Runners at VnExpress Marathon 2019 in Quy Nhon, a beach town in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress.
Over 5,000 runners Sunday tested their strength and stamina at VnExpress Marathon (VM) 2019. The race was a success by most accounts, with people saying they were leaving with great memories and praising organizers for making it a quality event.
Japan’s Takeyuki Yamamoto, a consultant and marathon enthusiast in Ho Chi Minh City, completed the 42 km run with ease. He enjoyed the water stations that kept him hydrated throughout his run.
"It was a well-organized race. I could drink cold water at every station. And the heat was not too severe because there was a lot of shade. I was very happy to complete the run easily," Yamamoto said.
Marcel Lennartz, the veteran runner and architect who has taken part in many marathons in Vietnam, also felt the marathon was very well organized.
"This had one of the best hydration station arrangements I've seen in any race. Plenty of water, bananas, revive and lots of ice water and ice and plenty of stations. If I didn't know that this race was being organized for the first time, I would not have believed it," Lennartz said.
"Some of the bigger players in Vietnam, that are backed by large sponsors, should be ashamed at some recent events no ice was provided and hydration stations ran out of water, despite paying a premium fee for participation. They should learn from the organizers of the VnExpress Marathon," he added.
Marcel Lennartz at the finish line of VM 2019. Photo by VnExpress.
Lennartz also praised the police and the volunteers at the event.
"Nothing other than good to say about the police. What wonderful people. They were cheering for the runners, kept the road clear for the last few kilometers. Volunteers were cheerful, cheering up the runners and simply very kind.
"A very enjoyable race in a very nice city and well organized. Thank you to the organizers, volunteers, police and all others that made this race happen."
Ciska de Villiers, a South African working in Binh Dinh Province, said VM 2019 was the best race that she has ever taken part in.
"I felt great after the race. I only did the 21 km run. This was the best organized race I have ever run in my running career of 12 years. I loved how there was enough support at every water station. I was surprised about the trained medical staff I saw on the route," Villiers said.
She said the only thing that needed to be improved was the entry fee. "The only drawback for me, (that prevented me) from entering the full marathon was the entry fee, which was pretty expensive. But what makes up for that is that you get two good quality T-shirts."
"For the rest, I’d say well done to the organizers and volunteers. The setup for the start and finish was of high standards. I can definitely say that it matches up to that of The Ironman race. Good, good work."
Another runner from South Africa, Matthew Kempe said he wants to join the marathon again next year. Kempe is currently a teacher in Ho Chi Minh City.
"I was in the 21 km category! Overall I had a fantastic experience at the event. I thought the organization was great and well catered for and everything was smooth and simple. There was also great support and enough water. I really enjoyed the event and would love to come back next year." Kempe said.
Matthew Kempe (in blue) on the move in VM 2019. Photo by VnExpress.
"Only thing I can think of to improved would be to ensure no motorbikes make it on to the route. Coming off the bridge there were a few times motorbikes would come racing by and could be quite dangerous. I do understand it being Vietnam and not so easy to stop."
"Thanks again for an awesome event!" he said.
William Cherry, a mathematics professor from California, the U.S., came to Vietnam for a meeting between the American Mathematical Society and the Vietnamese Mathematical Society in Quy Nhon, but also took part in VM 2019 as a warm up exercise for the meeting. He only did the 5 km run.
"Although my time wasn't very good, I really enjoyed the run this morning. I am now all energized for a week of mathematics lectures. Thanks for organizing the run," Cherry said.
VM 2019 Quy Nhon brought together 120 running clubs from around Vietnam, including SRC (with 310 registered members), SolarBK, Danang Runners, HCR, VP Iron, VietRunners, RFF, Phu Tho Runners, Phu My Hung Runners, and Vietrace365.
Organized by VnExpress and the Binh Dinh Province People's Commitee, it was the only marathon in Vietnam that set a course through the Thi Nai (2.5 km) sea overpass.
Organizers will donate 10 percent of the ticket sales to VnExpress’ Hope Foundation, which works to improve learning facilities for disadvantaged students.
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