100km Ultra Marathon

IMPORTANT: Read the RACE RULES HERE.

Note: The 2024 route has very small adjustments. Updated video coming soon. 

Distance: 99.5km | Elevation gain 5,200m

Start time: 21:00, Friday, 20-09-2024

Start location: Sapa Park (next to Sapa Square – Google maps)

Finish location: Topas Ecolodge – Google maps

CUT-OFF: 4:30 at CP Topas Ecolodge – 12:00 at CP3 – 15:00 at CP4 – 17:00 at CP5 – 20:30 at CP6 – 22:00 at CP7 – 23:59:59 at FINISH

Age restriction: Entrants to 100km must be at least 18 years old on race day.

Qualification: To run VMM 100km, you must have previously completed at least one official 50km+ ultra mountain race with significant elevation. The race must be an official race, not a virtual race / club run.

On registration, please provide a URL link to your qualifying result (Topas result link, UTMB Index, ITRA Index, or similar). If you plan to complete a qualifying race between now and race day, you must send us your result by 30 days prior to the race date.

Failure to provide evidence of a qualifying past performance will result in refusal of entry and the refund terms stand.

Course description

Welcome to the hardest 100k run in Vietnam. This is a seriously tough ultra marathon that covers every type of terrain the area has to offer. You need to be an experienced, capable mountain runner to complete this course within the Cut Off Times – please do refer to the Cut Off Times and the elevation gain charts before you sign up. 

The race begins in Sapa town. This means you can expect crowds to be cheering you at the start line before you run into the night.   

Your route begins with a climb up to Ham Rong mountain above Sapa town, before a rolling downhill to CP6 in the village of Hau Chu Ngai. Here you will turn onto a new trail section that is for 100k runners only, before you meet up with the trail to CP7 in Su Pan village.  

100 start 2

From here, you will climb Mount Silverstone and onto the mountain village of Lech Mong. Next is a beautiful trail section that is again for 100k runners only. This takes you through the Checkpoint at Ban Moi, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. 

After this loop you come to Checkpoint Topas Ecolodge where you join with the 70k course. 

After a short flat run to Van Den Su village, you will descend steeply down into the valley where you will find a Water Station. 

Across the river you will face a very steep climb then onto a traverse to the Red Dao ethnic village of Giang Ta Chai. A stunning rice terrace section will then bring you to CP1 at Lao Chai village. 

After CP1 you’ll hit another significant climb before you start the long, beautiful net gain section along the Muong Hoa valley past rivers, farms and many villages of different ethnic groups. Various sections in this have been adjusted for 2024, so you get the best route through this magical Sapa landscape.

VMM ethnic minority - 2
VMM-Vietnam-Mountain-Marathon-44

After CP3 at O Quy Ho you head onto many runners’ favourite part of our course – Cow Mountain (Nui Bo). After an initial climb through farmland, you will emerge onto the rugged ridge line, with single track trail taking you to the peak. 

On a clear day at the top, you will have stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest summit. For us, this is one of the most jaw dropping vistas of the course and indeed, all of Vietnam. 

The following descent is a sheer joy, especially in the dry. Much of it is runnable and the views are incredible. You’ll finish your downhill in Ta Phin village at CP4. From here, the character of the course changes again, with a riverside trail section, then some forest on your way to CP5. 

The trail from CP5 (31 Bridge) takes you through Sau Chua village on great quality, but very challenging trail with some seriously steep uphill. On a clear day, the views here will help take the edge off the challenge, we promise! 

From CP6 you will enjoy a net downhill to CP7. You’ll run through lots of small villages as well as some bamboo forest sections. 

After CP7 comes the infamous Mount Silverstone climb where steep trail awaits. Your reward at the top is another great view and also the knowledge that you have now completed all your climbing for the day. 

VMM ethnic minoriy 3

From here it’s time for the final, runnable downhill and the race to the finish line and the famous welcome at Topas Ecolodge. Here, you can relax and enjoy the feeling of triumph together with your fellow mountain runners.

MANDATORY KIT 100KM

IMPORTANT: Please note:

  • 100k Disqualification (DSQ) will result from a lack of 

Means of carrying kit (e.g. race pack / belt); 1lt Water Carrying Capacity; Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket; Mobile Phone; Waterproof Jacket; Headlamp. 

  • 100k 30minute Time Penalty will result from a lack of: 

Any other mandatory kit item listed below. 

MANDATORY KIT

  1. Means of carrying all kit (e.g. race pack / belt) (Lack of this = DSQ)
  2. 1.0L liquid carrying capacity (Lack of this = DSQ)
  3. Strong headlamp (Lack of this = DSQ)
  4. Spare batteries for headlamp (rechargeable headlamps exempt) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  5. Second back up headlamp (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  6. Waterproof jacket, with hood, sufficient to keep you dry in case of heavy rain, i.e. not a windproof-only jacket; not cheap, thin poncho (Lack of this = DSQ)
  7. Second top layer (long sleeve): To clarify, for your upper body you will have 3 pieces of clothing: normal running top + another long sleeve top to go over that + your waterproof jacket (Lack of second layer= 30minute Penalty)
  8. Headwear (e.g. hat / cap / buff) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  9. Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket (Lack of this = DSQ)
  10. Whistle (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  11. Mobile phone (with battery for the full event) (Lack of this = DSQ)
  12. Basic first aid kit (e.g. bandage, gauze, antiseptic…) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)

RECOMMENDED KIT

  1. Leggings
  2. Waterproof trousers 
  3. Gloves
  4. Sunblock
  5. Sunglasses
  6. GPS watch with GPX track loaded
  7. Poles (very helpful for almost all runners)
  8. Cash for buying food and drinks along the course
  9. Anti-chafing cream
  10. Tape / blister plasters
  11. Battery pack to charge phone if needed (IMPORTANT: a phone with remaining battery power is mandatory; no battery power in your phone = disqualification. If you doubt your phone can last until the end, bring a battery pack)

Finish and Drop Bag: CP Topas Ecolodge/Finish + CP4 (1 bag each)

You can give us 2 bags:

  • 1 Bag = CP Topas Ecolodge/Finish (i.e. you can access this bag at km28.6 (CP Topas Ecolodge) AND at the finish line)
  • 1 Bag = CP4 Bag

Handing in your bags: Leave both 2 bags at the START LINE

Please use the designated tag for each bag. Please prepare your own bags. Bags must be sealed/closed.

No valuables should be left in the bags – the organiser cannot be held responsible for any loss.  

Picking up your bag after the race: 

  • CP Topas Ecolodge/Finish Bags will be at the finish line before the first finisher
  • CP4 Bags will be moved back to Sapa Expo area – collect Sunday morning

*If you DNF, then you can also pick up your CP Topas Ecolodge/Finish bag in Sapa Park (next to Sapa Square) from 7:00-12:00 on Sunday, September 24.

Note: no individual requests for bag transfers can be facilitated. ALL bags are moved together.

VMM 100km is a 4-point qualifying race for ITRA, an ITRA National League race, a 100K UTMB Index race, and a Western States 2025 Qualifying Race.