The biggest start of this year’s Vietnam Trail Marathon stole the hearts of trail runners along the tough 42km mountain course. He may have run with no official bib, but he was awarded a finisher medal nonetheless.
Cam the dog lives in Mama’s House, a Homestay close to Ban Ang Pine Forest, the start line of VTM 21k, 42k and 70k. At 3 a.m., Cam followed two ultra runners from Mama’s house to the Ban Ang pine forest.
According to the subsequent Facebook post by the race organiser, Topas, Cam actually started with the 70k runners to checkpoint 1 and then decided to go back to start with 42k runners. Maybe, he thought 42k was far enough!
Cam ran to the finish line at around 4:30 p.m., puffed and lay down calmly waiting for the other runners.
In fact, Cam started the 42k race last year, however, he did not finish (DNF) that year.
After seeing a notice post on the VTM Facebook page about Cam, his owner from Mama’s house Le Hong Thai, urgently called the organiser and went to the to pick him up.
The owner said: “I picked him up at 6 p.m. from the VTM finish line. He was tired after the race, but next day he became strong as if nothing happened. I plan to register him for 21k next year”.
Cam’s story has been shared in running communities. Many runners suggested the organiser Topas to present the dog a race finisher medal.
“Please give him a special medal… not only is Cam a participant… he helped the other runners too.. making this race unique and lifting up their spirits!!! Bless this dog!!”, Darylyn Tan – a VTM runner commented.
As a result, Cam has since been presented with his very own Vietnam Trail Marathon 42km medal which he wears proudly.