final ascent on the last kilometre is particularly notorious. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the Rennsteig Marathon can also be completed as a hiker or Nordic walker.

Sketch of the route of the Rennsteiglauf

The routes of the 17 km hike and the Nordic walking tour essentially run along the half marathon route, i.e. also from Oberhof to Schmiedefeld. The Rennsteig Special Cross over 3,7 km leads through the town centre of Neuhaus and begins directly after the start of the marathon. The Rennsteig Junior Cross oder 1,1 to 7,2 km (depending on the age of the starters) takes place directly on and around the sports field in Schmiedefeld.

Snapshot of the racing ride through the grass

The Rennsteig race and Bauerfeind Sports: Two strong brands for Thuringia

Both are based in Thuringia and stand for tradition and top performance: naturally, the GutsMuths Rennsteig race and Bauerfeind are a perfect match. As experts for premium products in the field of running, we are delighted to be partnering with the largest running event in our beautiful state, which has always been so close to our hearts.

Proud title sponsor of the Bauerfeind Sports Rennsteig Junior Cross

Our motto is #foryourpersonalbest - in line with this credo, we not only look after the sporting elite, but are also the proud title sponsor of the Bauerfeind Sports Rennsteig Junior Cross. Children and young people aged between 6 and 17 get their first taste of racing against their peers on the 1.1 to 7.2-kilometre cross-country courses in the finish area in Schmiedefeld. We are keeping our fingers crossed for all participants to achieve their personal best!

Snapshot of the racing ride Kids shortly after the start

Powerful and safe over the challenging courses of the Rennsteig Race: no problem with Bauerfeind Sports products