Some 3,400 runners from around the world will compete in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon which is about to return to Sa Pa, Lao Cai this September.
The runners from 54 countries and territories will race distances ranging from 10km to 100km in the mountain region of north Vietnam from September 22-23.
A lecture on running by Simon Grimstrup, two-time Vietnam Mountain Marathon 70km winner will take place a day before the event starts. The 100km race will begin at 10pm the same day, with the participants running through the night up some of the highest peaks in Vietnam.
On September 22, the runners in the 70km, 42km, and 21km contests will join them for a race through spectacular rice terraces and ethnic minority villages.
The race finish line is the Topas Ecolodge, which was voted no.1 on the National Geographic list of places to stay if you care about the environment in 2017.
Founded in 2013 by Topas Travel, the event is one of the biggest ultra-marathon events in Asia and a landmark event in Southeast Asia.
When the race was first launched, it only attracted a small number of Vietnamese runners, but this year they count towards over half of the participating athletes.
Last year, around 2,500 runners from 50 nations joined the marathon’s fifth edition. Runner Tran Duy Quang from Vietnam won the 100km race, making him the first Vietnamese to triumph this long running event.
The Vietnam Mountain Marathon also has a strong charitable focus with thousands of dollars donated to good causes since 2013. This year, over 38,000 USD will be donated to local projects operated by Operation Smile and Newborns Vietnam to help support health amongst newborn babies.
On September 11-14, leading neonatologists from the United Kingdom opened a training course for doctors and nurses at Lao Cai Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital in partnership with the Newborns Vietnam and the National Hospital of Paediatrics. The training course was financially supported by the Vietnam Mountain Marathon to promote safe newborn care in Lao Cai.