Overseas Vietnamese sets personal record at VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon

By Thi Quan   June 19, 2023 | 10:47 pm PT
Nguyen Thi Kim Loan challenged the 21 km distance at VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon, setting a personal record of 1 hour 42 minutes as a runner-up in the under-50 group.

"I was really surprised and happy winning the award. Besides, I also had a chance to enjoy the beautiful sights and got to know many friendly runners," Loan said. It has been 10 years since her last visit to Quy Nhon, one of her favorite cities.

Loan, who lives in Stuttgart, said 21 km is the most suitable distance for her, as a full marathon is quite hard for her to conquer.

Before the Quy Nhon event on June 11, Loan carefully studied the route. She wrote down the advantages and disadvantages of each section, and calculated the distribution of power according to altitude.

Instead of running wildly at the beginning, she maintained a moderate pace, balanced her breathing, and then tried to withdraw at the end.

Kim Loan at the finish line. Photo courtesy of VM.

Nguyen Thi Kim Loan at the finish line of VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon, June 11, 2023. Photo courtesy of VM.

Like many other runners, after the first half of the race, Loan faced a challenge on the return to Thi Nai Bridge (also known as Nhon Hoi) because the wind was strong.

She tried to focus on the goal while enjoying the beautiful scenery at dawn on the bridge.

"There was not much difference when running in Germany and Quy Nhon. The organizers are well-prepared, have enough water stations and fruit, and the necessary support tools," Loan said.

She also planned to return to Vietnam in the next few months to participate in other VnExpress Marathon events such as in Ha Long, Hai Phong, and Hanoi.

Loan was born and raised in HCMC. She moved to Germany 12 years ago, married a local and has two daughters: 9-year-old Lili and 3-year-old Vivi.

Three weeks before Quy Nhon, she participated in a half marathon in Stuttgart and finished in under two hours. Practicing according to the coach's lesson plan, she gradually found the secret to maintaining endurance, safe running techniques, how to distribute strength at each stage, and draw a reasonable goal.

At the VM Midnight Ho Chi Minh City in February, however, Loan caught a cold right before the race and did not reach the goal.

Loan has run the half marathon six times in France, Germany and Vietnam and also conquered the full marathon in Paris in April. This was also one of the most unforgettable races in her life. Despite the rain and cold temperatures, she reached the finish line after 4 hours and 8 minutes.

Loan considers herself lucky, and has a stable life. Her German husband always encourages her to run and improve her health. "He is willing to take care of the children so that I can go back to Vietnam often to participate in marathons," she said.

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