Not since 2010 has there been a European winner at the Dam tot Damloop, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, but this could change on Sunday (23).
The last European winner on the famous Amsterdam to Zaandam 10-mile route was Hilda Kibet eight years ago and there will be hopes of another domestic win courtesy of Susan Krumins who will be looking to transfer her excellent end-of-season track form onto the roads.
After an injury-disrupted campaign, Krumins returned to form in time to win a silver medal in the 10,000m at the European Championships in Berlin and was more recently a close second to Laura Muir in a road mile in Stockton-on-Tees a fortnight ago.
But the European hopes are more likely to be led by the athlete who beat Krumins to the European 10,000m title on a hot and humid night in Berlin last month: Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter.
Salpeter has never contested the 10-mile distance before but the 29-year-old has excellent credentials on the road as well as on the track.
The 29-year-old, who represented Israel in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships, was the top European finisher at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia in March and returned to the Spanish city in June to win a 15km road race in a fast 47:38.
The line-up also includes Romania’s Ancuta Bobocel, Sweden’s Sarah van der Wielen (nee Lahti) and reigning champion Mercyline Chelangat from Uganda.
The men’s race is headed by another Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei, the silver medallist behind Mo Farah in the 10,000m at the 2017 World Championships in London.
Cheptegei has been nursing a knee injury since the Commonwealth Games in which he won the 5000m and 10,000m titles and the 22-year-old, who was second in this race two years ago, will be pushed on his return to racing after injury by the in-form Bashir Abdi from Belgium.
Abdi concluded his track career with silver over 10,000m at the European Championships in Berlin followed by a 13:04.91 5000m PB in his farewell track race in Brussels.
Abdi was third in the Great North Run the following weekend in 60:42 and now under the tutelage of Farah’s coach Gary Lough, Abdi is looking to target the marathon ahead of the 2020 Olympics. He clocked a promising 2:10:46 debut in Rotterdam this April despite sustaining cuts to his legs in a fall at the start.
Other standout entrants include Brits Callum Hawkins and Dewi Griffiths, New Zealand’s Zane Robertson and Ethiopian Ayele Abshero.
More than 45,000 runners took part in last year’s race which was staged for the first time in 1985.
The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong, recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.
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