Runner aims for victory on home turf at VnExpress Marathon Hue

By Hoai Phuong   March 28, 2024 | 01:25 am PT
Nguyen Thi Ngot, who finished 6th at the VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight this month, has consistently trained for the next VM event in her hometown Hue.

Ngot identified the fourth season of VnExpress Marathon Hue as her most crucial competition this year. She is determined to achieve a time of at least 3 hours and 15 minutes, even hoping for a performance to claim the championship title.

She finished the HCMC race in 3 hours, 16 minutes, and 13 seconds, just 1 minute behind the top 5. This marked her best achievement to date.

The Hue runner expressed surprise at her results, admitting that she hadn't set a specific personal record goal for the race. "I view the Ho Chi Minh City Night Run as a long run on the weekend to prepare for the VnExpress Marathon Hue. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to achieve a personal record. This accomplishment has boosted my confidence in reaching a new milestone in Hue," she said.

For the past three months, the riverside park or any street in Hue has become Ngot's training ground before and after work. The 29-year-old pharmacist has logged nearly 100 kilometers per week, focusing on a rigorous training regimen with interval workouts and long runs on weekends. She dedicated two days each week to exercises aimed at strengthening her leg muscles. Even during the Lunar New Year holiday last month, Ngot remained committed to her training routine.

She is following a diet commonly seen among athletes, focusing on carbohydrate intake. Her diet includes milk, fruits, grains, whole wheat bread, and biscuits. To support muscle recovery after intense training, Ngot also incorporated protein-rich foods such as pork, chicken, fish, and eggs into her meals. Furthermore, she also used some dietary supplements like calcium and glucosamine to maintain healthy joints and bones, essential for enduring the physical demands of her training regimen.

Ngot Nguyen participating in the 2024 Ho Chi Minh City Night Run. Photo by VM

Nguyen Thi Ngot participating in the 2024 Ho Chi Minh City Night Run. Photo by VM

Ngot attributes much of her motivation and support to her teammates, friends, and 1,500 Hue runners. Throughout her training journey, Ngot has been accompanied by Hue Runners Club, which provides both professional guidance and mental encouragement. "Many of my teammates hope to set personal records on home turf. A month before the race was when we could clearly feel the lively atmosphere; everyone wants to have the best preparation. We'd help each other to achieve the best results," Ngot said.

Having participated in three seasons of the VnExpress Marathon Hue and running hundreds of times on the streets of the ancient capital, Ngot believes that the race offers ideal conditions for runners to excel and achieve high results. The route is characterized by the charm of historical landmarks and royal architecture. For Ngot, VMD Hue's flat and picturesque course provides an optimal setting for those aiming to unleash their speed.

The VnExpress Marathon Hue is scheduled to take place on April 21, drawing an estimated 8,000 participants. April also marks the beginning of Hue's Summer Festival, known as "The Imperial City Shines". This event is part of the Hue Four Seasons Festival 2024, featuring numerous activities that celebrate the culture, heritage, and people of the ancient capital. The VnExpress Marathon serves as the highlight of this festival.

Over the past two years, the VnExpress Marathon has consistently taken place in cool conditions, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius. Additionally, Ngot finds reassurance in the densely organized water stations of the race, which spand nearly 100 meters every two km. The water station provides Revive electrolyte, filtered water, fruits, sponges, ice, and cold spray. A medical station and toilets are positioned after each water station.

"I always try to make the most of these water stations, using sponges or water to cool down. With gels and salt, runners can replenish every 45 to 60 minutes, or according to their own plans and individual needs," Ngot said.

Ngot Nguyen wearing the FPT Runners shirt when participating in VnExpress Marathon Hue 2023. Photo by VM

Ngot Nguyen wearing the FPT Runners shirt when participating in VnExpress Marathon Hue 2023. Photo by VM

Hue is a meeting point for many outstanding athletes in both professional and amateur fields. Ngot is uncertain about her chances of winning, but hopes for some breakthrough.

"Nothing would make me happier than winning the VnExpress Marathon Hue, even just once," she said.

Previously, the female runner from FPT Long Chau had won the marathon age group multiple times. Her recent achievement of securing the third position overall at the Danang International Marathon, trailing behind renowned Vietnamese track and field athletes Pham Thi Binh and Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc, further fueled her determination.

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