Kenyan runner Ezekiel Kemboi Omullo won the men’s 42-kilometer VnExpress Midnight Marathon in Ho Chi Minh City Sunday.
Omullo finished the full marathon in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 3 seconds to set the fastest record ever for the 42-km race in the history of the VnExpress Marathon.
The Kenyan runner started the race in first place immediately after crossing the starting line on Truong Dinh Street in District 1, and he never fell into second place for the entirety of the marathon.
The race, which began at midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning, marked the first time Omullo joined a marathon event in Vietnam.
Though he was crowned champion, Omullo, 35, said he regretted that he was not able to break the 42-km race record in Vietnam.
The record was set by Vietnamese athlete Nguyen Chi Dong in Hanoi at the 2003 Southeast Asian Games, when he finished the race in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 51 seconds.
“The race here is quite similar to the one I attended in Thailand two weeks ago,” said Omullo. “I set a goal to break the national marathon record in Vietnam at this tournament, but have not been able to do so. I really hope I could do that next year.”
Omullo said he was surprised and thrilled by the turnout at Vietnam’s major annual marathon event.
“I did not expect this race would be this crowded and joyful,” he said. “Though it was a midnight race, the organizers arranged water stations and volunteers everywhere. I think the VnExpress Midnight Marathon Ho Chi Minh City will grow stronger and I will recommend my friends join the tournament next year.”
Ha Thi Hau reacts when reaching the finishing line of VnExpress Midnight Marathon in Ho Chi Minh City February 12, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
In the female category, Vietnamese runner Ha Thi Hau, 33, won the marathon.
Each winner received VND30.5 million ($1,271) in cash alongside gifts that included watches and sneakers.
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