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The Rooftop Marathoner

Dat Nguyen was already a very individual character before Sat April 4, but on that day he placed himself in a class of his own by running a full 42km on his rooftop. 

The idea of running a rooftop marathon came to Dat when the Prime Minister of Vietnam called on Vietnamese people to implement social distancing and limit trips outside to those that are absolutely necessary. 


This is part of Vietnam’s proactive policy which had seen the nation limit covid-19 cases to around 200 at the time of Dat’s challenge. 


Dat’s rooftop is just 25m long, so to finish the marathon, he had to run about 860 loops. The challenge started at 8:30 am and finished after 6 hours 22 mins. Making the challenge all the more impressive, the weather was foul, with rain pouring down. 

“By doing this, I would personally like to encourage people to run at home and keep the 2m distance as per the social distancing call of the Prime Minister,” said Dat.


“Doing exercise at home during these times also helps to boost your immune system,” he added.

Not only did Dat aim to inspire people to do exercise at home, Dat also called runners to send charity donation SMS messages to support the health system. 


A familiar face among the Vietnamese running community, Dat has finished many Vietnam Trail Series races, notably the toughest – the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 100k.

He also sometimes joins our Topas crew as an announcer; indeed, at Vietnam Trail Marathon 2020 Dat scored another Personal Best (PB): announcing for 12 hours on the finish line. 

They don’t come much tougher than Dat!