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Australian Woman Beats All Men at VJM 70k

The day before VJM was Vietnamese women’s Day, but the day belonged to Australia’s Kellie Angel, winning Vietnam Jungle Marathon 70k outright with a faster time than all the men. Other victories came for Vietnam, France and the US on trails of 10k to 70k in beautiful Pu Luong Nature Reserve.

Vietnam Jungle Marathon 2023 is part of the Topas Vietnam Trail Series along with VMM (Sapa), VTM (Moc Chau) and soon VUM (Mai Chau). VJM concluded the 2023 series in Pu Luong, Thanh Hoa, marking another successful year of trail running in one of the country’s most stunning landscapes.  

The race welcomed more than 1,500 runners from 40 nations on the beautiful trails of Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Runners raced distances up to 70k on challenging terrain.  

The VJM Ultimate challenge – 70km

The ultimate challenge, the 70km race, started at 4am, Saturday October 21 2023. It saw the extraordinary performance of Kellie Angel from Australia. She beats all the men, with an incredible time of 08:08:03.  

Kellie - Champ 70k

“It was great – it was challenging. Some good running and some seriously steep climbs. The landscape was so pretty. There were some sections where we came to the peak of a mountain and saw the most amazing vistas,” said Kellie on the finish line. She then took the time to present an award to the young under 16 10k podium runner also. 

Kellie added: “I love Vietnam. I have eaten so much here in Vietnam this week. That’s my favourite part of being here – the food! Carb loading here is very easy!”. 

In the male category, Jean-Henri Haniquaut of France won the male contest, coming to the line just 12 minutes after Kellie Angel.  

“It was like a dream for me” - Jean Haniquaut

“It was amazing – wonderful route. Stunning views. Great people, we passed some very remote villages. Kids giving high –fives along the way. I loved it. It was like a dream for me. The course marking was amazing and so were the checkpoints,” said Jean.  

The second male was Nguyen Tien Vo from Vietnam, with the time of 8:31:11, followed by Rainer Predl from Austria with the total time of 8:37:37.  

Second place woman was Nguyen Thuy Xuan Quynh from Vietnam in 11:24:29. The podium was rounded out by Nguyen Dang Quynh Nhu from Vietnam with a finish time of 12:05:46. 

VJM 50km

Christine Mitchell
Christine Mitchell on her way to victory at VJM 2023

The 50km route was won by Nguyen Duc Tuan Anh from Vietnam. He clocked the time of 5:12:35, while the second place went to Lilian Vitre from France with the finish time of 05:25:43. The third place was Vuong Xuan Hoa from Vietnam with the total time of 5:26:49. 

The 50km female race is was won by Christine Mitchell from the United States with the total time of 6:35:40. Nguyen Thi Tra Giang from Vietnam came second and Le Hunsec Dorothee, from France took third. 

VJM 25km

VJM 25km podium runner

The champion of the 25km in the men’s category was Alexandre Videau from France, with the total time of 2:25:29. The second place and the third place were Ta Van Hau and Doi Sy Thuan from Vietnam with 2:48:19 and 2:52:36. 

The first woman was Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh from Vietnam with the total time of 02:53:29, Tracy Ramberg from America took second in 02:59:45 and Abigail Rhodes from the United Kingdom taking 3rd in 03:11:43. 

VJM 10km

The 10km route started at 8 am, Saturday morning at Thanh Son Commune. The first place male was  Tran Van Nhan from Thanh Hoa – the land of VJM with just 1:05:51. The second place went to Nguyen Thanh Trung, from Vietnam with the total time of 1:07:05, followed by Huynh Tieu Phuoc with 1:16:04. 

In the female category, the champion of VJM 10km was Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet from Vietnam in 1:22:59. The second place was Agata Kantorska from Poland in 1:25:10, closely followed by Truong Quynh Giang from Vietnam with a time of 1:25:32. 

Charity Work

Like every race by Topas, VJM has a charity element. A school in the finish village is set for upgrading with classrooms and teacher rooms using VND500 million from VJM. Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation also benefits from the race, with 50 kids and staff being fully funded to join the race, with transport from Hanoi and accommodation and food in the race village. 

New race in Mai Chau

Following VJM, runners can sign up for the new race from Topas: Vietnam Ultra Marathon. VUM, the fourth race from Topas, will take place in Mai Chau, Hoa Binh, with trails of up to 70km. Registration is opening now for this new event, learn more about this new race, Vietnam Ultra Marathon.