The Dam tot Dam by night will be the climax of this year’s 25th jubilee of the Dam tot Damloop. It will take place, as a once only event, on Saturday 19 September, the eve of the Netherlands biggest running event. Approval had already been given by the municipality of Amsterdam and now Zaanstad events organiser Le Champion have also given the green light for the 10 mile run between Amsterdam and Zaandam.
Everyone can participate
4,300 athletes took part in the first Dam tot Damloop on Sunday, 3 November 1985. Running through the IJ tunnel between the ‘Dams’ of Amsterdam and Zaandam was Cees Lansbergen’s brilliant idea, which came to him in 1981. It’s hard to believe now that it would take four years before Lansbergen would get permission from the councils involved. In the weekend of 19 and 20 September the organisers Le Champion will be celebrating the 25th jubilee under the motto: EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO TAKE PART MUST BE ABLE TO TAKE PART! In contrast to the reluctant permission that was given to Lansbergen 25 years ago, this time, the plans for a two-day event were greeted with enthusiasm. For once only it will be possible to take part in, not only the traditional Dam tot Damloop on Sunday but also the Dam tot Dam by night on Saturday evening. Thereby, in one go, an extra 25,000 entries become available and as a result a total of 60,000 participants can take part. Consequently, the Dam to Damloop is one of the biggest running events in the world this year. Besides the Dam tot Damloop, the Dam tot Dam Walk and the Dam tot Dam CycleClassic are also on the programme.
Biggest silver jubilee celebration
“A quarter century of the Dam tot Damloop must be celebrated in a big way”, said event manager Jan Willem Mijderwijk. “What is nicer than doing that with more runners than ever before?” Further growth on the Sunday has not been possible for years, as the limit of 35,000 participants was reached after three days. So, there had to be an additional day and that came in the form of Dam tot Dam by night, without question the climax of the jubilee. For once only participants of the 10 miler will be able to complete the Dam to Dam Run on Saturday night. “The atmosphere of this spectacle will be unique with a completely different character than the traditional programme on Sunday” said Mijderwijk, tipping the veil just slightly. The competition programme, which this year comprises a stronger group of top athletes than usual, confines itself, together with the 4 Mile and the Mini Dam to Dam Run to Sunday. Therefore it will only be possible to take part in a recreational 10 Mile Run on Saturday for both individual runners and business teams. Every participant will receive a 176 page jubilee book as an extra present; a collector’s item, which looks back impressively on the 25 year history of the Dam to Dam Run.
Enter quickly is also the motto now
60,000 entry places seems like a lot, but the popularity of the Dam tot Damloop this year will undoubtedly surpass previous editions. “Enter quickly is therefore also the motto this year”. Expectations are that, at least the available places for the Sunday programme will be sold out within days. Entries will be possible from 1 April 2009 on www.damloop.nl.