70km Ultra Marathon
MANDATORY KIT 70KM
IMPORTANT: Please note:
- 70k 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.
- 70k 30–minute Time Penalty will result from a lack of:
Any other mandatory kit item listed below.
- Means of carrying all kit (e.g. race pack / belt) (Lack of this = DSQ)
- 1.0L liquid carrying capacity (Lack of this = DSQ)
- Strong headlamp (Lack of this = DSQ)
- 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)
- Headwear (e.g. hat / cap / buff) (Lack of this = 30–minute Penalty)
- Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket (Lack of this = DSQ)
- Whistle (Lack of this = 30–minute Penalty)
- Mobile phone (with battery for the full event) (Lack of this = DSQ)
- Basic first aid kit (e.g. bandage, gauze, antiseptic…) (Lack of this = 30–minute Penalty)
- NEW! Bowl/container and spoon – mandatory IF you wish to eat hot Checkpoint food. Checkpoints now do NOT have disposable bowls or spoons so we can reduce waste.
- Waterproof trousers
- GPS watch with GPX track loaded
- Poles (very helpful for almost all runners)
- Cash for buying food and drinks along the course
- Anti-chafing cream
- Tape / blister plasters
- 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)
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.
72km | +4,400 m
Start time: 3:00AM, Saturday, 23-09-2023
Bus depart to start: 1:30AM – please see your race program: Race Start Time & Location
Start & Finish location: Topas Ecolodge – Google maps
CUT-OFF: 12:00PM at CP3 – 03:00 at CP4 – 05:00PM at CP5 – 08:30PM at CP6 – 10:00PM at CP7 – 11:59PM at FINISH
Qualification: Registration is only open for very experienced runners, at least 18 years old on race day. To run VMM 70km, it is highly recommended you have previously completed a mountain race.
This is an extremely hard ultra-trail marathon covering all types of landscapes of the Sapa mountain range. Please refer to the elevation chart and cut off before signing up.
For 2023, the course has more beautiful trail sections added, which also means around 1,000m more elevation gain.
The race starts at Topas Ecolodge. After a short flat start to Van Den Su village, you will descend steeply in darkness down into the valley where you will find a Water Station.
Across the river you will face a very steep climb then a traverse to the Red Dao ethnic village of Giang Ta Chai. A stunning rice terrace section will then bring you to CP1 in Lao Chai village.
Next you’ll hit another significant climb, before you start the long net gain section along the Muong Hoa valley past rivers, farms and many villages of different ethnic groups. Various sections here have been adjusted so you get the best route through this magical Sapa landscape.
After CP3 at O Quy Ho you head onto what is many runners’ favourite part of our course – Cow Mountain (Nui Bo). After an initial climb through farm land 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 on steep trail. Your reward at the top is another great view and also the knowledge that you have now completed all your climbing for the day.
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.