Despite the high temperatures, the Dam tot Damloop weekend got off to a good start on Saturday. The 37th edition of the sporting event opened on Saturday with the Dam tot Dam Walking Tour. 12,500 participants walked from the Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam through the city center and the Jordaan district to Dam tot Dam Park in Zaandam. According to the organizers, almost all participants coped well with the heat.
To prevent runners from overheating so quickly, time measurements have already been eliminated to discourage participants from running too fast. In addition, cooling stations, such as cooling pools and drinking stations, have been placed along the course. There is also more time between the different start times so that emergency services have more time and space to provide medical assistance, AT5 reported.
However, a spokesperson reported that “one or two” suffered from the heat and had to be treated at a first aid post. According to the organizers, no other walkers dropped out prematurely. “But as an organization, we have a difficult time monitoring this,” said the spokesperson.
There was also an early rush of activity along the hiking route, according to the organization. “Many people were handing out water bottles to participants along the way, much more than in other years,” the spokesperson said and suspects that the sunny weather also played a big role.
In total, almost 70,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists are taking part this weekend. On Saturday evening, the Damloop by Night will start with about 15,000 participants. They will cover a distance of 8 kilometers through Zaandam. Then on Sunday, the main event of the weekend will take place: the Dam tot Damloop itself. About 50,000 participants will then cover about 16 kilometers from the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam to the Peperstraat in Zaandam. Via the IJtunnel and Amsterdam-Noord, they will cover about 16 kilometers to the finish in Peperstraat in Zaandam. The race can be followed live on NH and AT5.