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Why I Love VTM - By Our Runners

All of us here at Topas are passionate about VTM, but rather than sharing our own reasons for loving it, we decided to ask a group of previous VTM runners to share their perspectives. Keep reading to discover their thoughts and insights on why they love this race. 

Why I love VTM - Hieu Nguyen Champion 21k VTM 2023

Nguyen Si Hieu 1

2019 was the first season of VTM in Moc Chau, I joined 70km. For many people, the most impressive thing about VTM is probably running among the sea of peach and plum blossoms. It was truly a wonderful scene. But I was most impressed with the friendliness of the local people. The atmosphere was like a festival, with many people dressed in traditional costumes standing to welcome and cheer the runners on the VTM course. That is the beauty of the Northwest, and it is what draws people back to Moc Chau. 

Nguyen Si Hieu VTM 2
Nguyen Si Hieu VTM 1

Why I love VTM - Tracy Ramberg - Woman champion 21k VTM 2023

Tracy Ramberg - 5

I love VTM because of the beauty of the course. Like all of the Topas races, the course covers hilly terrain, through local villages and past stunning views. It is a great way to connect with the natural beauty that Vietnam has to offer. I also love the community that has been created through the Topas races including at VTM. Runners are friendly, supportive and kind. I feel like I am part of something special. More generally, I love the simplicity of a trail race. Unlike triathlons (in which I also like to participate), there is no “gear” that can help you go faster or farther. All that can really help in a trail race are strong legs and a positive attitude. At the end of the day, it is just you and your body against the terrain. I like the honest challenge in that! I’m so excited for VTM! 

Why I love VTM - Caroline Hyer and Elise Gustanfson

Why I love VTM - Caroline Hyer and Elise Gustanfson

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 VTM - Manuel Aliprandi - Champion 70km VTM 2023

The route was great. I enjoyed the trail itself – there was a lot of forest and jungle. Some parts of the 70k were very difficult – even a ‘flat’ kilometer could be tough. I also have to say big thanks to the support stations. They were great with all the people; they were so friendly, and I think that’s really amazing. That is something we can’t see every day. I can describe the VTM race with one word: friendly! 

Manuel Aliprandi finish line_2
Manuel Aliprandi finish line

Why I love VTM - Valentin Orange - Champion 70km VTM 2021

Valentin 2021 70km champion

I love VTM because of its remote valleys, especially the cottage village where you feel like traveling back in time. I love the vibes in Moc Chau area, people are very welcoming. Regarding the course, it’s a beautiful race, lots of ups and downs, quite runnable and accessible to the many. It’s a good introduction to ultra running. 

Why I love VTM - João Silva from Portugal

Why I love VTM - Joao Silva from Portugal copy

What an experience 😍. I joined the Vietnam Trail Series Vietnam Trail Marathon. 70km around the Moc Chau mountains and old villages. It was so beautiful, my heart is full, buy my knees did not like that much 😊 . Everything was beautiful, from the jungle forest, the farms, the ancient villages, the orchid plantation, to the tea plantations. Incredible views and landscapes. I felt very fortunate to be able to experience all of that. The organization was on point, and the kids in the villages made my day. All the volunteers on the CP’s were so fantastic and happy. Thank you! 

Why I love VTM - Vu Thi Lan Huong - 70k champion VTM 2023

Vu Thi Lan Huong - Why I love vtm_2

I love VTM because of the beautiful and challenging course, the sense of community among runners, the well-organized race, and the personal fulfillment of pushing my limits and achieving goals. It’s an experience I cherish and look forward to every year.The VTM organizers do an outstanding job ensuring everything runs smoothly, with well-stocked aid stations, well-marked trails, and helpful course marshals, creating a positive and memorable race experience.

Why I love VTM - Vu Tien Viet Dung

Vu tien viet dung - Why i love VTM

My impression of the first VTM season was the fields of white blooming plums and the hillsides sparkling with the colorful dresses of little girls welcoming and cheering on the 10km athletes.I love the friendliness of Moc Chau people and I am impressed with the scenery of the mountain trails and I love  the cuisine here. After 5 years of competing in all VTM distances, this year I will share my love for Moc Chau and VTM with my son in the 10km distance.

Do you love VTM? Tell us why with your story and #whyIloveVTM