Tuesday , December 6 2022

Foreign runners excited about ‘marathon’ discovery of Ha Long

Many foreigners living in Vietnam were thrilled to join this year’s VnExpress Marathon Amazing Halong as a way to discover beautiful places in the country.

Taking an early flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and then catching a cab to Ha Long, around two hours from the capital, Lewis Lee Travor from the U.K. was one of the first foreign runners to receive the big for the race Saturday morning.

Lewis, who registered for the 21-km race, said it was the first time he was running a marathon in Vietnam and he was looking forward to the experience.

“I made a lot of efforts to participate in the race. It was not easy to get air tickets during the peak summer travel season,” Lewis said.

The British runner said he hoped to enjoy the stunning beauty of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO heritage site, while running.

Christophe Poisson from France registered to attend the full marathon race that would take runners run through several tourist landmarks in Ha Long including the Bai Chay Bridge, Bai Tho (Poem) Mountain and Tuan Chau Island.

Poisson, who has only been living in Vietnam for a year, said this was his second time he was running a marathon here.

At this year’s VnExpress Marathon Ha Long, he had set himself a target of finishing the race in about 3h50 minutes.

Paul Anton from Ireland, who focuses on trail marathons, said it was the first time he had registered to participate in a VnExpress race.

“I’m very excited and everything is great,” Anton said.

“The natural scenery along the route will be very beautiful and I hope to finish the 21 km run before the sun rises and the weather becomes too hot,” he said.

Phil Smith of Australia registered for the five kilometer run to accompany his friends and explore the beauty of Ha Long Bay.

Phil Smith (C) poses for a photo with other runners at VnExpress Marathon Halong, July 23 2022. Photo by Thao Mien

Phil Smith (C) poses for a photo with other runners at VnExpress Marathon Halong, July 23 2022. Photo by Thao Mien

“The weather in Ha Long these days is the same as summer in Sydney where I live, so I don’t have any pressure about the weather. I want to be in a good mood, to jog in the cool air early in the morning amidst the beautiful natural scenery in Ha Long,” he said.

Held for the first time in Ha Long Bay, the 2022 VnExpress Marathon Amazing Ha Long received 11,000 registrations, making it the event’s biggest race ever.

Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the Quang Ninh Province Department of Tourism, estimated that around 180,000 tourists would visit Ha Long this weekend.

Quang Ninh received 5.5 million tourists in the first half of this year, well over 50 percent of the target for the year.

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