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Why I Love VJM - By Our Runners

All of us here at Topas love VJM, but instead of telling you why we love it, we asked a selection of past VJM runners to give us their reasons. Read on to find out what they said…

Why I love VJM - Hienka

I love the combination of limestone formations and rice fields.  

During my VJM runs, I wanted them to last longer to enjoy the landscape even more!  

The start and finish of the race is in a local Vietnamese village, so you get the real feeling of the countryside of northern Vietnam.  

Why I love VJM – Valentin Orange 

Valentin Orange - Why I love VJM

I love VJM because the route gives a unique chance to run through stunning rice paddies, very remote villages and the views are breathtaking.  

I also love the overall vibes of the race as it is still an intimate event.  

The finish line in the village is also really nice and the local people are very welcoming.  

Time seems to stop when staying in Pu Luong.  

Why I love VJM – Trung Nguyen

Trung Nguyen - Why I love VJM

VJM is very special to me as it is my “first love”. The first edition of VJM in 2017 was my first trail race and was where I got hooked on trail running.  

I still remember the feeling of being surrounded by mountain ranges in the valley, in awe of the beautiful, pristine, untouched nature of Pu Luong. I also like the small nature of the race with cosy camaraderie, and the experience of staying in homestay with friends.  

Why I love VJM – Vanja Cnops

VJM 2022 Vanja

I love VJM because the course is just a perfect mix of beauty and pain. Staying in the local race village also makes it a unique and unforgettable experience!  

Why I love VJM – Jay Delgado

VJM – Pu Luong, Vietnam. What a lovely place to run with its endless valleys, and enchanting mountains with calming sounds of the streams cascading down the hills covered with tropical rainforest and lush jungles. 

Living in the homestays along the plains in the foothills of cultivated rice terraces with a community of rich culture and timeless arts traditions. 

Come and run with us again in the Jungle of Pu Luong and experience Vietnamese hospitality the Topas way. 

Why I love VJM – Rhea Lastrilla Batac 

Why I love VJM _ Rhea (1) copy

VJM is one of the most welcoming events that I’ve joined so far. The local community is very hospitable. The organizing team including the race marshals and volunteers are very friendly. The food is delectable. The views along the route are scenic. Once you’ve done VJM, you would definitely wanted to go back. 

Why I love VJM – Quang Nguyen

Quang Nguyen - Why I love VJM copy

Each VJM edition has brought different emotions since the early days. I have seen every side of VJM: I have been a sweeper; I have DNF on ‘The Spike’; and I have finished on the podium!  

Whether in the heat of May or the cool of October, whether in the golden rice harvest or the fragrant rice season, every edition has given me great memories. 

Why I love VJM – Jeff Campbell

VJM22_Jeff Campbell_why I love VJM

VJM was my first time racing in Vietnam, and the atmosphere was fantastic. 

I loved the great energy of all of the race staff and volunteers, and the fact that the local community was so involved with the event. I will absolutely be back.

Why I love VJM – Nguyen Si Hieu from Vietnam

VJM 2018 - Nguyen Si Hieu

VJM 2017 marked my first-ever race. I participated in 25km distance along with three other friends. The trip has brought me beautiful memories. 

I will never forget that moment when I stepped out of the forest onto The Spike, with golden ripened rice fields lying in between marvelous mountains.

The stunning natural scenes and beautiful villages mesmerized me, becoming the source of my passion for trail running.  This year, I am challenging myself to run the 70km distance, which I have not attempted before at VJM

Why I love VJM – Kellie Angle from Australia


The race course was challenging but enjoyable, with a good mix of running and steep climbs. Pu Luong’s landscapes were stunning, especially from the mountain peaks. Despite early ankle injuries from a shoe mishap, I managed to find my rhythm and finish strong. The support from the crew and volunteers was invaluable, and the overall atmosphere was friendly. Reaching the finish line felt great, and enjoying a Saigon beer was a nice reward. Vietnam’s food was amazing, making carb-loading easy. Thanks to everyone involved, and I hope to race again in the future. Cheers!

Why I love VJM – Jean-Henri Haniquaut from France

VJM Jean - 6ad664b342c65ede6d25a90221dccfc6

VJM 2023 race was truly amazing for me. The route was stunning, with breathtaking views that I thoroughly enjoyed. I started off fast, which was unusual for me, but it turned out to be a good decision. I was chased by the second male and the first woman, who overtook me halfway through. It was challenging to regain momentum, but I managed to finish first among the males, which made me incredibly happy. This was my first time participating in the Vietnam Jungle Marathon, and I was impressed by the excellent course marking and frequent checkpoints. The local people we encountered along the way were incredibly kind, making the experience feel like a dream come true. Compared to other races I’ve done, including the VMM last year, this one felt particularly special. I highly recommend it to others, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Do you love VJM? Tell us why with your story and #whyIloveVJM