The World’s Top 10 Marathons

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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