Perhaps you have made it a point to visit as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible and you have Halong Bay on your bucket list. You might know that Halong Bay will treat you to a surreal, cinematic-esque experience as you gaze in awe of the 2,000 islets, caves and limestone karsts.
But have you heard the whispers of stories in the ancient of days around these parts?
Legend has it that in Vietnam’s early beginnings, the locals were at an epic war with invaders. And so, the Jade emperor sent a mother dragon and her children from the heavens to help the ancient Vietnamese. That’s how Halong, which means “descending dragon” in Sino-Vietnamese, got its name.
Halong Bay is said to be the mother dragon while her children became the adjacent Bai Tu Long bay. The dragons’ emeralds which once defended the coast from enemy battle fleets transformed into the islands and mystical limestone karst you’d see today. Whether you believe folklore or not, the place is a sight to behold and a mesmerizing delight to run in.
Following 2015’s blazing trail of success, the Halong Bay Heritage Marathon will return on Saturday, 26 November 2016. This year, more distances are offered ranging from a 42 km Full Marathon and 21 km Half Marathon, to 10 km Fun Run and 2 km Fun Run.
Half and full marathoners will get to run across Bai Chay Bridge, the longest single-span bridge in Southeast Asia, as they take in the spectacular bird’s eye view of the magnificent Halong Bay landscape below.
All races will start and finish at the Quang Ninh Library & Museum. Inspired by coal, a common mineral in Quang Ninh province, the sleek and modern icon sits along the beautiful coastal road in Halong City. Besides the seaside scenery, runners will also enjoy panoramic views of mountains en route.
Registration is Open
Early bird rates close on 31 August and are priced at the following for international runners:
- 42 km Marathon – US$80
- 21 km Marathon – US$60
- 10 km Fun Run – US$30
- 2 km Fun Run – US$2
Race kits for every participant includes a bag, bib, T-shirt and event booklet. 42 km, 21 km and 10 km runners will also receive a finisher certificate and medal upon completing the race.
For more information, please visit the Halong Bay Heritage official website.
Do you like running in places with intriguing backstories and folklore? Do you know any others? Don’t keep those fantastic stories to yourselves!