Supporting the runners is just as fun as being in the race. You get to see all the different runners pass by–some in costume (fancy dress), some advertising their cause, some impressively fast runners, and many inspirational ones. It can also be a good chance to meet people and to get inspired.
Supporting a friend or loved one is also great. From my racing experience, it means a lot–especially in those last kilometers of the race that really test your endurance. There will be times when a runner questions their abilities or considers stopping. A familiar face and a good cheer makes all the difference. So come out and support the runners. Give them a big cheer. Look out for their names on their shirt or bib so you can call their name (runners like this). Just enjoy the experience and thank you for the support!
Supporter’s tips by Coach Lorna
One piece of advice for supporters on marathon day is that you need to plan a bit. There are 3 races going on and it’s not always easy to get the spot you want because of barricades or road blocks.
In past years, I have been an avid marathon supporter. We used to go out together with sandwiches, coffee or hot chocolate and baileys to the Vondelpark for the day and watch the marathon, 8km, marathon again and then the half marathon. It is a lovely spot to cheer on everyone on their home straight.
Be sure to give everyone a cheer, not just your runner(s).
You can easily get round parts of the course by bike. It is also possible to use public transport. There are many metro stops on the route. Be careful with trams as many will be diverted. Check here for more information.
Ideal cheering spots
Now that I have run both the half marathon and the marathon, here are a couple of spots that might be nice to give your runner a bit of a boost.
For the marathon:
The marathon goes both up and down the Stadionweg so it is a chance to see your runner twice without moving. It is still early in the race though, so your runner should still be quite fresh.
Marathon and half marathon:
Between 26km and 28km marathon, 5km and 8km half marathon it is very industrial and boring for the runners. If you want to make this section more interesting get the metro to Overamstel or Van der Madeweg.
For me, it is nice to see someone around 30km just as it is getting tough. It is right by Amstel station so you can easily get the metro or train there. This is around 9km for the half marathon, so perhaps not such an important stop for the half marathon.
If you are looking for a more scenic spot you can park yourself outside a windmill; the Brouwerij ‘t IJ around 35km marathon 14km half marathon. After seeing your runner you can pop in for some local beer.
From here, anywhere along the Stadhouderskade is good. We have a bit of dip into a tunnel under Wibautstraat, so you could cheer on your runner coming out of it. You could use the Weesperplein metro stop for this spot.
You might like to be in the Vondelpark to see the the last 3kms. However, bear in mind there will be plenty of support there so it might not be the most important place for your runner.
Hope to see you there!