On 21/5 runners from around the world competed in distances up to 70km on Moc Chau’s trails, with podiums for Vietnam, Japan, France and more
Established in 2019, Vietnam Trail Marathon has grown to become one of the largest mountain runs in the nation.
The race usually takes place during blossom season, but this year covid 19 forced a date change, so runners saw Moc Chau in harvest season. While hot temperatures were expected, the weather was mild with some light rain through the day, creating more challenging trails but offering respite from the heat of last year.
The running route runners on stunning trails through orchards, remote minority villages and will eventually finish at the Heart Shaped Tea Field (Doi Che Trai Tim).
The female winner of the 70k was Nguyễn Thị Nhớ Hoài racing for Newborns Vietnam with a total time of 11:22:00. She looked very strong at the finish line with 18 minute margin to second place Vũ Thị Lan Hương.
“This is the first trail race by Topas that I joined. I have shortsighted and I did not wear my glasses but the markings were really good that I could run fast without fearing being lost. The Checkpoint staff were also very supportive, they helped me a lot.
“The course today was also very beautiful. Along the trails are the plum gardens which I can imagine how amazing they will look like in blossom season in January. One more thing to say is the friendly local people here. They are super friendly and welcomed us along the course,” she said at the finish line.
The men’s champion of the 70k was Nguyễn Tiến Hùng (Hùng Hải) from Vietnam. He took the lead from the start with a very safe distance with the others along the course.
His total time of the race was 7:55:28.
At the finish line, he said: “Today is my 38th birthday so I am very happy to win the race. The markings this year is excellent, much much better than other races I have joined. The race took place on the harvest season, so it might somehow affect our view because the trees are full of fruits and leaves, but I can say that the markings is very helpful. Also, all the checkpoints had plenty of delicious food, the organization was very perfect. It has been a long time since I ran a trail race and I enjoyed it very much!”
The second place is Nguyễn Sĩ Hiếu from Vietnam and Romain Berion from France. They both looked very strong at the finish line, with just a 4 minute gap between them.
The 42k male champion was Quang Trần from Vietnam who said “The trails were very beautiful today. The weather was cool, so I liked it a lot. Moc Chau people are very friendly, they treated us with a lot of plums for free along the course. So I ate them a lot!”
Top 3 female 42km runners are Christine Mitchell from United Kingdom, Le Phuong Vy from Vietnam and Constance Louasse from France.
Full results can be found online at https://vietnamtrailseries.com/trail-marathon/results/vtm-2022/
This race is part of Vietnam Trail Series by Topas, which also includes Sapa’s Vietnam Mountain Marathon and Pu Luong’s Vietnam Jungle Marathon.
Like other races by Topas, each long distance (21km-70km) entry includes a donation to charity.
Topas welcomes back three long term charity partners to the race: Newborns Vietnam, Operation Smile and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.
Next month Newborns is signing a three year Memorandum Of Understanding which covers life saving training for 3 hospitals in the area. This work is a direct result of Vietnam Trail Marathon and is also partly funded by our runners.
Another example of the charity work at VTM is a group of 70 from the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation being fully supported to join. These are ex-street kids or those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Co-CEO of Blue Dragon, Do Duy Vi said: “Like last year, at the race this year, Blue Dragon running team also had two podium runners. Most of Blue Dragon children come from more difficult background than many other people, so their training conditions are still lacking, but they tried their best and got to the top. This says that no matter which background come from, what matters is how hard we try. Through running, Blue Dragon children have learned a lot – discipline, persistence and putting in the effort to overcome difficulties. We thank Topas and the running community for bringing this great opportunity for them”.
On the Blue Dragon kids, Race Director David Lloyd said: “They trained for months to take part and it was great to see how proud they felt when they achieved their great results.”
The Sapa event, Vietnam Mountain Marathon, in September will include the nation’s first 100 mile (163k) run. That weekend is set to attract 5,000 runners and many supporters.
Following that is Vietnam Jungle Marathon on October 15 and then we are back to Moc Chau in blossom season on 7/1/2023.
Vietnam Mountain Marathon will include the nation’s first 100 mile (163k) run