70km Ultra Marathon

IMPORTANT: Read the RACE RULES HERE.

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

Distance: 70.8km | Elevation gain 3,900m

Start time: 3:00, Saturday, 21-09-2024

Bus depart to start: 1:30 – please see your race program: Race Start Time & Location

Start & Finish location: Topas Ecolodge – Google maps

CUT-OFF: 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 70km must be at least 18 years old on race day.

Qualification: To run 70km, you must have previously completed at least one official TRAIL race of 40km+ with significant elevation before the race. The race must be an official race, not a virtual race / club run.

On registration, please provide a URL link to your qualifying result (VTS results page, UTMB Index, ITRA results page, 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

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.

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. 

VMM ethnic minority_LUU_0618 (1)

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. 

Vietnam Mountain Marathon - 70km

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. 

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 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. 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. Survival / Emergency / Space Blanket (Lack of this = DSQ)
  7. Whistle (Lack of this = 30minute Penalty)
  8. Mobile phone (with battery for the full event) (Lack of this = DSQ)
  9. 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 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 70km is a 3-point qualifying race for ITRA, an ITRA National League race, and a 100K UTMB Index race.