I have a bit of mixed feelings about this marathon. Some things were well organised, but other things really were not and that's really a shame for such a big event (it's the 3rd largest marathon in the world).
It's really easy to pick up your bib, but do make sure you have your passport, convocation and medical certificate before you arrive at the expo. There were a lot of companies at the expo, but most of the company booths at the expo were pretty small, so per brand there wasn't that much choice.
There were no signs towards the bag drop (which is at the finish area), which resulted in a lot of runners looking around in confusion. There were a lot of port-a-loos near the start, so didn't have to wait long in line.
The route is really nice and passes several landmarks and there are even signs on the course telling you which landmark you are passing. And since the route passes along a few metro lines it's really easy for supporters to see you multiple times along the route.
But the aid stations were pretty disastrous. They were only on one side of the road, and a pretty random intervals (sometimes 5, but also sometimes 6 km apart), which is already difficult with roughly 40,000 runners. They don’t supply any kind of sports drink, only water and since it was hot they couldn’t supply water fast enough, which resulted in the aid station tables being mostly empty and having to wait quite long before getting water with a lot of people pushing and shoving trying to get water. They should have had more aid stations, since it was so hot. I’ve heard quite a few ambulances during the race, some of those cases they could probably have prevented if they supplied more water and electrolytes.
At some spots the supporters were blocking half the road trying to find who they were looking for, but this caused congestion amongst the runners. Marshals did nothing to stop it. They also didn't stop any of the cyclists which were using the course and actually creating dangerous situations.
Getting your medal, finisher t-shirt and bag at the finish area is really easy.
Posted on 26.04.18
I ran the half marathon. Race takes place in the dunes, but it's a road race. Nice course (except getting a free scrub from the dune sand flying around, which wasn't too pleasant). Good aid stations with water, sports drink and bananas. Marshals and signs at every turn. You were adviced to take the busses arranged by the organisation from the parkinglot or train station to the starting line (at extra cost). Unfortunately, during the start of the 10k (which is in the afternoon) there are no busses, so I had to wait for over an hour after the race, before I could get back to the train station to go home. And there is no medal, you get a gym towel instead.
Would I run this race again? Not the half, I might do the 10k in the future. After the effort of running a half, I don’t really want a towel, I want a nice medal which I could be proud of. And I don’t like having to wait around for more than an hour before I can get to the station. Would have been better if the organisation would have found a way for the busses to just keep going (they normally depart every 10 minutes), like a slightly different route for either the busses or the 10k race.
Posted on 13.02.18
I ran the 10 mile distance. I would definitely consider running this race again! On hindsight, I could have also ran the 8k (which is in the afternoon). I could have easily made that. The race is very well organised and there isn’t anything that I would change. It’s great that there are busses going from the train station to the start (although it is a distance you can walk, it’s nice that you don’t have to stress about finding your way if you’ve never been there before), that you can change in the theater where it’s warm (on the stage!) and where they even have free wifi, and that there are marshals everywhere and that the route is clearly marked (so you don’t accidentally run the 25k). The aid stations are also well organised: water, sportsdrink, tea and bananas.
Posted on 09.02.18
For the past 12 years there has been a week long light festival in Eindhoven, the Netherlands during the month of November. And for the past 3 years they’ve had a fun run at the end of it. I’ve participated in the first edition in 2015 and now ran the third edition as well.
This year’s route was 6.5 km long and personally I was a bit disappointed with the projections this year. They were few and far between this time and the ones that were there weren’t that spectacular. The organisation which organises the run is not the same organisation that organises the Glow Festival itself. The race organisation doesn’t seem to organise any other races and therefore doesn’t have that much experience with organising races. But they do seem to care a lot about the feedback, since they do try to improve the race each year. Since the first edition they have improved the medal and the finish and start locations. They at least arranged for a roof over our heads during the start (which protected against any rain), but it wasn’t a closed off space, so it was still pretty cold waiting outside at roughly 10.30 pm in November.
It’s a fun run, which means that there is no chip time and in this case also means the roads aren’t really closed off, since there are still non-runners on the course enjoying the festival.The nice thing about the route was that it didn’t only follow the Glow Festival route, they also made sure we could run through the football stadium. Which seemed to excite lots of people, but I really don’t care about football, so I wasn’t that impressed. And they also made sure we could run through a church as a part of the route and only the runners were allowed in. This was definitely the highlight for me: running through the aisles of a church which was lit with colourful lights and someone was playing the organ. How often does one get the chance to do that?
Posted on 26.11.17
An 8k (5 miles) race is a bit of an odd distance, but the route is nice. You first go through the Vondelpark, underneath the Rijksmuseum and along the canal to eventually finish inside the olympic stadium. It's a great feeling to enter the stadium and run along part of the track!
There isn't that much local support and you don't get to run through the heart of Amsterdam (that would probably be too small for so many runners), but the atmosphere amongst the 7000 runners running the 8k is great.
Posted on 20.10.17
One of the World Marathon Majors. Expo is easy to reach near several public transport stops in the city center. Bib pick up was fast and easy. The rest of the expo was slightly more chaotic.
Bag drop on race day is also pretty easy. Starting pen H is quite big, since it includes all first time marathon runners and everyone running over 4:15. Nice and fast course. Wide streets, nice support but not that many people, although this might also have been due to the rain. But the vibe amongst the 40,000 runners is great. Nice finish near the Brandenburg Gate and a very nice medal. Aid stations offer a variety of water, sports drink, tea (yes, hot tea), gel and fruit.
Great race with PB potential. I would definitely recommend it. Just a few little issues with the organisation:
- The empty cups lying around at aid stations were a bit of a hazard.
- You need to undo your laces to return the timing chip (try bending over after running a marathon to undo your laces, it ain't easy)
- No finish t-shirt included in the entry fee which is already pretty high. For that price they should have included a t-shirt. You can buy one at the expo, but it sells out pretty quick.
Posted on 30.09.17
I did this race 3 years ago, the 2nd race I ever did. I enjoyed the race the last time and decided to do it again. The race has changed a little bit since I last ran it. Biggest change is the distance, the race is now 5 miles instead of 4 miles. This is mainly because the original Dam tot Damloop race is 10 miles (this is the biggest running event in the Netherlands) and they probably wanted the Damloop by Night to be exactly half of that.
Getting to the start and bag drop off went smoothly (at least when you arrive through public transport) and I managed to get into the starting pen on time. You do have to walk 2 km from the station to the the bag drop off and another km or so to the starting pens. Would have been nice if they would have been more clear about the time it takes to walk everywhere instead of just saying "it's walking distance", so you can take this into account.
The route hasn't changed, they only made it longer, but I remembered most of it from 3 years ago. Nice route along the water and a lot of entertainment. Lit fountains, boats with lot of lights, flyboarders on the water and lots of music! Since there are 15.000 runners on just 8k, it is quite crowded on the course. I wasn't able to run full speed and often had to run on the sidewalk so I could pass some runners.
Posted on 18.09.17
One of my favorite smaller races is the Leiden Ladiesrun. They have a 5k loop, which you can run twice if you want to do the 10k and there are around 1200 participants. It is not organized by some big company which charges you a lot of money. On the contrary, it is a well organised race, not expensive and thanks to sponsors most of the entry fee goes to charity. They raise around 10.000 euros each year and each year they pick another charity. And on top of that they also give you a very nice medal! What’s not to like?
Posted on 04.09.17
Running a race and supporting charity is obviously a win-win situation. Therefore, I decided to sign up for the Singelloop in Utrecht, since they’re donating a percentage of the race money to the Dutch Arthritis Foundation. The start went pretty smooth since the 4000 runners were spread out over 8 starting waves. The marshals were great, but I think the route could maybe be better. I’ve run a race in Utrecht (ladiesrun) before and liked that route a little better (more scenic), but at least they managed to have one 10k route instead of multiple laps. And they managed to raise over €60.000 for the arthritis foundation, which is fantastic!
Posted on 13.06.17
Nice course through the city, local villages and fields. Local support is really great during this race. Lots of people sitting in their yard and cheering you on. Race organisation could be better though. Race briefing on where to pick up your bib was pretty late. And the race organisation couldn't make up their mind about dropping runners from the race or not, even though there isn't a time limit for the half marathon. If you do get dropped you need to find your way on your own, no arrows or signs or anything and some of the marshalls were already gone. I almost went the wrong way because of this. At least some arrows in the right direction would have been nice.
Posted on 13.06.17
I ran the first edition of this race, when the course was still 4 miles (now it's 5 miles). Nice race at night with a lot of lights and nice support along the course. It's not the course that's the most exciting, it's the atmosphere of the runners and the supporters. Lots of entertainment along the way. Nice glow-in-the-dark race medal.
Posted on 13.06.17
It's a nice and small local race. You pick up your bib right before the race, but it all goes smoothly. The 5k is one loop and the 10k is two loops. The loop goes through a residential area as well as along some fields and a windmill. The marshalls were very nice and supportive. Very nice race medal.
Posted on 13.06.17
Very nice to run through Kew Gardens! But after you leave Kew gardens you do have to share the towpath with other users, since it's not closed off. And the surface of the towpath is pretty uneven, so you have to watch your step. However, the aid stations are great (bottles!) and so are the marshalls!
Posted on 13.06.17
Starting waves were not very clear. Route is really nice. Running through Kew Gardens is great! Running along the Thames is also nice, but the towpath is sometimes pretty uneven and you have to share it with other users, it is not closed off. Nice marshalls along the way and aid stations with bottles, which I think is way better than cups. Last bit zig-zagging accros a field is a bit annoying, since you can hear and see the finish area, but still need to go 2 km. Medal and t-shirt are great though, so is the finish area!
Posted on 12.06.17
I'm sure this could have been a nice race if the organisors would have been nicer. They made a whole fuss about me being one of the last runners even though the course would stay open for another 5 hours for the full marathon. And the marshalls also didn't have clear instructions of where to drop off runners which had dropped out. Local supporters were also pretty negative. Will not run this race again!
For more details, see my blog post.
Posted on 12.06.17
The route went through the east part of the city, not through the city centre, but with so many runners that was probably for the best. You start next to the Olympic Stadium (which is in the south) and follow (what are normally busy) car roads towards the east and eventually you’ll loop back to pass the Rijksmuseum and run through the Vondelpark and end in the Olympic Stadium itself. I had a great time running this half marathon, would definitely run it again if I got the chance.
Posted on 12.06.17
The 1/4 marathon starts at the same time as the full marathon, only at a different location and uses the last part of the marathon course. There were only three starting waves for the 1/4 marathon even though it had almost as many participants as the full marathon: 12.500!
All in all this could be a very nice race, the route is very nice, but it should just be organized differently. If the race could start earlier than the marathon, so there was less time pressure on the 1/4 marathon runners and more starting waves with more time in between. If the course would be less busy it could be a great race, because now you can’t actually race.
Posted on 12.06.17
This year this marathon event added an extra race distance, the 10km. Like the 5k, there are no starting waves for this distance (I still don’t see why not), but unlike the very popular 5k, there were less participants for this distance (about 2.200). I did enjoy the route, the race started off at a wide street which made it easy for the runners to pass one another and spread out quite quickly. After this the route went through a park and took the more scenic industrial-heritage route back into town. And I also liked the bling.
Posted on 12.06.17