In Amsterdam not only you can run a marathon, but you can also choose from a Mizuno half marathon, the Menzis 8 km, the 1K Runaway and the Mini Marathon.
When it comes to racing courses, you could say Amsterdam has a personal best: the Amsterdam Marathon. Held annually in mid-October, the event draws elite runners from around the world. Record numbers descend upon the city’s pancake-flat plains carrying hopes of sprinting gold. Those familiar with the city’s outdoor events know it’s a participation sport (crowd or otherwise) not to be missed.
With its many highlights, the route through Amsterdam’s city centre would also fit a sightseeing tour at a slower pace, taking in the Olympic Stadium, built in 1928, the nature reserves on both sides of the river Amstel, the Maritime Museum, the historic canals, Rijksmuseum and the attractive Vondelpark which will feature twice during the marathon.
The Amsterdam Marathon has been held every year since 1978 and has earned itself a place in the league table of the world’s best marathons. What was once a small and rather intimate sporting affair with just over 2,000 runners went on to draw ten times that amount in three decades. New York and London may have scale but Amsterdam has one of the flattest and fastest courses in the world. Track views also afford runners a little distraction time. This year some 25,000 runners from over 70 countries are expected to tear up the streets, starting from the Olympic Stadium.
From there, they will head into the lush green to the south of Amsterdam following the Amtel River before heading back into town past the Amsterdam ArenA and weaving through the Indische Buurt.
Runners will take in the world-famous Vondelpark on the final stretches of the race as the course takes them back to the finish at the Olympic Stadium. Contenders can be found from countries as far-flung as Oman but the event has proved consistently popular among British athletes.
Half-marathon, 8 km run and more
If you get blisters just thinking about the full distance, there are plenty of other ways to join in anyway. Additional courses are also taking place alongside the big run: the Mizuno Half Marathon Business Run, the Menzis 8 km and the 1K Runaway for kids. There are also plenty of other activities to look out for including the Marathon Expo at Sporthallen-Zuid close to the Olympic Stadium.
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