Saturday , July 13 2024

Half marathon, race walking events to ring in New Year


Athletes run at the 2023 VIHM on January 1 around the Hà Nội’s Hoàn Kiếm Lake. The second event will see 5,000 runners discovering the capital’s beauty on January 1 , 2024. — Photo of VIHM

HÀ NỘI — Music, dance and sport will make up a brilliant year-end and New Year celebration through the Herbalife Countdown Party 2024 in Hà Nội.

The two-day event will be held on December 31 and January 1 and is expected to lure the participation of thousands of local people, tourists and athletes. The second edition is jointly organised by the Hà Nội People’s Committee, Việt Nam Athletics Federation (VAF) and Vietcontent under the sponsorship of Herbalife.

The countdown party will be held at the Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục Square by the Hoàn Kiếm Lake, starting from 8.30pm on December 31 and will be live broadcast on national TV channels.

According to director Trịnh Bá Linh, it would be a combined performance of young and well-known artists under the support of light technology that will show the connection between performers and the audience.

“We have set up a tunnel of light that will lead the audience to the stage. They will take time to take photos and check-in before accessing to the stage. During the countdown, their photos will be displayed on the screen,” said Linh.

“We will combine martial arts and music in one where people enjoy both arts at the same time. Winner of the Rap Việt 2023 Double2T and famous singer Mỹ Tâm will be the highlights of our event which is decorated with hundreds of kinetic lights in the sky,” Linh said.

Artists performing at the Countdown Party 2023. The 2024 countdown promises more brilliant performances to people in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of the organisers

The main event of the countdown will be the Vietnam International Half Marathon 2024 (VIHM) on January 1 at the Thiền Quang Lake.

As many as 5,000 athletes will compete in three categories of 21km, 10km and 5km in which organisers will deliver awards to high-ranking runners of the elite and amateur disciplines.

The tournament will feature a number of national athletes of Việt Nam, Thailand, Laos and Chinese Taipei as well as runners from world running hubs such as Kenya, the US, Japan, Germany and Sweden.

All will start and finish at the lake area while during their races, marathoners will run through the city’s beautiful streets and landmarks. The routes are designed to have some changes compared to the previous ones but are still recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

A total of VNĐ550 million (US$22,800) is up for grabs. In addition to bonuses for top individual runners, the organisers also present awards to the fastest teams and groups.

“All preparation has been almost done and the organising works are all to help runners to get their best results,” said Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, generation secretary of the VAF.

Members of Hồ Gươm Racewalking Club in training for the 2024 VIHM. — VNS Photo Triệu Việt Linh

“After the success of the 2023, we believe that the 2024 season will make up unforgettable memory for all participants.”

This year, organisers also open new disciplines including Race Walking with a view to encourage people to be involved in sport activities.

The top 10 finishers will receive special bonuses. Organisers will also have experts and staff to guide people on how to walk properly and launch a walk race development programme by encouraging people to take part in an one-lap walk, about 1.7km, around Thiền Quang Lake.

Race walking has developed strongly in Hà Nội. It is expected to be as strong as marathon in the future. — VNS Photo Triệu Việt Linh

“Việt Nam’s elite race walking has made remarkable results regionally but we are facing a shortage of talented athletes, meanwhile the amateur walking movement is strongly growing,” said Hùng.

“We add the new discipline to the VIHM 2024 to push the sport up and will make it an official event in the next years.”

In the last few months, three first race walking clubs – Hồ Gươm Racewalking Club, VKL and Vinhome – have been established in the capital under coach and famed athlete Nguyễn Thị Thanh Phúc. More clubs will come out in HCM City and Đà Nẵng as well as other cities and provinces. — VNS

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