We’ve been back in beautiful Pu Luong recently making some updates to the race course and we are very confident our runners are going to love the new courses.
As a result of the upgrades, we now have 4 distances only:
This means the 42km and 55km have been replaced by one distance – the VJM 50.
Here we are going to explain:
The new road access in the area of Ban Don (finished around June 2023) means we can create a large start area there.
Ban Don is where many of our runners stay.
It is also much closer to the VJM finish line village of Ban Hang than our old start area, so it is also more convenient for the 300+ runners who stay there. Your transfers to the start area will now be shorter and we can also start all distances apart from 10km in the same place.
Also, right out of the start village area, the trails and views are great!
The first section of trail you will now run onto, soon after the start.
With the new start area of Ban Don, we have been able to lay out a new course that heads almost immediately onto trail from the start after a brief, fun loop around Ban Don village.
The old 70 start was on small concrete roads for the first few kilometers.
This new route offers a lot more trail and a variety of landscapes on the way to the first major climb of the route – Doi Troi (Heaven Hill), which is also known to runners as “The Beast”.
Single track trails don’t get much better than this!
The new 70km also cuts out another section of road – from CP4 (Ban Nua) to CP5 (Ban Kit). We believe runners will not miss running the road up to CP5!
Once you are at CP4, the rest of the route is the same as the old 25km and 55km route… it’s stunning all the way to the finish from here.
One of 1000s of places you’ll want to take a photo on the course… and perhaps take a little rest if you’re not gunning for podium!
We created the 55km to give runners the chance to skip the old 70km road section between CP4 – 5. Instead, the 55km headed direct from CP4 – CP6. With our new course, this is no longer a concern.
The new 50km simply follows the route of the new 70km, but cuts out the major climbing section to Doi Troi (Heaven Hill) / The Beast.
One of the stunning views on the way to down to checkpoint one. Trail running at its inspiring best.
This new route also gives 42km runners the chance to upgrade a little and run an ultra.
Apart from the start area change allowing us to update this course, it is a fact that ultra running in Vietnam has evolved since we started making races here. Now many more people would like to take on the 50k ultra distance, so we are happy to provide that at VJM.
And for those who think 50km is not ultra, it definitely is. Especially when you are running with over 2,000m of gain and on trail!
A small village which you will run by. It is typical of the many that dot the landscape of Pu Luong.
We used to start the 25km in its own start area which was quite far from Ban Hang and other key accommodation areas.
Previously, this made sense, but with our new start area, we can also update the 25km course to be more convenient.
25km runners will take a great trail which has not previously been used for any VJM distance.
After leaving the start area, you will soon be on a very runnable and beautiful section to the pretty, timeless village of Kho Muong. We have added a loop into the famous rice fields here so our 25km runners still get to see this course highlight.
We’ve kept a loop around the rice paddies of Kho Muong.
From Kho Muong (CP7), the course remains the same as before.
This updated route is also more suitable for newer trail runners as it cuts out the very steep and technical climb of Mui Giao (The Spike), known locally as Doc Quyt.
If you are already registered for 55km or 42km, your entry will automatically move to the new 50km distance.
If you would prefer to change to another distance, there will be no fee for upgrading and you can get a refund for changing to a shorter distance. Kindly email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 21 July 2023 to confirm your distance change. Kindly note, late requests cannot be accepted.