Tearful son completes VnExpress Marathon in tribute to mother

By Nhan Dat   July 26, 2020 | 05:04 am PT
Tearful son completes VnExpress Marathon in tribute to mother
Vo Dinh Hoa cannot hide his tears after finishing his run in VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Viet.
Told at the start of the VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon on Sunday that his ailing mother had passed away, a man ran the entire 21 km crying.

Vo Dinh Hoa, 54, had in fact planned the run as a final gift for his mother in Gia Lai Province. He finished the race in one hour, 41 minutes and eight seconds, ranking in the top 10 for people over 40 in the segment.

His tears did not stop at the finish line.

Hoa had hardly slept in the days leading to the tournament. His 88-year-old mother had suffered a stroke, lost her ability to hear and see, and was paralyzed for many years. When her illness worsened last week, Hoa was by her side all the time. He decided to attend the VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon that he registered for earlier, to bring back a medal as a final gift for his mother.

While he was waiting at the starting line at 4:30 am, Hoa was informed his mother had died at home 170 km away.

"I had been with my mother for a whole week, I was well aware of the situation. Now, it's too late to give this medal to her,"Hoa said.

The 54-year-old runner was not lonely, though, on his 21 km tribute. His tears moved many runners who encouraged him and shared his grief. The hugs shared by fellow runners commiserating with Hoa was perhaps the most touching image of this year’s event.

Hoa said giving this gift to his mother was his only motivation. He had never run a marathon before. He had run often with friends to raise funds for charity, that was it. But those who know him would not be surprised by his finishing the race and the time that he did it in.

In pain, but composed, the grieving son took a bus back to Gia Lai Province, just minutes after finishing his run.

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