On a brisk Sunday morning 8 CIEE students as well as Hannah Huber and Erik Weijers met by Centraal Station to embark upon the popular Dam tot Damloop, a 10 mile race that weaved its way from Prins Hendrikkade under Nemo and het IJ, through Amsterdam Noord, west to Oostzaan, then finally finishing in the heart of Zaandam. Throughout the entire course, musicians and DJs were blasting music to support the 50,000 runners staggered over 6 hours.
Individual cities worked to make the race through their towns exciting, including putting up colorful flags and large banners welcoming runners to their suburb. Families gathered together barbequing, playing music, and cheering on the participants as they passed their homes, the children often standing at the side of the path handing out cups of water or offering high fives. Occasionally they would see someone they knew; one man I saw stopped to twirl his daughter around in a hug before continuing his race. Between the runners themselves, many joined as teams for their companies, and it was inspiring to see colleagues stick together and encourage each other throughout the course.
At the finish in Zaandam, barriers had to be set up at the sidewalks to keep the enormous cheering crowds from flooding out into the street, creating a vibrant and enthusiastic atmosphere. Meeting near the charity section after re-collecting belongings, it was with a sense of accomplishment that the CIEE team stretched and caught their breath.
Although the fastest times of the day would belong to Leonard Patrick Komon for the men with a time of 44.48 minutes and to Sylvia Kibet with 51.42 minutes for the women, CIEE students Chase Huff and Tessa Howard pulled in great times of 77.1 and 77.17 minutes, with the rest of the team not too far behind them. The biggest winners of the day however were all the charities being run for, especially Waar Ontwikkeling Werkt (Where Opportunities Work), which received over 600 euros through the team’s fundraising efforts to support their projects helping children in Bolivia, Ghana, and Nepal! All and all it was a successful CIEE event that incorporated an Amsterdam tradition for the betterment of children’s lives, so hopefully it will be continued next fall!
Article in CIEE Magazine: Waterland
By: Emily Ogden