The organisers

Vietnam Jungle Marathon is arranged by the Danish & Vietnamese travel company Topas Travel, founded in 1973. The original Vietnam Mountain Marathon (VMM) was founded in 2013 with The Danish Embassy in Vietnam as co-organisers. We are passionate about the outdoors and our events are organised by runners for runners, nature lovers and people who want an extraordinary, remote and unique experience.

This new event is the result of our love of the Pu Luong area and our wish to bring more nature lovers to this wonderful nature reserve. More than 20 years ago Topas was one of the pioneers that helped make Sapa an adventure destination and now we plan to put Pu Luong Nature Reserve on the outdoor adventure map.

Our races also support development and NGOs. To date VMM has donated tens of thousands of dollars to good causes including Sapa O Chau, a local organisation that provides education and vocational training for minority youths, Operation Smile, and Newborns Vietnam. Funds are also used for projects in villages along the route, for example a school house has been constructed to vastly improve the education conditions for children living in the mountains.

Our hope is that you and your supporters and friends will enjoy this mountainous experience as much as we do while helping to contribute to its sustainable development. 

 

The team

David Lloyd – Race Director

David is the founder of VJM. He moved out to Vietnam six years ago and was part of VMM from the beginning. He now works as Director of Sport for Topas Travel, the organiser of Vietnam Mountain Marathon. Before this David was a travel journalist and photographer. He has written for the New York Times and authored numerous guidebooks, including the latest Insight Guide to Vietnam. David lives in Hanoi with his wife and daughter.

He first developed his love for the outdoors through mountain running and white water kayaking in North Wales. Countless hours in the Welsh hills culminated in a solo completion of the Paddy Buckley Round – a 100km unmarked circuit of 47 peaks with around 8,500m elevation.

Ngot – Event Coordinator

Ngot works as Sport Executive at Topas Travel. She is the Event Coordinator on the VMM races and the first point of contact for everyone who joins a VTS event. Ngot graduated from Hanoi University in International Studies and has since been an integral part of our race series.

Thien – Head of Trails

Thien has been our head of trails at VMM since the beginning back in 2013. He has vast experience in managing the marking of trails from 10km to 100km in length. Thien will be on the ground for this race making sure everything runs smoothly for the adventurous runners. Thien lives in Sapa with his family, but he has been to Pu Luong many times in the past, including on all the research trips for this new run.

Phu – Head of Ceremonies

The original VMM has become well known for the excellent start and finish areas as well as the great final ceremony on Sunday. Phu is the man behind the logistics of all this and he is an invaluable part of our team creating VJM in Pu Luong.

Kien – Head of Ban Hang

Kien is one of our key logistics people and ensures our races run smoothly. He comes from a rural area in the north of Vietnam. He graduated in English at Hanoi University and has been working for Topas since 2008. Recently promoted to Product Manager, in the past Kien has guided all over Vietnam on adventure tours of up to two weeks in length. Kien also undertakes inspections, finding new and exciting routes for adventurous trekkers. Alongside all this he is involved in setting up our trail running camps.