Sports

Course records broken on blossom filled trails of Việt Nam Trail Marathon

Orange triumphed with a record time of 07:01.40. The previous fastest time of was held by Quang Trần. Orange’s record is particularly impressive as the updated course has two significantly harder sections.

 

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Valentin Orange celebrates winning the men’s 70km race at the Việt Nam Trail Marathon 2024. — Photos courtesy of the organiser

Marathon

MỘC CHÂU — Valentin Orange from France finished first in the men’s 70km race at the Việt Nam Trail Marathon (VTM) in Mộc Châu District, Sơn La Province on Sunday.

Orange triumphed with a record time of 07:01.40. The previous fastest time was held by Quang Trần. Orange’s record is particularly impressive as the updated course has two significantly harder sections.

After gaining his victory, Orange shared: “Perfect conditions, absolutely stunning scenery, lovely locals, Mộc Châu is definitely a unique race. The plan was to attempt to break the course record and try to run under seven hours. I gave up both challenges half way through when I was eight minutes behind my target time and feeling quite exhausted. But I somehow managed to keep up the pace despite heavy legs when going uphill, which is usually my strength. I pushed hard in the last 5km when I realised that finishing close to seven hours was doable. I am very happy to bring home another buffalo, before going back to France in a few weeks.”

Taking the men’s second and third place were Nguyễn Sĩ Hiếu and Nguyễn Đức Tuấn Anh from Việt Nam with the same time of 08:05.28.

The women’s champion was Leslie Nowicki of France, who also broke the course record. She clocked the time of 8:25.16, beating the previous time of 09:01.45 held by Vietnamese Hà Thị Hậu. Nowicki led from the start, taking the lead from multiple Việt Nam Trail Series champion Vanja Cnops.

“The course was absolutely beautiful and the trails were great,” Nowicki said. “The atmosphere here is so warm and welcoming. The people are so, so friendly. All the race crew on the checkpoints were excellent, and the local people along the course were so smiley and welcoming, giving high fives along the way. Everything was organised perfectly. We loved being part of this race. And now we will go to Hạ Long Bay and Hà Nội to enjoy more of Việt Nam.”

Second place went to Vanja Cnops from Belgium, with the finish time of 8:48.38. In third place was Akane Nemoto from Japan, with the time of 10:06.35.

 

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Trịnh Nam Hải celebrates winning the men’s 42km category. 

In the men’s 42km category, Vietnamese Trịnh Nam Hải finished first with a time of 04:46.05. Second place went to Harry Wager from New Zealand with the finish time of 04:49.42. Phạm Văn Hùng took third place in a time of 05:00.29.

The female 42km champion was Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Anh with a total time of just 05:26.16 closely followed by SEA Games gold medallist Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ with 05:34.34. The third female was Trần Duyên with 05:35.07.

First place in the men’s 21km category went to Rustam Bzhekshiev from Russia with a time of 02:05.59. Second and third place were Nguyễn Xuân Tú from Việt Nam with 02:10.56 and Stephen Anthony Barkey of Ireland who ran for Blue Dragon with a time of 02:24.05.

The top three female 21km runners were Lèo Thị Tình with a time of 02:28.35, Phạm Thị Vân Anh with 02:53.09, and Rachel Clissold from Australia with 02:56.17.

The finish line of the VTM this year also saw some celebrity runners. Actress Nguyễn Lâm Thảo Tâm, who ran 10km, shared: “It’s my first time joining a running event, and I was so impressed by the beauty and warm welcome of local people in Mộc Châu. Surely, I will come join with more of my friends!”

 

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Runners enjoy a moment at the Việt Nam Trail Marathon 2024.

Phạm Ngọc Phương Anh, first runner-up Miss Việt Nam 2020, who ran 21km, said: “I heard a lot about Việt Nam Trail Series races, and decided to join VTM because of the beauty of Mộc Châu in blooming season. The race was professionally organised with beautiful trails, moderate level and a rich variety of food and drinks at the checkpoints. For me, this is momentum for participating in future races organised by Topas.”

Charity

Every Việt Nam Trail Series race by Topas contributes money to charitable work. The money raised from Việt Nam Trail Marathon 2024 brings the total series amount to around US$445,000.

On race weekend, much needed medical equipment to treat critically ill newborn babies was formally presented to the local Mộc Châu hospital by representatives of the race organiser, Topas, together with Newborns Việt Nam.

Furthermore, over 50 disadvantaged kids and their support staff from Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation were being fully supported to take part by organiser, Topas. The kids were brought from Hà Nội to enjoy a night in Mộc Châu before joining the race, adding further meaning to the event.

Theo Vietnamnews