Dam tot Damloop: The Netherlands' biggest running event

The Dam tot Damloop in Amsterdam is the biggest running event in the Netherlands and one of the largest in the world. It takes place at the end of September and brings over 40.000 participants to take place in a variety of running events from a 0,6 kids run, to a 4-mile or 10-mile run for adults.

This 10-mile event is the most popular. Its places sell out in a matter of minutes. If you miss out on getting an individual place in the 10-mile event, there are many opportunities to join a charity running team and help raise money for a good cause. 

The course takes you from the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam’s city center, through the IJtunnel and over to Zaandam. Along the way you will find live bands, dancers, and other entertainers. The atmosphere is energetic and convivial.

Thousands of spectators line the streets to support and cheer you on along the way. Throughout the course, you will find families set up outside their homes offering drinks and treats for the runners. It’s an amazing event, one that I highly recommend.

Training tips for the Dam tot Damloop

If you would like to participate in the event, all you need is a place and a bit of training. Here are a few tips to get you started:

 Train smart

Start small and gradually increase your weekly running time or distance. Follow a reputable training plan to help you get off to a good start and to prevent over-training. Be consistent with your running and you will see progress.

 Stay safe

When you start a new sport or exercise regime, it’s normal to feel some post-workout muscle soreness for a few days.

If you feel any unusual pains in your joints, bones, or muscles during a run or for more than 48 hours following a run, get checked by a medical specialist. The sooner you get it checked, the better. Unusual pains can lead to or be a sign of injury and the quicker you care for it, the quicker you’re back to running.

Good running shoes can also make a difference; buy your shoes from a knowledgeable source who can give you feedback on your foot and running gait.

 Stay motivated

Recruit a friend, run with a group, hire a personal trainer or coach, or run for charity. Set yourself up for success by choosing a path that will keep you motivated. There are many running groups around town that can help you prepare for the race and keep you motivated. Find one near you.


Or sign up with a charity team and start raising money for a cause that is meaningful to you. It’s easier to stay motivated when you have others supporting you and your cause.

 Slow down!

If you’re new to running or training for an endurance event, try slowing down a bit. Many people start out too fast and then stop when their heart is pounding and they’re out of breath. Usually, this demotivates people and keeps them from continuing.

Slowing down will ease up your running, lower your heart rate and allow you to breath with more ease. If you start off with a very easy jog, you’ll be surprised that you can go a bit further with ease.

This is the key to training for such an event. Learn to conserve your energy by going a bit slower, so that you can run a bit farther.

Plus, running one kilometer slowly burns about the same amount of calories as running it quickly and improves your cardiovascular fitness. So unless you’re training for speed, why hurry?

 Register for the Dam tot Damloop

There will be thousands of people sitting at their computers this Saturday morning hoping for an individual place in the 10-mile event. If you’d like to try your luck at getting one of the sought after bibs, get in line. Registration opens this Saturday, March 30 at 12pm and you can begin queuing at 11.30am.

If you prefer the 4-mile event, you’re in luck. These places are easier to come by. They should be available for you to reserve for at least a few days. See the Dam tot Damloop website for more details.

If you have participated in this event before, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Did you enjoy it? What did you think about it?

Laurie Villarreal


Laurie Villarreal

Laurie is a Running & Lifestyle Coach and the founder of House of Running -- an international running community helping everyday people realize their wildest running dreams while having fun...

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