Amsterdam Marathon 2022 Race Report and Results

Race Date: Sunday 16th October 2022

Race Report by: Sam Ainscough

My first ever marathon!

My partner and I arrived at Amsterdam Schipol on Friday evening – the journey from Manchester was an absolute dream and we were making record time, but staff shortages and strikes at Schipol brought us back down to Earth as we had to wait in quite a big non-EU queue, whilst EU nationals could waltz through with big smiles on their faces.  

On Saturday, I managed to throw in a little parkrun tourism. Amsterdamse Bos parkrun was beautiful with lots of marathon runners in attendance seemingly getting in those last miles of preparation. Next was on to the Expo to collect my bib – a very well organised event and it was great to see so many enthusiastic runners who clearly had that pre-race excitement/anticipation.

RACE Day! A quick Metro ride and a little walk early on Sunday morning brought me to the Olympic Stadium – a classic stadium in my book! You enter via some very industrial concrete staircases and then you emerge off the concourse to see an athletics track full of colour and live. Beautiful!

The slightly faster boys and girls were set off at 0900 and there was a big screen showing them gliding around the course as me and my wave edged ever-closer to the start line. I started at approx 0915 and felt a wave of emotion as I crossed the start line – 3-4 months of training and long-runs had taken me to this moment and this was now the culmination of those endeavours.

The course is what you’d expect – flat as a dutch pancake. You head out of the stadium and after a few kilometres you hit Vondel Park which is a beautiful city park. You then edge into the Museum district and the business district with thousands of people lining the streets – even had a few shouts of “Go on, Strider!”. My partner was waiting for me towards the Martin Luther King park so this gave me the motivation to get there at a consistent pace. You then hit a section of the course which takes you out-and-back down the River Amstel for approximately 12km – this was my favourite bit! I went into full auto-pilot in terms of running but fully enjoyed the sights – some beautiful houses and windmills… lots of enthusiastic DJ’s busting out the classic high-energy songs you’d expect… an excited dog running between the runners and joining in the excitement… some water jet-boarders flying 10meters above the river doing backflips – incredible!

Beyond the beautiful river section, I believe the next part of the course was the industrial side of the city which was a real slog. To keep myself going, I had to keep thinking to myself “how many parkruns are left to go?”; “how many laps of Manor park is this?”; etc – I don’t know why, but chunking up longer runs makes it seem more achievable. The final 8km is where you start heading back in the direction of the stadium along the outer canal of Amsterdam City centre. So much support and I managed to keep running, although my pace did drop on this final approach. As you enter the stadium, you have 200m of running track to attack – I managed to give my last bit of energy to cross the finish line in a time of 4:02:29. My pre-race target was sub-4hrs, but as this was my first marathon, my time was naturally still a PB!

I cannot recommend this race enough. Amsterdam is a beautiful city and I fully enjoyed the run. Thousands of UK-based runners take part; excellent public transport; and 90%+ locals speak excellent English. 5 stars! Hup Holland Hup!

Striders results:

Position Name Category Time
6717 Sam Ainscough M35 04:02:29

The full results can be read here.


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