The World's Top 10 Marathons

10. Amsterdam Marathon

Posted: 8 July 2000

10. Amsterdam Marathon

The Amsterdam Marathon has been run continuously since the late 1970s, but it is only in the last few years that it has earned a reputation to match that of the city. By the standards of the other events in this listing, it is still a small, intimate affair – with just over 2000 runners. The vast majority are foreign runners, attracted by the undeniable charms of the city and an increasingly swift course. Although the city is strongly behind the race and everything runs smoothly, the Amsterdam public have yet to take it to heart, either as runners or spectators.

The course: This is the Netherlands, so it’s flat and therefore fast. The only bump you’ll see is when the course crosses one of the many canals. It’s a two-loop course, starting and finishing in the 1928 Olympic Stadium. The first loop is 7km and the second is 35km and follows part of the 1928 Olympic course. The route takes you through the old city-centre and the famous Vondelpark, but large sections are run in the residential suburbs.
Highs: Starting and finishing inside the 1928 Olympic Stadium.
Lows: Scarcity of support on much of the course.
Watch out for: The cyclists, who are as much a part of the city as the canals.
Contact: Delta Lloyd Amsterdam Marathon, PO Box 143, 1850 AC Heiloo, The Netherlands; 0031 20 663 07 81/0031 72 532 48 49
UK contact: Sports Tours; 0161 7038161
Size: 2200
Month: October

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Amsterdam Marathon

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Am doing the Amsterdam marathon in October. How did you find it? Was it marked only in kilometres? Is there any crowd support furher out on the course?
Many thanks.
Posted: 19/05/2005 at 20:33

Hi SW, I'm getting round to signing up for Amsterdam. There's a thread going of people doing it, have a look Amsterdam
Posted: 19/05/2005 at 21:57

or use the search facility to find last year's thread, the people who did it describe their experiences at the end.
Posted: 19/05/2005 at 21:59

SW I did the half last year and enjoyed it so much I have signed up for the full this year. The crowd support was mixed but generally good. The overall organisation was very good - particularly when compared to the London Br 10k
Posted: 16/08/2006 at 15:04

I did the full Amsterdam marathon last year and although the course itself was a bit flat for my liking, it was really enjoyable. Mixture of scenery, mostly nice. Good friendly crowds virtually all of the way round, with personal encouragement given by complete strangers even to us stragglers at the back. Kilometres were marked and big markers and mats to give you split times every 5km. Sometimes at the 5km points there were bands playing which was fun, also banana and orange pieces. Don't drink the special energy drinks unless you are used to them - made some people sick. Nice finish in the stadium. A great experience, even though Haile Gabressalassie (sorry about spelling) finished in less than half my time!
Posted: 18/08/2006 at 23:44

Does anyone know where I can get hold of a detailed map of the Amsterdam Marathon course? I've seen a general description on the main website.
Posted: 25/09/2006 at 10:10

There is a .pdf file on the website
Posted: 25/09/2006 at 11:33

Thanks, found it now.

Good luck to all taking part.
Posted: 26/09/2006 at 23:41

Just got back from Amsterdam this year. Had a great time, first Marathon but won't be my last. I ate and drank everything they offered and was not sick!

Posted: 17/10/2006 at 21:08

Loved it - perfect conditions, good organisation and a fast course. My first one as well. I'll think about the next one when the old legs loosen up!
Posted: 17/10/2006 at 21:49

Oh, by the way, the description of the Amsterdam Marathon is a bit out of date. Anyone know how to ask RW to update this?
Posted: 17/10/2006 at 21:53

Was my first marathon three years ago, just got back from third, hope to be back next year, in short I'd recommend it.

The event is really well organised, it's nice sized (you have company), friendly, you start and finish in an olympic stadium, and the course is flat. Thanks to the budget airlines it's also cheap and easy to get to and from, and once your there, getting around on public transport works well and there's numerous post race opportunities for entertainment. As I said before, recommend giving it a go.
Posted: 19/10/2006 at 00:05

Train hard - do hills, pace and interval training - then do amsterdam - and you will fly - great marathon to do a pb!! Bit Chilly, so wear winter gear - took 14 minutes off my previous mara time (had trained hard)! Running this mara has inspired me to keep it going thro winter and get a gfa time for NYC!! My dream!!
Posted: 26/10/2007 at 20:42

Hear, hear. I'd go along with Shuff Buffalo in recommending this race. An excellent, pancake-flat course that takes you thro some lovely areas of the city. Fantastic organisation, an Olympic stadium start and finish, and easy/cheap to get to if you live near an airport that has budget airlines. I'm certainly considering doing it again next year.

We stayed in the Hem hotel which is a very nice 3* hotel about 10/15mins walk from the start and only 10mins by tram from the centre. We paid 10 euros each for 3 days unlimited travel on public transport, and even ended up hiring bikes for a day.

We had perfect conditions for the time of year (12/13degrees, clear-blue skies, no wind) and this helped many people to achieve p.b.'s (I missed mine by 3mins). In short well worth considering.

Posted: 26/10/2007 at 22:43

Great to see a few giving good reviews of will be my first Marathon so really looking forward to it....5 weeks to go....had a slight foot injury for a week or two but back training! best of luck everyone and maybe see some of you on the way over or in the city!
Posted: 15/09/2008 at 11:03

Agree with the good reviews of this one. thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Dont do it  if you are doing Beachy Head as well though! I did and had a good Amsterdam but struggled to get round Beachy Head!!!!
Posted: 30/10/2008 at 19:17


I am doing it this year, well in a few days!  Training all sorted, holiday booked.  Hoping for a good time.  Will let you know.

Posted: 13/10/2009 at 22:09

Kate, there is a more up to date thread for this year's race - I will boing it for you
Posted: 14/10/2009 at 09:21

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