21km Mountain Run


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

Distance: 23.3km | Elevation gain 1,000m

Start time: 6:00, Saturday, 21-09-2024

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

Finish location: Topas Ecolodge – Google maps

CUT-OFF: 20:30 at CP6 – 22:00 at CP7 – 23:59:59 at FINISH

Age restriction: 21km entrants must be at least 18 years old on race day

Course description

This Half Mountain Marathon is very hard. The race starts in Sapa town. After a small loop, the route goes uphill across the Ham Rong mountain giving you incredible views from early on in the course. 

You will see beautiful valleys, local ethnic minority villages, streams, forest and high mountain views.  

After the first climb onto the trails your efforts will be rewarded with incredible views of rice terraces and Mount Fansipan (3,143m), the highest summit in Indochina.

VMM-Sapa Square 2

After CP7 the infamous Silverstone climb on steep trail awaits, but your reward at the top is one of the best vistas of the course.

VMM ethnic minoriy 3


Then it’s time for the final hard downhill and the race to the finish line and the warm welcome from the other runners at Topas Ecolodge, located on a beautiful hilltop. Here you can relax and enjoy the feeling of triumph together with all the other mountain runners.

Expect your will be about double compared to a flat race! Therefore you must bring plenty of nutrition.


IMPORTANT: Please note:

  • 21k Disqualification (DSQ) will result from a lack of 

Means of carrying kit (e.g. race pack / belt); 1lt Water Carrying Capacity; Mobile Phone; Waterproof Jacket; Headlamp (after 6PM). 

  • 21k 30minute Time Penalty will result from a lack of: 

Any other mandatory kit item listed below. 


  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 if on course after 6PM (you will be checked) (Lack of this = DSQ)
  4. 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)
  5. Headwear (e.g. hat / cap / buff) (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  6. Whistle (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  7. Mobile phone (with battery for the full event) (Lack of this = DSQ)


  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)
  12. Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket
  13. Basic first aid kit (e.g. bandage, gauze, antiseptic…)

Finish Bag

Handing in your bag: at the START LINE

Please prepare your own bag. Bags must be sealed/closed.  

Do not include valuables – the organiser cannot be held responsible for any loss.  

BRING your luggage tag (given at the race pack collection), we will staple it for you. 

Picking up your bag after the race: at the FINISH

*If you DNF, then you can also pick up your 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 21km is a 1-point qualifying race for ITRA, an ITRA National League race, and a 20K UTMB Index race.