Running The Amsterdam Marathon
“If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” Emil Zatopek
The tradition of fast times was continued in 2002 by no less than 6 athletes 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 forty% increase in the number of participants, which exceeded ten-thousand for the first time.
The 28th ING Marathon was a race 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 twenty-three years earlier. Twenty-six-year-old Kenyan athlete William Kipsang broke the track record with 2.06.39 to find himself in 14th place on the all-time world list. After dropping to 5th place in 2002, Amsterdam convincingly passed Rotterdam in 2003 to take 4th place on the world ranking of on average fastest marathon cities, and the highest ranking marathon in the Netherlands.
Robert Cheboror rewrote 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 3rd place in the world’s ranking of fastest runners in 2004, and 10th on the all-time world list. Another record that was broken was the number of participants in the race. Record figures for 2003 were shattered by an additional four-thousand runners appearing at the start, increasing the total number of participants to 15,926.
On 16th October 2005, the thirtieth anniversary was made extra special with a record performance by the men for the 3rd year running. None less than Haile Gebrselassie beat Robert Cheboror’s previous course record gained just a year ago by three seconds.
The thirty-one year old Ethiopian’s record time of 2.06.20 was also the best gained worldwide in 2005, and takes 10th 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 sixty-one different countries took part in the various distances.
Read the first part of this article The history of the Amsterdam Marathon.