The Dam tot Damloop has been assigned the Silver Label for Road Races by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The organiser, Le Champion, meets the stringent requirements that the IAAF has attributed to the label. "We are very proud that the IAAF has recognised the Dam tot Damloop’s high level of quality" said Simone Richardson, Director Le Champion. Main sponsor ASICS is also delighted with the news. Gert-Jan Oudijk, General Manager at ASICS Benelux: "In everything we do, quality is a given. The fact that this fantastic event has received such an international quality label is a reflection on us too of course."
The Dam tot Damloop, which takes place between Amsterdam and Zaandam, has been a great success since 1985. During the first edition 4,300 runners were at the starting blocks, today that number has grown to as many as 55,000 participants. That makes the Dam tot Damloop one of the biggest running events in the world, where the bib numbers for the main distance, the 10 miler, are sold out within hours every year. "The popularity of the event can also be attributed to the unique atmosphere that the more than 250,000 spectators create along the course every year," says Richardson. The participation of over 1,000 companies in the world's largest Business Run makes the Dam tot Damloop unique.
For years, the organisers have managed to get a strong field of elite athletes, both at international and national level, to participate. This is one of the more important requirements of the Silver Label. One of those who took part in 2011 was Leonard Komon, world record holder in the 10 and 15 km. He missed the world’s best time in the 10 miler by five seconds. He did, however, manage to destroy the Dam tot Damloop course record (44.27). The women’s world’s best time in the 10 miler was broken by Linet Masai (50.39) in 2009 as a result of the fast course between Amsterdam and Zaandam.
The participation of a strong field of top athletes generates a great deal of media attention for the Dam tot Damloop each year. The event can be followed in a six-hour live broadcast on RTV Noord-Holland and NOS Studio Sport broadcasts a summary of the race. Programs such as RTL Boulevard and SBS Shownieuws also focus attention on the participation of well known Dutch athletes. Many of them run for Charities. Le Champion encourages participants whenever possible to run for charity. And that is always a success. Last year € 979,400 was collected for over 80 charities.
The Silver Label is also a credit to the efforts of 1,000 volunteers. Together with Le Champion the volunteers organise themselves in a professional manner ensuring there is a good spread along the course. The service posts provide an extensive range of care and thanks to a technically sophisticated time recording system the results are available very quickly. Richardson: "Without the help of our loyal volunteers we would never have managed to get the Silver Label".
The recognition of the IAAF is also a reward for the sponsors, relevant agencies and the municipalities of Amsterdam and Zaandam, who have been involved in the organisation of the Dam tot Damloop for years. Thanks to the wonderful collaboration Le Champion has succeeded in growing the Dam tot Damloop into an event that has an international appeal.
In 2013 the Dam tot Damloop will take place on Sunday, 22 September. Entries open on www.damloop.nl from 30 March.