Amsterdam Marathon | October

| 24/05/2012 | 0 Comments More

On Sunday October 21st, 2012, the 37th edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon will take place. There are five events scheduled this day: the marathon, the Mizuno Half Marathon, the 8 K run, the Olympic Kids Run 1K and the Mini Marathon. Online registration for this year’s event is open from January 2nd to September 16th, 2012 at:


Wilson Chebet has won the TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2011 in 02.05.53. He was just nine seconds short of breaking last year’s course record. In the women’s category, Tiki Gelana broke the course record, which dated from 2002. She finished in the Olympic Stadium in 2.22.08. Lornah Kiplagat came in well below the limit for the Games in 02.25.52 and became the Dutch champion and came third in the women’s category. Michel Butter became the Dutch men’s champion in a personal best of 2.12.59.

A fantastic course record was run at the Amsterdam Marathon 2010. The Ethiopian athlete Getu Feleke ran 2.05.44. Debutant Wilson Chebet came second in a time of 2.06.12. In the women’s category Alice Timbilil won in 2.25.03. Ronald Schroër was the best Dutchman in 2.16.56 and Miranda Boonstra was the first Dutch woman in 2.34.24. There were a record number of entries for the Amsterdam Marathon this year. A huge 31,463 entries were received for the Le Champion event.

In 2009 the debutants ran a great race. Kenian Gilbert Yegon broke the course records which was held by Haile Gebrselassie since 2005 (2.06.20). His fellow countryman Elijah Keitany, who debuted as well, ran 2.06.41. In total there were five atletes who ran faster than 2.08. The women stayed together for a while, but finally Kuma was the fastest. Second became Woinshet Girma from Ethiopia as well. She ran 2.29.50. Third became the Dutch girl Hilda Kibet, who is the European cross country champion from 2008. She ran a personal best in 2.30.33. As the Amsterdam Marathon also was the Dutch Championship, Kibeet became national champion.

2008 will go down in the books as the edition with potential, but any chance of a fast finish was spoilt by a stiff headwind at the last section of the race. The Kenyan Paul Kiprop became the winner in 2.07.52, followed by the talented Ethiopian debutant Chala Dechase. The 2004 winner, the Kenyan Robert Cheboror was third. After a long injury, a move to Kenya and a change of trainer, The North-Hollander Hugo van den Broek returned to the road and was delighted with his 2.13.51. The women’s race was won by a newcomer to the marathon, Lydia Cheromei. The Kenyan ran 2.25.27, after a long absence from the competition scene due to the birth of her daughter.

The 32nd marathon in 2007 was a dream marathon. Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai amazed with his winning time of 2.06.29 – a mere nine seconds off the course record. No fewer than eleven athletes finished within the 2.10.00 time, with Kamiel crossing the line in a fantastic new Dutch record of 2.08.21. The women’s title went to Kenyan Magdaline Chemjor, with a superb time of 2.28.16 in her debut marathon.

In the 31st edition of this competition in 2006, the wind prevented fast running times among top runners, with an exceptionally exciting finish for the title among the men. Newcomer Solomon Bushendich (2.08.52) from Kenya defeated his fellow countryman Bernard Barmasai by just two seconds. Most noteworthy was the record number of participants, with over 22,057 runners from 63 different countries competing in the various distances.

On 16th October 2005, the 30th anniversary was made extra special with a record performance by the men for the third year running. None less than Haile Gebrselassie beat Robert Cheboror’s previous course record gained just a year ago by 3 seconds. The 31 year old Ethiopian’s record time of 2.06.20 was also the best gained worldwide in 2005, and takes tenth place in the all-time world rankings. Another highlight was the new record number of participants. No less than 19,900 runners from a total of 61 different countries took part in the various distances.

Robert Cheboror wrote history in 2004 by breaking Kipsang’s track record which has been set only the year before, finishing in 2.06.23. This time put him in third place in the world’s ranking of fastest runners in 2004, and tenth on the all-time world list. Another record that was broken was the number of participants in the marathon. Record figures for 2003 were shattered by an additional 4,000 runners appearing at the start, increasing the total number of participants to 15,926.

The 28th ING Marathon 2003 was a marathon in which many records were broken. With a finishing time of 2.08.31 Kamiel Maase impressively improved the old Dutch record set by Gerard Nijboer 23 years earlier. 26-year-old Kenyan athlete William Kipsang broke the track record with 2.06.39 to find himself in fourteenth place on the all-time world list. After dropping to fifth place in 2002, Amsterdam convincingly passed Rotterdam in 2003 to take fourth place on the world ranking of on average fastest marathon cities, and the highest ranking marathon in the Netherlands.

The tradition of fast times was continued in 2002 by no less than six competitors all running under 2.09.00. Winner was Benjamin Kimutai Kosgei from Kenya who finished in 2.07.26. Equally amazing was the track 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.

In response to requests from the many amateur runners who wanted to finish within a certain time limit, the organisation introduced a six-hour time limit for the full marathon in 2001. The finish venue in 2000, the Olympic Stadium also became the start venue in 2001. Thanks to the sports achievements of Frenchman Driss El Himer (2.07.02) and Josphat Kiprono (2.07.06) Amsterdam went up to number four on the world’s list of fastest marathon cities, again confirming Amsterdam’s growing importance since the late nineteen nineties.

In the run-up to its 25th anniversary, celebrations were put on hold when the marathon’s former sponsor decided to withdraw its support. Fortunately, the 2000 Amsterdam Marathon proved a successful continuation, organised by Stichting Sportevenementen Le Champion and sponsored by the Stichting Amsterdam Marathon which was founded that same year. For the first time since 1978 the renovated Olympic Stadium served as the finish venue, welcoming Javier Cortes from Spain as the winner, finishing at 2.08.57. The marathon attracted a record-breaking number of foreign participants. No less than 1,600 foreign runners confirmed Amsterdam’s international appeal, a number which since increased to 3,908 in 2004 (from 54 different countries).

The marathon remained on Dam square until 1989. Amsterdam’s new start and finish venue became Museumplein. Via the newly-constructed Amsterdam ArenA, the Amsterdam marathon finally returned to its former venue, the Olympic Stadium. Organised in November for the first time, the 1996 Amsterdam Marathon was a great success, only to improve in the years that followed. The still unknown Kenyan Joseph Chebet, who ran his first competition outside his home country in blustery weather conditions, presented Amsterdam once more with an acceptable time for men (2.10.57). He was followed by his fellow-countryman Sammy Korir, who won in both 1997 (2.08.24) and 1998 in (2.08.13). In that same year Amsterdam also saw its fastest number one in the history of women runners. Irish Catherina McKiernan ran a fabulous 2.22.23. An international breakthrough was the marathon of 1999 when no less than five athletes finished the 42.195 metres in under 2.10.00. Four even finished under 2.07.00. They were: Fred Kiprop (Kenya, 2.06.47), Tesfaye Jifar (Ethiopia, 2.06.49), William Kiplagat (Kenya, 2.06.50) and Tesfaye Tola (Ethiopia, 2.06.57), occupying respectively fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth places that year. These performances helped Amsterdam into the world’s top-ten list of best marathon cities (where it ranks number 7).

With the Olympic Stadium falling into disrepair, the marathon was relocated. ‘There was no marathon in 1978. After that we shifted the start and finish to the Dam’, says Wim Visser, who helped organise the marathon for many years. The Dam square was also the finish venue for one of Amsterdam’s most memorable marathons ever – the 1980 marathon. On 26 April of that year Gerard Nijboer joined the world’s top athletes and set a new Dutch record of 2.09.01. It was to remain the Dutch record for a staggering 23 years. It wasn’t just a European record, but also the second best time ever run anywhere in the world (beaten only by Australian Derek Clayton who, in 1969, finished at 2.08.34 in Antwerp).

The initiative to organise the Amsterdam Marathon was taken in 1974 by AV’23. The club quickly realised that it needed the help from other clubs to organise an event of this size. AV’23 found this support in Blauw Wit, Sagitta, ADA, ATOS and Startbaan. The first ING Amsterdam Marathon as we know it today was held on 3 May 1975. 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. A year later Karel Lismont, European champion (Helsinki, 1971) and second a the Munich Olympic Games (1972) came to Amsterdam. The small, indomitable athlete, still regarded in Belgium as the best marathon runner ever born on its soil, won in extremely hot weather conditions. Another legend, Bill Rodgers, came to Amsterdam a year later. The American, who had won the Boston marathon in 1975, finished first in an unbeatable 2.09.55.

On 5 August 1928 Boughèra Mohamed El Ouafi won the Amsterdam Olympic marathon, finishing in 2.32.57. Celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year, the annual Amsterdam Marathon will once again finish at the Olympic Stadium. While the time run by El Ouafi, whose coach gave him ten guilders and told him to ‘go and have a good time in Amsterdam’, is no longer cause for commotion, the marathon phenomenon still appeals to millions of people. After Enschede, Amsterdam has the oldest marathon in the Netherlands.

Only a few runners won the marathon more than once. They were Gerard Nijboer (Holland, 4x), Cor Vriend (Holland, 2x), Sammy Korir (Kenya, 2x), Ferenc Szekeres (Hungary, 2x) for the men and Plonie Scheringa (Holland, 2x) and Marja Wokke (Holland, 2x) for the women.

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Category: Overseas Marathons

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