Elite Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ and amateur Hứa Thuận Long became the first champions of the 2023 VnExpress Marathon Hải Phòng on December 17.
|Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ wins the first VnExpress Marathon Hải Phòng on Sunday. Photo of organisers
HẢI PHÒNG Elite Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ and amateur Hứa Thuận Long became the first champions of the 2023 VnExpress Marathon Hải Phòng yesterday.
National team member Lệ, a regular face at races nationwide, faced little challenge from Bùi Thị Thu Hà, also an elite runner, in the women’s full marathon. The duo quickly separated from the whole bunch to run neck-to-neck throughout the race.
Lệ proved her power after the 35km mark, strongly sprinting to the finish line with a time of 2hr 46.44min.
She won her sixth marathon title in the VnExpress Marathon Series, beating her best time of 2:56.06, set at the VnExpress Hà Nội Midnight last month. It was also a new record of the series.
|Hứa Thuận Long crosses the finish of the first VnExpress Marathon Hải Phòng’s men’s full marathon on sunday. Photo of organisers
Hà came second with 2:48.19, followed by Đoàn Hồng Thanh in 2:54.09.
The men’s side saw Long going solo from early in the run, setting a gap of at least 500m to the chasing group which included Đỗ Văn Hoàng, Vũ Đình Duân and Trương Văn Quân, familiar faces on podiums in recent years.
Long maintained his peak performance to win the race in a time of 2:34.29 that was the best result of an amateur runner, beating the old one of 2:37hr.
While his win was predicted, the second finisher Lương Đức Phước was a big surprise to everyone.
The former SEA Games champion in 800m and 1,500m was ‘invisible’ in the first two hours. He was somewhere in the middle of the large crowd of people,
However, 10km to the finish Phước suddenly made a rocket-speed run, passing a number of marathoners to take the second podium in 2:37.03.
“I didn’t think of making such a good time in my first marathon,” said Phước. “I hoped I could run in 2:45hr only. This is a strong push for me to set a higher target.”
Trịnh Đình An was at third, clocking 2:38.39.
|The first VnExpress Marathon Hải Phòng draws around 11,000 runners on Sunday.. Photo of organisers
The winner of the men’s half marathon was familiar face Nguyễn Trung Cường who raced in 1:10.50, taking his second title in one month.
Lê Văn Thao came second in 1:12.37 and Hà Văn Dược finished third in 1:15.31.
The female champion Trần Dung Hạnh received great applause as she was even faster than male runners.
She crossed the finish line after 1:11.08, being the second fastest of both men and women.
National team Phạm Thị Huệ and Bùi Thị Ngân were second and third, respectively.
In other categories, Sầm Văn Đời and Đoàn Thu Hằng won men’s and women’s 10km, respectively, while Nguyễn Đình Tuấn and Ngô Thị Khánh Ny respectively took men’s and women’s 5km classes.
|Runners take part in the VnExpress Marathon Hải Phòng for big prizes and a fun experience. Photo of organisers
The first VnExpress Marathon in Hải Phòng drew almost 11,000 runners competing for VNĐ1 billion bonus.
The cold weather of the Northern region could not prevent them from setting new personal records. The marathon saw a record of 82 runners completing the marathon distance in under three hours. The previous record was 50 at the Hà Nội Midnight event last month.