Over the last couple of months we’ve made a few adjustments to the VMM 100 Mile Course. Here Race Director David Lloyd explains some of the changes.
This year’s VMM 100 Miles will be the first ever 100 mile course in Vietnam. The course is the result of a lot of research by our team.
A section of the new Vietnam Mountain Marathon 100 mile course
The first part of the 100 miler is unique to the 100 mile runners. It has been set in place for some time and is the result of a dream to take runners high over the mountains. This route takes runners across a ridge route from Sapa to ‘Mount Silverstone’, then down to CP7.
This route is extremely beautiful, but it is also tough. It’s all trail until you get down to CP7’… and it is not easy going trail.
It would be very easy to overdo this section and leave yourself with no legs left to finish the 100 miles. I’m hoping runners will respect the demands of this section and leave themselves with enough left for the long haul ahead.
Following this section, we had originally planned a double loop that packed a fair bit of gain. However, I wanted to try and remove some of the climbing and descending in this section to get the race back under a total of 10,000m ascent.
If we kept the originally planned route, you would have been running quite a lot of gain on these loops, which on Sapa’s trails is an extremely hard proposition, especially for our many first timer 100 mile runners.
We have therefore updated this double loop to take a bit of the sting out of it, but it remains a challenging part of the course.
Because you will do the loop twice, you will come back to CP103 at Topas Ecolodge a total of 4 times – first after the ridge from Sapa, twice after the 100 mile course loops, then again after the first (updated) loop of the 100k course.
Coming back to the same checkpoint means you will be able to come back to your own drop bag 4 times.
You’ll also be able to access our special CP103 100 mile food buffet which will be serving you a choice of full meals all day, setting you up very well for the final 70k of your VMM 100 miles.
The final 100k of the course is the same that the 100k runners will experience. However, the first loop of that course around Topas Ecolodge and back to CP103 has been updated for 2022.
This is because the old route changed over the years, with more concrete being laid on the old trails. We wanted to bring the course back to the trail like before.
In the Sapa region, getting off the concrete and onto trails invariably means adding more elevation. We were happy to do this, but we didn’t want to add too much, given the already high DNF rate at the VMM 100k.
The result is a loop with quite a lot more trail, but also around 1000m more climbing. We hope you enjoy that!
We will send out a fully updated profile with all updated cut off times very soon.