National relay champion sets challenging goal for HCMC midnight marathon

By Hoai Phuong   February 7, 2023 | 04:05 am PT
National relay champion Trung Van Tam aims to claim the first place at VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight 2023 after training for marathons for more than a year.

At VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight 2022, Tam finished the full marathon in two hours 48 minutes, becoming the fastest runner among 20 members of the BDRC and T-Coaching alliance. Tam's achievement helped the alliance win the championship in the team category. He was also in the top 5 overall, and the fastest runner in his age group.

Tam, 35, is a familiar face of Vietnamese athletics. He won the national gold medal in the 4x800m relay in 2016 and 2017, and silver medals for many years in a row. In 2019, he retired and became a swimming coach for gifted classes.

Marathon was a turning point in Truong Van Tam sport career. Tam has thought running long distances is impossible and marathon demand extraordinary efforts.

In October 2021, he met Bao Trung, the coach of T-Coaching who convinced him to try the 42km distance.

"At first, I was hesitant because I hadn't run for a long time and the distance was too long. I was afraid I couldn't make it. Then, with the encouragement of the coach, I went back to the running track, under the T- coaching label and tried myself with marathon," Tam said.

Tam finished the VM Hanoi midnight race in 5th place. Photo: VM

Trung Van Tam finishes the VM Hanoi midnight race in 5th place. Photo by VM

The training program was hard at the beginning. If relay requires speed, control and acceleration in a short time, marathon requires endurance and the ability to regulate and follow the tactic.

Tam and other athletes from Tay Ninh Province ran about 140km every week.

Coach Bao Trung encouraged his team not to give up. He closely followed Tam in each training session, correcting his posture as well as technique.

After months of training, Tam conquered VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue (April 2022) in 7th place and VM Quy Nhon in 8th place overall.

Tam at VM Hue 2022. Photo by VM

Trung Van Tam at VM Hue 2022. Photo by VM

Tam will participate in the VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight on Sunday and he expects to reach the top 3 or even win the championship. "I know my goal is high. VnExpress Marathon always gathers elite runners. Overcoming them is not easy, but my desire is to stand on the top podium."

He said that setting high goals is to motivate himself to strive, and he feels no pressure.

VnExpress Marathon Ho Chi Minh City Midnight will be held from Saturday night until early Sunday.

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