Foreign runners enjoy racing in the rain at VnExpress Marathon Hue

By Quynh Chi   April 17, 2023 | 12:00 am PT
Pouring rain on the race day left unique and unforgettable memories to many foreign runners at VnExpress Marathon Hue on Sunday.

Canadian runner Geoff Heney, 55, who has attended 19 marathons in 10 countries, found VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue 2023 to be one of the best.

Heney searched for Asian marathons several months ago, and signed up for the VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue on April 16 as he had never been to Vietnam, and the race fit his schedule.

Heney said he has completed 19 marathons around the world, including Boston, Dubai and Hong Kong.

"VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue has higher humidity and hotter weather than my previous races. However, this is still one of the best races I've ever done, with a nice track and lots of water stations."

Geoff Heney runs 42km distance. Photo by VM

Geoff Heney on the 42km track at VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue 2023. Photo by VM

He completed the 42 km distance in 3 hours and 44 minutes, exceeding his expectations.

"I will definitely return to Vietnam, and run in other races of VnExpress Marathon," he said.

Heney is one of more than 300 foreign runners competing at VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue 2023. Some are seasoned runners who came to gain experience, others live in Vietnam and have attended several tournaments, even joining a few running clubs.

Anil Dhiman, an Indian runner based in Ho Chi Minh City, completed VM Hue as his sixth race in Vietnam and the second in the VnExpress Marathon system after the Ho Chi Minh City Midnight 2023.

"A great track with lots of watering stations, addition to cold, rainy weather, makes the race favorable for long distance runners. But high humidity is a challenge," he said.

For Suzanne Rijlaarsdam, the heavy rain left many runners like her with unforgettable memories, besides the exciting and friendly atmosphere created by the athletes and volunteers.

Suzanne (L) at VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue 2023. Photo by VM

Suzanne Rijlaarsdam (L) at VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue 2023. Photo by VM

"I started the 10 km distance alone, but quickly made new friends with fellow runners on the track," she said.

Suzanne is a member of Rijinmond, a travel combining running club from the Netherlands. The Rijinmond members will head to Hanoi after the race.

In the finisher shirt distribution area, a group of Swedish female runners laughed and shared their experience about the race.

"The race was a lot of fun. Running in the rain was so cool," Malin Niklasson, one of them, said.

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