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Posted: September 23, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Fantastic times during the 25th Dam tot Damloop 2009

Jubilee edition successful on all fronts

The jubilee edition of the Dam tot Damloop could not have wished for better gifts from the Kenyan brother and sister, Moses and Linet Masai. They both won their races in the world's best times of 45.16 and 50.39, respectively. The best Dutch runners were Hugo van den Broek and Hilda Kibet. The Dam to Dam weekend was one big festivity of fun and entertainment. Thousands of spectators applauded and cheered along the route, and local streets and gardens were decorated with banners, streamers and party lights.

It was Moses Masai who created the opportunity for his sister a few years ago, allowing her to concentrate fully on her running. And successfully so. She ran together with Hilda Kibet for most of the Dam to Dam course, but took off alone after 8 kilometres. With her long and graceful strides, the gazelle of Kenya finished in the best time ever for 10 EM. "I was concentrating on keeping the men behind me, rather than on my own time", Masai explained afterwards. Kibet was also very pleased with her performance. "This was a good race from a psychological point of view, because it was fast and the girls kept pushing. I'm happy with my time (51.21) and I'm looking forward to the Amsterdam Marathon, this gives me great confidence for the marathon."

In the men's race, Modes Masai ran with the leading pack for a long time, together with the former winner of two editions of the Dam to Dam run, Charles Kamathi and fellow countryman Micah Kogo. Kogo had to let them go at the end. It became an exciting contest in the Peperstraat in Zaandam, where the two men arrived at the finish line together. Winner Masai finished in the same time as Kamathi, 45.16. Hugo van den Broek, Kibet's partner, was the first Dutchman to finish, in 13th place in 48.21. 'That time is proof that my preparation for Amsterdam Marathon is going well. I broke my toe in June, but it's healed well by now. I've just finished really tough training weeks in Kenya. Another two weeks of training hard, and it'll be time to relax a little and prepare fully for the Dutch championship marathon on 18th October', he said. Patrick Stitzinger finished just behind Van den Broek in 48.40.

Just like every year, the battle between the men and women was an exciting one. The women had started just over six minutes earlier from the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam. In the end, they could not catch Linet Masai. She won the Grand Prix of Zaanstad, and a sum of money of EUR 5,000.

After the competitive field, 35,000 recreational runners began their race of 10 EM. There were other things on last weekend's agenda however. Thousands of children once again ran through the centres of Zaandam and Amsterdam-Noord, for example. On Saturday, 14,000 walkers had set out for their trip during the Dam tot Dam Wandeltocht, and in the early morning of 20th September, 4,000 participants took to their bicycles for the Dam tot Dam FietsClassic. Together with the Dam tot Dam by night, this jubilee event resulted in a massive sports weekend for 78,000 enthusiasts. A special ceremony was held for those participants who completed their 25th Dam tot Damloop.

Linet Masai

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