Running the Amsterdam Marathon will whet your appetite for more city sight-seeing, with a course featuring some of its prettiest scenery.
Entries close on 20th September and organisers expect the 25,000 participant limit will be reached this year after an impressive 24,000 runners took part last year.
This race is one of the world's flattest and fastest and has attracted entries so far from 30 countries, including a large number from Britain. This year, it celebrates its status as the Netherlands Championship Marathon. In addition to the marathon distance, runners can chose from the Mizuno Half Marathon, Menzis 7.5km and several youth runs.
The marathon course starts and finishes in the splendidly renovated 1928 Olympic Stadium, where supporters have free access to the grandstand and bleachers.
Soon after the start and again just before the finish, marathon runners pass through Vondelpark, the largest public park in Amsterdam. The 48-hectare park is full of trees, ponds, paths and playing fields and is dearly loved by every resident of the city. On sunny days thousands of Amsterdam residents enjoy the park. Everyone can be found there, from sport fanatic to health freak to music lover, occupied in their different ways. The variety of activities makes wandering through the Vondelpark especially fascinating in the autumn.
Marathon runners also pass twice by the world-famous Rijksmuseum on Museumplein. Half-marathon runners will pass by once. The Rijksmuseum attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from around the world. One of its most famous works is Rembrandt's De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch), painted from 1640-42.
Part of the marathon route follows the original 1928 Olympic route, along the Amstel River, past stately mansions and several windmills. This rural part of the course has splendid panoramic views and gives an impression of the busy activity dominating the Amstel every day.
In the distance the Arena is just visible, the home stadium of the local Ajax football team. The meandering route along the Amstel is not only interesting for its range of scenery but also for - more importantly - the sight of other participants running on the other side.