Raceleader Markus Fachbach was the first athlete to return to the Esplanade after the 180 kilometer bike leg. The German leads the European Championships and had a 3.35 minute lead at the start of the marathon. David Näsvik of Sweden was in second place. The third athlete to cross the Esplanade was Denmark’s Chris Fischer. Best Dutch athlete at that point in the race was Diederik Scheltinga at rank 5, with a 7.21 deficit.
Heleen bij de Vaate opened up a gap in the second half of the bike leg and was the first woman to start the marathon 6 hours and 5 minutes into the race. The home favourite said she was aiming at a sub-9 hour finish before the race, but that will be a pretty tough job now. Tineke van den Berg was still in second position at 3.09 behind Bij de Vaate.