Why the August 2015 Da Nang International Marathon Belongs on Your Run Calendar!
When UK marathoner Peter Walley wrote a fan letter to the organisers of the 2014 Da Nang International Marathon (DIM), he surprised himself by waxing poetic about his experience: "Just wanted to thank you guys for a fantastic experience at the Race in Da Nang!"
Walley liked his first experience in Da Nang so much, he plans to be on hand for the 2015 event—along with runners from around the world who appreciate having a red carpet rolled out when they visit Asia for top-level sporting events like this emerging marathon. Whether you've been to Vietnam or put it on your wish list, the time is now—particularly when you read about affordable packages associated with the event in addition to your chance to challenge your own personal best.
There's a reason Forbes magazine picked Da Nang as having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Thirty kilometres of unspoiled sand, lush vegetation and a clear blue ocean offer respite to visitors and residents alike, so if you make time before you run your race to take advantage of tours and sightseeing, you can see for yourself why Forbes' editors recommends this part of the world.
But your motto is "I'm in it to win it", so while this corner of Vietnam puts out the welcome mat, you'll be focused on running your choice of three distances at the DIM on Friday, 30 October 2015: a 5 km fun run, half and full marathons. As the first Vietnam event ever sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations and Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, your hosts will welcome you with open arms and you'll understand why marathoners like Walley can't wait to return.
You'll have your choice of favourite distances when you participate in the DIM: Choose the 42 km, 21 km or the 5 km fun run, show up at the start line at 4:00 a.m. on 30 August, lace up your shoes and prepare to bust your best running moves. Registration is a breeze because event organisers use an online registration process, so it matters not where you live or what currency you use, all it takes is a few keystrokes and you're in.
Visit their website to take care of business and pay your fees in U.S. or Vietnam dollars, so there are no pesky exchange rates to calculate. As fees go, these are affordable and range from just US$30 to US$110 if you're a citizen of the world. Vietnamese runners pay between 210.000 VND and 1.470.000 VND to participate.
Once you cross that start line at Bien Dong Park alongside worthy competitors, you'll represent your nation with pride as you traverse some of the most gorgeous scenery in Asia. Pass coastlines, spot majestic mountains surrounding the city, cross the bridge spanning the Han River as it transects Da Nang, and since pollution is low and air quality is excellent, you can run your best race without concerns about pollution.
You're probably asking, "What's in it for me if I decide to go?" Well, more than you may imagine. Representing your nation comes with pride and satisfaction. You'll make new friends, show off the results of your dedicated training programme and you'll visit a nation that's emerging from its past—but perhaps you're the practical sort and have budget concerns. Worry no more.
Who doesn't love a discount? Organisers have tied a pretty bow around packages that give runners in need of lodging and amenities a variety of all-inclusive options. Choose from these packages or ask organisers about other arrangements when you make travel plans:
- Book a four day/three night stay at a five-star hotel or resort (double occupancy) that includes breakfast, spa discounts, food and beverage discounts, airport transfers, complimentary souvenir hats plus pre-run carbo-load dinner and Sunset Party discounts.
- Add a tour to this five-star package for a slightly higher rate and you'll have the time of your life.
- Treat your wallet kindly by choosing a four day/three night accommodation (double occupancy) at a three- or four-star hotel that includes daily breakfasts, all entry fees, local transportation, lunches, an English-speaking guide and mineral water during tours and discounts for both the pre-run carbo-load dinner and Sunset Party.
Event sponsors Vietnam TravelMart and Oriental Destinations have pulled out all stops when it comes to showing you some of the best hospitality on the Pacific Rim, which is why there's a chance you could leave a bit of your heart in this ancient country that welcomes runners with such open arms.
Besides, what's not to love about a race that stages a post-run celebration that starts at 6:00 p.m. but promises not to end until the beer runs out?
You know you want to compete—for personal reasons and for your homeland, so what are you waiting for? By registering now, you have plenty of time to clear your calendar, inform your boss, break in new running shoes, start the conditioning program you've been putting off and set your strategy for the best race you've ever run!
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