Running in the Exotic Mountains: Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2013
A new extraordinary event has just been added to this year’s race calendar: Vietnam Mountain Marathon offering unique trail runs of 21km, 42km and 65km.
The event will take place 5th October 2013 in the northern part of Vietnam.
Runners from Singapore, Malaysia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Brunei, England, Switzerland and Vietnam have already signed up for this event, whilst Simon Grimstrupp and Camilla Gry Elman, the winners from the recently completed Jungle Ultra by Beyond Ultimate, a 230km run in the jungles of Peru, will also be participating in the 65km event.
Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2013 is the result of a lifelong love of running and a fascination with Vietnam. The small dirt roads and narrow trails will take you through the beautiful mountain ranges of Hoang Lien National Park and valleys that are usually completely closed territory to all but the few people living there.
Prepare for an extraordinary adventure - run through the rice fields and speed through breath-taking valleys, cross bamboo bridges, bypass water buffalos, mountain pigs and cheering local children.
The race caters to all racing budgets from ‘roughing it’ in a truly scenic tented camp set up on a hill top to one of the luxury bungalows at the Topas Ecolodge, which has been ranked as having one of the most spectacular locations in the world.
Race director of Vietnam Mountain Marathon lives in the mountains of Northern Vietnam, and we had a quick chat with him to find out more:
How did you manage uncover such an exotic place?
We are three organizers of this event. Jacob from Hanoi, Jeri from Singapore and I am currently living in the mountains of Sapa. As a runner I wanted to invite others to experience the unique experience it is when running along big rice fields and among water buffaloes and ethnic minority groups.
Many people are keen on travelling to new places and exploring new terrains. Would this route be suitable for your average trail runner? (base on 21km)
As this is the first Mountain Marathon in Vietnam, this will for sure be something special and worth travelling for. If you are planning to go, you have to consider the distances- 21k, 42k or 68k. We require that all runners must have run these distances before. Remember, as stated in the route profile, the altitude and elevation gain is serious and you should not expect to set any PR, but an unusual running experience.
Can I hike instead of run?
If you prefer to hike you are more than welcome! The nature is stunning and you will for sure meet a lot of friendly and colorful ethnic minority groups.
Any advice running in Sapa?
As the altitude is mostly above 1000m we recommend a slow pace, lots of water and a mindset of exploring while running. The weather is expected to be around 15-25 degrees and if it rains, it will be very slippery. The humidity is not too high in October, but bring trail running shoes in case of rain.
Lastly, give 3 reasons why runners should consider this race?
- If you are adventurous and want to explore a new part of Asia which is rarely run, especially with plenty of rice fields and colorful ethnic minorities.
- If you want to meet up with runners from more than 15 countries sharing the same interest in beautiful nature and running.
- If you simply cannot avoid being attracted to a new and exciting challenge in the mountains, made by runner for runners!
We hope to see you in the mountains this October!
There are limited start numbers available to this event due to considerations of both logistics and the unique surroundings. Please note that runners need to be qualified to sign up for the full Marathon and the Ultra Marathon, having completed at least 1 full marathon or Ultra marathon in the last 24 months.
Read more about the challenge here: