Dam tot Damloop 2022 race recap

This is the third time I’m running this race. At least, the 10-mile version of the race. I’ve also done the shorter Damloop by Night version of the race twice in 2014 and 2017. The full 10-mile version of the race I did in 2018 (got totally drenched and almost hypothermia) and in 2019 (which was such a hot edition that the organization had to cancel the last few waves because the emergency services couldn’t keep up). It’s one of the biggest races in the Netherlands and always well organized. 

The race was canceled in 2020 and 2021. I still had a 2021 bib for the race, but I also got the opportunity to run with ASICS, who are one of the race’s sponsors. So, I decided to give my 2021 bib to Stephie, while I took ASICS up on their offer. This race is so big that the first starting wave starts at around 10:30, while the last wave leaves 4.5 hours later. Obviously, there is some time between each wave, but still, it’s a lot of starting waves, 19 to be exact. 

Due to the ASICS bib, I was in one of the early starting waves, but I decided to drop back a few waves to start together with Carianne. The website stated that you could always start in a later starting wave, but I wasn’t sure what to do with my drop-off bag, since the trucks driving them to the finish are numbered and the label on them should correspond with the truck number. I asked the organization what would happen if I gave the bag to a later truck, but I only got a cryptic answer that my bag would be at the finish later since they would have to keep it separate. Since I’m not fast anyway I decided to just try it and see what happens. When I dropped it off at one of the later trucks the lady just remarked that I was very late, but she did take the bag.

The 2022 edition promised to be a wet one, just like in 2018. Although weather predictions kept changing from a light drizzle to just pouring with rain. Turns out they were all pretty much correct. When Carianne and I went to the corral there was only a light drizzle, which was totally okay. But as our wave went off it started to rain and rain harder, so we tried to get to the tunnel as soon as possible. The weather basically kept changing between almost no rain and heavy rain the whole way. 

The route was the same as previous years except around kilometer 8 where they had to divert us because a few days before debris had fallen off one of the nearby buildings and they couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again. At this point, we were already pretty drenched, so I really don’t know why they were still handing out wet sponges, what difference would that make? I was even more surprised to see some runners actually taking them. 

At the beginning of the race, I was struggling a bit with my breathing. It would start off fine, but then all of a sudden my heart rate would go up super fast and I’d need to slow down again, but it did seem like I was recovering faster, so I just needed to run in shorter bursts than usual. Later on, I guess my body had resigned itself to the fact that we were running this race and it became a bit easier. 

Heard some people say they’d never done a race in such wet conditions before, but for me it mostly seemed like a 2018 deja vu. Not a very fast race, but we made it round in the end. Then I needed to find my bag, since the one from my actual wave had already been picked up of course. Turns out they bring it to the lost and found tent, but it wasn’t really an issue.

When we were making our way to the race village it really started to pour and every part of me that wasn’t soaked yet, it was now. Luckily I could get into the ASICS tent to change and I tried to put on some dry clothes, but I was still freezing the whole time. So again, I almost got hypothermia, see what I mean by deja vu? We waited around a bit for Stephie, who ran her longest distance so far and did great and then walked back to the train station. Which was a lot further than I seemed to remember from previous years, did they change the walking route to divert you further away from the course? 

Anyway, I’m wondering if I ever get to run a normal version of the Dam tot Damloop. Is it possible to run one when it’s not either really hot or pouring with rain? Big thanks to ASICS for giving me the opportunity to run this race, it’s always a party, no matter the weather.

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