Rotterdam Marathon 2021: the return of the great races in Europe

There are runners in every country in the world and there are marathons in every major city on the planet. Marathoners travel from one place to another to discover new circuits and take the opportunity to discover new places. That is why they are always looking for the two things to coincide: good marathons and good cities. For this reason there are cities that have huge marathons, since tourism and sports go hand in hand.

Training a marathon is difficult and takes time. Taking a trip takes time and money. All together is a plan to be taken seriously. That is why it is very important to research where to run. In this second half of 2021, the marathon calendar was more loaded than ever after a year and a half of cancellations and postponements.

About 10,000 runners participate in the Rotterdam marathon (Credit: Rotterdam Marathon) (Bart Hoogveld /)

Berlin and London are two of the Six Majors, that is, they are part of the circuit of the six most important marathons in the world. But precisely for this reason, the capitals of the United Kingdom and Germany are difficult to sign up and get a place. Are there other marathons to choose from? Sure there are.

Rotterdam is one of the great alternatives. A smaller, but crowded race, a first-rate organization and a fast circuit. To that we must add the tourist part. Museums, walks and a culinary and hotel offer make it a great option, if we are interested in tourism as well as the race. Amsterdam, the main city of the Netherlands, is nearby, so you can base yourself there and travel the day before to Rotterdam.

This year they were fulfilled forty years since the first edition of this marathon and the return after three postponements made everything even more exciting for everyone. Rotterdam has something that only the best marathons have: a local crowd who loves their run. Yesterday Rotterdam made headlines for a series of riots in the midst of a partial shutdown by the coronavirus. Dutch police fired warning shots on Friday after it exploded a protest in the port city.

The Rotterdam Marathon is the largest in the Netherlands and has been voted one of the best ten marathons in the world (Credit: Rotterdam Marathon)

During the forty-two kilometers and one hundred and ninety-five meters of the marathon the public cheers non-stop. Everyone shouts, applauds acquaintances and strangers. The numbers of each runner bear the name of the competitor in addition to the number. That’s why when we run we can hear how the spectators shout our name. Personalized breath is one of the most beautiful things you can experience in a marathon.

The start is the Erasmusbrug, in the heart of the city. Crossing the bridge with the cheering crowd is the ideal starter. More than 10,000 marathoners begin their experience there, which includes a visit to all the great places in the city. And yes, you also go to the outskirts and you can see mills, a quintessential Dutch postcard. The famous Cube Houses, the canals, the most famous buildings. Everything is covered and even passed over the bridge again and ends in a beautiful arrival, one of those that is not forgotten anymore.

Rotterdam is close to Amsterdam, the main city in the Netherlands, so you can base yourself there and travel the day before for the marathon (Credit: Rotterdam Marathon) (Luka de Kruijf /)

The Rotterdam marathon is the largest in the Netherlands and it has been chosen one of the best ten marathons in the world. It’s not that hard to get a spot and the weather is relaxed enough to remove the racer kit and get to the start.

Whoever wants to dedicate a year to training, who manages to plan and travel to run, will find in this race one of the great competitions in the world. In that permanent search for great marathons and beautiful journeys, Rotterdam should undoubtedly be on the list of every racing lover.


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