Friday , May 24 2024

National athlete finishes first full marathon as runner-up at VM Hai Phong

SEA Games gold medalist Luong Duc Phuoc accelerated near the end of the race to surpass a series of runners to finish second at VnExpress Marathon Hai Phong on Sunday.

Phuoc’s forte is the 1,500-meter distance and Saturday was the first time he tried a full marathon at a tournament. Under the cold temperature of 11 degrees Celsius, Phuoc was barely seen in the first kilometers. He chose to run at a moderate speed and was absent from the top group for almost the first half of the race.

This caused disappointment for those watching the race via livestream because, before the race day, the news that the national athlete joined the full marathon challenge for the first time excited many people.

Luong Duc Phuocs runner-up moment. Photo by VM

Luong Duc Phuoc’s runner-up moment at VM Hai Phong 2023. Photo by VM

In the first half of the race, Hua Thuan Long was continuously leading the group. Chasing behind were well-known runners Vu Dinh Duan, Do Huy Hoang, Trinh Dinh An, and Truong Van Quan.

The camera never once captured Phuoc in the first 30 km.

But 10 km from the finish line, the 21-year-old runner from Dong Nai suddenly sped up. He set the fastest speed to surpass a series of runners, climbing to second place.

He took 19 minutes and 27 seconds to run from the 34.7th to the 40th kilometers. For the same distance, Long, the champion, took 19 minutes and 57 seconds. An took 20 minutes and 32 seconds, while Duan’s time was 20 minutes and 45 seconds.

Luong Duc Phuoc on the Hai Phong racetrack. Photo by VM

Luong Duc Phuoc on the Hai Phong racetrack. Photo by VM

Impressive speed in the last kilometers helped Phuoc win second place. He finished the race in 2 hours, 37 minutes, and 3 seconds, making him the best rookie of 2023.

“I didn’t think the parameters were that good. Initially, my expectation was 2 hours, 45 minutes. This is a motivation for me to try to conquer new milestones,” Phuoc said.

According to him, the VM Hai Phong racetrack was beautiful, straight, and without challenges, and the weather was ideal.

However, because he was not used to running 42 km, in the first 30 km, he maintained a moderate pace at 3:45 to feel his body. This speed did not help Phuoc enter the top group, but he still maintained a stable distance from them.

“After 30 km, realizing that my body was adapting well and that my competitors seemed to be slowing down, I decided to speed up. Coming in second place was satisfactory,” the runner-up added.

Phuoc also said the VnExpress Marathon is a big tournament, highly appreciated by the community. At the end of the year, when there were no national and international competition plans, Phuoc saw VM Hai Phong as an opportunity to challenge himself and explore new limits.

He spent more than a month doing intense training and long-distance running. The athlete said that in 2024, in addition to focusing on playing for the team, he will try to participate in more marathons to develop his career.

Phuoc was born into a family where no one followed a sports career. After his parents divorced, he lived with his mother. He got into athletics in high school when he joined the school team and ran short distances.

Excellent performances at district and provincial-level tournaments helped Phuoc catch the attention of the scout team.

He won a gold medal at SEA Games 31, a silver medal at SEA Games 32, and a distance of 1,500 meters.

At the VnExpress Marathon Hai Phong, Long was crowned champion after 2 hours, 34 minutes, and 29 seconds. He was far ahead of his opponents in the first kilometers. An finished third in 2 hours, 38 minutes, and 39 seconds.

Among the women, Hong Le deserves to be considered the “queen of VnExpress Marathon” when she was crowned for the sixth time. Le’s achievement was 2 hours, 46 minutes, and 47 seconds.

VnExpress Marathon Hai Phong was the closing tournament of the 2023 VnExpress Marathon series. 11,000 athletes joined a race full of emotions and challenges on the day the port city was hit by the monsoon cold air.

Cold weather combined with a flat track helped set a record for the number of people reaching Sub3. 82 runners completed the race in under 3 hours, breaking the record of 50 people at VM Hanoi Midnight a month earlier.

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