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Hanoians run for their lives in rural areas

By Thanh Duong    March 16, 2020 | 06:04 pm PT
Several Hanoi residents are maintaining and improving their health with countryside runs, enjoying the fresher air and the peace.

The embankment along the river between Tam Giang Commune in Bac Ninh Province and Lang Son Commune in Bac Giang Province has become a favored weekend running track for Diem Dang Dung and his wife, residents of Hanoi's Hoang Mai District.

"We were both born and raised in the countryside so we have strong association with dykes, buffalo herds and grass. These images are deeply imprinted in our memory. Coming here to jog not only helps improve out health but also serves as a way to relive childhood," Dung said.


Ever since he started running in 2016, Dung has maintained a steady workout routine.

When Hanoi started to get more polluted with dust and smoke around the end of 2019, he started searching for a "green" running route and the long running road in Bac Giang, his hometown, has been a regular jogging spot for his family since.


Inspired by her husband, Nguyen Thuy Linh is the one who plans out their weekend trips. She said that the city's air was stuffy, so training there won't help them improve their health. But the countryside near the capital offers more fresh air and more space for them to run freely.


The couple also bring their children along, to encourage greater proximity with nature.

"I am not a professional runner or trying to enter a tournament. I have achieved some positive results from the running. I hope my training can inspire friends and people around to improve their health, especially during the current (Covid-19) epidemic," Dung said.


Beside Dung's family, the 98 Runners club has also chosen the same running route, about 14 km from downtown Bac Giang. The peaceful village scenery and the early morning fresh air compel team members to practice here during the weekends


Nguyen Thi Lan, 48, a member of 98Runners, says she enjoys running on rural roads near the city.


98Runners is a group of runners who perform well in distances of over 21 km. The group regularly organizes runs in places far from Hanoi.


Nguyen Van Binh, a member of the 98Runners club, said the most important things in running are concentration and a relaxed mind.

"Country roads may not have the best conditions to run on, but they offer a more enjoyable experience. We are always looking for new routes to try out during the weekend or holidays," he said.

Photo courtesy of Diep Dang Dung and 98Runners

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