The Dam to Dam Weekend with over 88 000 participants, is the largest sporting weekend in the Netherlands. Besides the Dam to Dam Walk (13th year) there’s also a Dam to Dam Bike Classic (9th year), a Dam by night run (2nd year) and the Dam to Dam run (31st year).
On Saturday, September 19, 17,000 people walked from Dam Square in Amsterdam to Dam in Zaandam, a tour which was held for the 13th time. Two girlfriends walked the 20 km / 12,5 miles, first to the back of Amsterdam Central Station to cross by ferry the IJ waterway, and then through the garden-villages and outskirts of town before they reached the outskirts of Zaandam, the alleyways toward the center and to end near the Dam of said town.
During the night another event took place, a night run over 5 English miles / 8 km through the streets of Zaandam. 15,000 people took part and they passed de Burcht, Zuiddijk and the wetland areas around Voorzaan. Some used it as training for the 10 miles / 16,1 km of the next morning.
On Sunday, September 20, I stood next to my mobility scooter on Buiksloterdijk bridge, which goes over the North-Holland waterway, in my part of town. I was waiting for a friend, AJ to pass. He was one of the 50,000 who took part at this run. We high fived when he passed and later I found out he made a good time, running this distance in 1:41. He ran for Dance-4-Life and I was one of his sponsors. As we don’t have mountains, they make the trip harder by letting them run under the IJ waterway, going down hill for 700 meters is something easy to do, but then you have to run up for another 700 meters and cover a 21 meters height. Later in the polders they had a few of those obstacles too but never more than 8 meters height difference.
Earlier that same morning, another girlfriend put her feet to the pedals… She was one of 6,000 bikers at the start of the Dam to Dam Bicycle Classic. The start and finish of the 40, 60, 105 and 145 km was in front of the Royal Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam. It included the unique passage by bike through the IJ-tunnel and the beautiful trails along North-Holland places with ‘Dam’ in their name, including Zaandam, Schoorldam, Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam before they ended back in Amsterdam. She cycled 60 km / 37,3 miles.
I’m happy they all had a good day, and for a change these last few days, the weather was right too!