VnExpress Marathon ends in big wins and grins

By Staff reporters   June 9, 2019 | 12:47 pm GMT+7

5,000 runners braved the heat in the central beach town of Quy Nhon on Sunday to join the VnExpress Marathon.

VnExpress Marathon ends in big wins and grins

Half an hour before race time, the athletes gather at Nguyen Tat Thanh Square on the coastal Xuan Dieu Street to warm up. Besides regular marathoners who are all too familiar with the grueling nature of the race, the VnExpress Marathon attracts a large number of entrepreneurs, beauty queens, models, children, and people with disabilities.

It is in fact a festival that brings together 120 running clubs from around Vietnam such as SRC (with 310 registered members), SolarBK, Danang Runners, HCR, VP Iron, VietRunners, RFF, Phu Tho Runners, Phu My Hung Runners, and Vietrace365.

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At 4 a.m. the starter’s gun set nearly 700 runners off for the most challenging distance of 42 km. Most of them are semi-professionals or those who have spent a lot of time training for the marathon.

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5,000 people joined the event in Quy Nhon, organized by VnExpress and the Binh Dinh Province People's Committee. It’s the only marathon in Vietnam that sets the course through the Thi Nai (2.5 km) sea overpass.

Quy Nhon, one of Vietnam's most popular tourism destinations, is blessed with a 42 km coastline, and has been dubbed the "Maldives of Vietnam".

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Pham Thi Hong Le, an international athlete, runs through a village along Thi Nai lagoon.

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Stephen Patrick Bugg, an Australian currently working in Da Nang, is a 42 km distance runner.

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The temperature in Quy Nhon is 32 degrees Celsius. A member of the SRC team cools down with a sponge drenched in cold water at an aid station.

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A runner wears a "creative" hat to protect himself from the scorching sun. 

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The tropical heat could be a challenge to foreign competitors. The VnExpress Marathon attracted 115 foreign athletes from 26 countries and territories.

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A volunteer runs with a disabled athlete on Xuan Dieu Street. 

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An athlete needs help from his comrades due to a muscle cramp. Cramps on the track are common, especially among those who are not trained enough or have not run for a long time. 

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The charming setting with the lush scenery and shrimp ponds in Nhon Hoi, a village along Thi Nai lagoon, is a highlight of the VnExpress Marathon.

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Locals offer mango slices to runners.

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The event attracts nearly 100 children under 16 for 5 km and 10 km races.

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Danang Runners member Thinh Nguyen secretly planned to propose to his girlfriend Canh Linh before coming to the race. He kneeled at the finish line to ask for her hand.

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Pham Thi Hong Le wins the 42 km women's race. Le is an international athlete, and today is special for her because she wins in her homeland, Binh Dinh Province. 

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National athlete Le Quang Hoa is in tears after winning. Hoa completes the challenge after 2 hours 41 minutes.

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Nguyen Thi Oanh (pictured) is first in the 10 km women’s race, while Le Trung Duc wins the 10 km for men. Tran Dang An and Bui Thi Bich Nguyet are the men’s and women’s winners of the 5 km race.

Organizers will donate 10 percent of the ticket sales proceeds to VnExpress’ Hope Foundation, which works to improve learning facilities for disadvantaged students.

 
 
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