Amsterdam Marathon
Photo: Kismihok

Amsterdam Marathon 2018/2019

Amsterdam Marathon
This race, one of Europe’s oldest, was first held in 1975 where the start and finish were at the Olympic Stadium.

The start which is still at the Olympic Stadium takes place in front of the grandstand where runners get to soak in 80 years of Olympic history. Start and finish were at the Olympic Stadium. The first marathon was won by Joergen Jensen from Denmark who ran the distance in 2.16.51. 

The marathon has moved venue a number of times, the first time being in 1980 when the start and finish were relocated to Dam Square. This was a memorable year for the local fans as Dutchman Gerard Njiboer set a new Dutch record of 2:09:01 which also was the second best time in the world. This was to remain the Dutch record for 23 years. 

The Dam Square venue saw another 9 marathons until 1989 when the start and finish were moved to Museumplein. In 1996, the Amsterdam Marathon moved back to its original start and finish area, the Olympic Stadium of 1928. 

Since then, many records have been broken. In 1999, five athletes finished the marathon course in less than 2 hours and ten minutes, moving Amsterdam into the world’s top ten fastest marathon cities. The marathon has grown considerably since the first edition in 1975. By 2002, over 10,000 runners finished the race. And the 28th Amsterdam Marathon, in 2003, saw a number of records being broken. Kamiel Masse finally broke the 23-year-old Dutch record by fellow countryman Gerard Njiboer with an impressive 2:08:31. And Kenyan William Kipsang won the race with a record-breaking time of 2:06:39. Just as incredible was the record for women run by Ethiopian Gete Wami (2:22:19) and the 40% increase in the number of participants, which exceeded 10,000 for the first time. 

The following year, the record was once again broken when Robert Cheboror shaved 16 seconds off Kipsang’s time and passed the finish line in 2:06:23. 

The 30th anniversary of the Amsterdam Marathon saw yet another track record broken. This time by running legend Haile Grebrselassie who beat Cheboror’s record by just 3 seconds. And the field was increased to an all-time high of 19,900 runners from 61 countries. This year’s race will see a record number of representatives from 81 countries at the starting line. 

In the 2012 edition of the Amsterdam Marathon both the men's and women's records were broken yet again. Kenya's Wilson Chebet of Kenya shaved a mere three off the men's record to finish in 2:05:41. And Meseret Hailu of Ethiopia shattered the women's record by being almost a minute faster in 2:21:09.