On Saturday 25 May runners from 46 nations raced distances up to 70km at the third edition of Vietnam Jungle Marathon.
It was a magnificent day for the jungle battle of champions and also a day of triumph for less experienced runners who completed the extremely challenging course.
The winner of the male 70km was Hisashi Kitamura of Japan who finished in a total time of 8:28:49.
On the eve of the race, Hisashi said “I was beaten by Hung at VMM and now I am motivated to beat him at VJM.”
Hisashi Kitamura, winner of male 70km
On the day, he did indeed turn the tables, with Nguyen Tien Hung, winner of Vietnam Mountain Marathon 100k, coming to the line second together with Nguyen Duc Quang in a total time of 8:58:34.
Hung and Quang, 2nd place at VJM2019 70km at the finish line
At the finish, Quang said: “At CP8, the last checkpoint I ran with Hung and saw Hisashi 40 minutes ahead. I asked Hung to chase Hisashi but Hung wanted to finish together so we decided to finish together.”
The female 70km saw Veronika Vadovicova from Slovakia take first place in a total time of 8:35:51. Right up to the last checkpoint she was running neck and neck with the male winner, with just 6 seconds separating them.
Veronika Vadovicova, winner of female 70km
After finishing, she said “ I feel really good about this race. Perfect despite the heat. ”
Veronika beat Vanja Cnops, winner of Vietnam Trail Marathon, from Belgium into second place. Vanja’s time was 10:41:45.
Also in women’s ultra field, Constance Louasse from France came the first in 55km in the total time of 9:45:05. She beat Annika Johann from Germany and Dang Luu Phuong Anh from Vietnam.
At the finish line, Constance said: “I am so happy to arrive and win this year. The marking was really really excellent like previous races, The water checkpoints, food, profiles and everything were so nice…”
Constance Louasse, 55km female Champ
In the men’s 55km, Do Nhon Trong from Vietnam took first place while Tiger Spearman (UK) and Tran The Anh (Vietnam) came in second and third.
Race Director, David Lloyd of Topas said, “We saw an extremely competitive race today with champions from both overseas and Vietnam going head to head on perhaps Vietnam’s most difficult ultra race course.
“Alongside great racing, we are proud to have raised over US$13,000 for local projects, including Operation Smile’s mission to bring people from the local area to Hanoi for facial reconstructive surgery.”
Full results can be found online at https://vietnamtrailseries.com/live-results/