Japanese runner hails Ho Chi Minh City midnight race's professionalism

By Thy An   March 2, 2024 | 07:11 am PT
Takahito Nochi, a management level runner of a international sport brand, was surprised by the professional organization of the HCMC midnight marathon, which will be his first tournament outside of Japan.

Showed up at the Expo area of VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight on March 1, Takahito was surprised with the professionalism and quick organization of the organizers.

Having been in Vietnam for a while, he has often played the role of organizing marathons. He was a bit nervous and also excited for the first time joining a tournament in a foreign country.

"The first time I participate in a tournament in Vietnam, I feel lucky to meet a professional and enthusiastic organizer. The items in the race kit are much more diverse than races in Japan. This makes me feel more secure because I can get maximum support in terms of equipment, accessories, and nutrition before and during running," said Takahito.

At dawn on March 3, he and more than 100 other Japanese runners will conquer the HCMC running route.

Takahito Nochi and his companion at VPBank VnExpress Marathon HCM City Midnight with two distances of 21km and 10km. Photo by VnExpress/Que Anh

Takahito Nochi (R) and his companion at VPBank VnExpress Marathon HCM City Midnight. Photo by VnExpress/Que Anh

According to Takahito, race kits in Japan only include bibs, shirts, and hats and rarely have other things. He thinks this is a point worth learning from Vietnamese running events.

The night running track meets AIMS standards, is guaranteed security and lighting, and water stations are properly distributed, which he highly appreciates from a professional perspective, no different from major international tournaments.

Takahito also loves and is curious about the natural beauty and famous landmarks in Vietnam.

He said if he has a chance, he hopes to participate in as many tournaments as possible while living and working in Vietnam, especially running routes in provinces and cities famous for their scenic beauty.

This is an opportunity for him and other runners to practice sports, challenge themselves, and gain more experience from domestic running events.

The sporting spirit of Vietnamese people is high, Takihito said, adding he was surprised when there were many runners coming to receive their bibs early, despite the hot weather.

Last month, Takahito attended the running race in Osaka. Because it was still winter at that time, the weather was quite cold, in complete contrast to the VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight, which happens during the hot season in Saigon. This is also one of the things that makes him afraid of.

Last year, Takahito challenged himself with a full marathon distance. For the HCMC race, due to not having much time to prepare and practice in advance and due to his health condition, he registered for a distance of 21km.

Takahito Nochis best result for a half marathon is 1 hour 45 minutes. Photo by VnExpress/Que Anh

Takahito Nochi's best result for a half marathon is 1 hour 45 minutes. Photo by VnExpress/Que Anh

VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight kicks off on March 3 and is expected to welcome 11,000 runners, including nearly 600 foreign runners from 60 countries. All four distances have AIMS standards.

Athletes can use their achievements from this tournament to register for major tournaments such as Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon.

VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight is held by two prestigious names with a lot of experience in organizing and operating major tournament systems: VPBank and VnExpress Marathon.

The two partners have signed a strategic cooperation agreement on accompanying the Ho Chi Minh City night race for five years, from 2024 to 2028.

In October 2023, VPBank and VnExpress successfully coordinated to organize the VPBank Hanoi International Marathon in Hanoi.

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