Swiss runner set to complete 42 km at VnExpress HCMC midnight marathon for second time

By Thy An   March 2, 2024 | 02:14 am PT
Jan-Mathieu will continue to challenge himself with a full marathon at VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight on Sunday, despite having an ankle injury.

The amateur runner from Switzerland sets the highest goal for himself in every marathon. Last year, he did not hesitate to challenge the highest distance, 42 km, at the VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight 2023.

"I like running at night more than during the day because the weather is cooler and it's easier to arrange time. That's why every time there is a night race in HCMC, I sign up to participate. Last year, the VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight left such a good impression that I did not hesitate to continue registering for a full marathon this year," Mathieu said.

Jan-Mathieu received bib on Mar. 1. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Jan-Mathieu receives his bib for the VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight 2024 on March 1, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

This year, the 40-year-old runner said he did not have much time to prepare because he was busy traveling back and forth between Vietnam and Switzerland.

Three months ago, he injured his ankle. Having been examined and treated but not completely cured, Mathieu could not exercise at high intensity. However, he has tried to maintain training every day to build his endurance.

Before getting injured, Mathieu participated in three tournaments in nine months, two in Switzerland and one in Vietnam. His best achievement was 5 hours for a full marathon.

Returning to the VPBank VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight, the Swiss runner said he was impressed with the professionalism, bustling atmosphere of the bib collection session, and the sportsmanship of both the organizers and other runners.

The diverse and interesting activities at the exhibition area were also a plus point that made him like to bring his family along.

Last year, the whole family of Jan-Mathieu and Ngoc Diem came together to receive the Bib. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Jan-Mathieu, his wife Ngoc Diem and their son come together to receive the Bib at VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

He has lived with his wife, Ngoc Diem, 35, in HCMC for 13 years, so he has adapted well and is not affected by the weather and temperature in the city.

In addition, Mathieu believes that full-marathon runners need the highest spirit and will.

He believes that when running a full marathon, the first 30 kilometers require high physical strength and technique. The last 12 km is the decisive milestone because it requires perseverance and strong will to complete.

"The full marathon really needs encouragement from others. VnExpress Marathon volunteers are always very enthusiastic about this. Last year, I was able to complete 42 km in under 5 hours, as expected, thanks to their encouragement. Hopefully this year, despite my ankle injury, I can still reach the finish line in the shortest time," Mathieu said.

In addition to taking care of her two young children, Diem also focuses on taking care of her husband's nutrition and supporting his sports spirit as much as possible.

The couple agreed to practice sports for their children from a young age because it is not only good for health but also an effective way to train willpower, relieve stress, and stay away from electronic and mobile devices.

The whold family took photo this Tet holiday in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Mathieu

Jan-Mathieu's family poses for photos during the Lunar New Year holiday in Vietnam in February 2024. Photo courtesy of Jan-Mathieu

Mathieu said his oldest son, 3, likes to walk with him every day and play light sports.

In the future, if given the opportunity, he and his wife will register their children to participate in the Kun Marathon so the whole family can have the opportunity to challenge themselves and the running track in HCMC.

"I love sports and always set the most challenging goal for myself. That's why I only participate in the full marathon distance in every tournament. If I wasn't busy with work, I would try to participate more. If I had the opportunity, I would want the whole family to run together to spread this positive spirit to the community," Mathieu said.

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.

go to top