Zaandam (3) – Dam Tot Dam Weekend
With over 88,000 participants, Dam Tot Dam Weekend is the largest sporting event in the Netherlands. The full weekend event starts with the Saturday “Damloop by Night” (see previous post) and ends with the “Dam tot Dam FietsClassic” and “Dam tot Damloop” on Sunday.
The “FietsClassic” is a cycling event which starts and ends at Dam Square (located about a block from our hotel). “Dam tot Damloop” is a 10 mile (16 km) running event which starts by Amsterdam Centraal and ends on Peperstraat by Zaandam Centraal.
We were totally unaware of the cycling event during the weekend. As we headed to Amsterdam Centraal, we were surprised to encounter all these cyclists warming up on Damstraat.
The Royal Palace in Dam Square provides the backdrop for the start and finish of the FietsClassic. There are four different routes for the cyclists to choose. The 40 km shortest route takes them to Zaandam and back. The longest 145 km route takes them north to Schoorl and back. There are two in-between routes at 60 km and 105 km.
Behind Amsterdam Centraal, runners leave their gear to be picked up later in Zaandam. With the anticipated 50,000 runners, it took 5 semi-trucks to haul the stuff.
Special Needs participants are the first to come to the Finish line in their .6 km effort.
More than 3,000 children between 4 to 13 years run the .6 to 2.2 km distance.
One youngster brings the fun into the run as she “high fives” the supporters
Edwin Kiptoo is first to finish the 10 mile at 45:19
My husband Rod (fourth from left, in black) keeping pace
My view at 200 m from Finish.
A small plaza on Peperstraat brings a nice sitting area with food and beverages.
Back in Amsterdam, we head back to our hotel. Passing through Dam Square, we find things are rockin’.