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VietNamNews

Marathoners to run length of Viet Nam

Update: December, 08/2012 - 08:49

Tien Thanh

 

Motivated: Pat Farmer (right) and Mai Nguyen Dinh Huy will run the length of Viet Nam to raise funds for clean water and sanition projects. — VNS Photo Tien Thanh
HCM CITY (VNS)— Two men, one Australian and one Vietnamese, will embark on a pole-to-pole super-marathon along the length of Viet Nam in order to raise funds for clean drinking and sanitary projects.

Pat Farmer and his running partner Mai Nguyen Dinh Huy will start their 2,000km, 36-day marathon tomorrow at Sa Vi Cape in the northern province of Quang Ninh, running through 30 provinces and cities to finish at Ca Mau Cape in the country's southernmost province of Ca Mau.

The event was Huy's idea, who first spoke about it one year ago just after Farmer had returned from a run from the earth's North Pole to the South Pole from April 8 last year to January 19.

"Huy contacted me and told me he wanted to show the world what a young Vietnamese is capable of doing," Farmer said.

"So he, together with many other Vietnamese people around the world, will run with me along the road. We are going to show the world the spirit of Vietnamese ethnic minorities and the spirit of other Vietnamese people as well," he added.

Huy, who is currently a student in Australia, said he wanted to convey the message that everyone could achieve their goals regardless of culture or personality.

Farmer told members of the Australian and Vietnamese press that he wanted to show people around the world that "they can achieve anything if they set their mind to it and simply take it one step at a time".

He said he also wanted to highlight the need to reduce the number of casualties caused by diseases related to the use of unclean water.

"There are more than two million people around the world who die each year because they can't get their hands on clean drinking water or they live in unsanitary conditions," Farmer, a former Australian politician, said.

"Funds raised during the run will go to the Vietnamese Red Cross, which will implement the clean water projects," the 50-year-old added. "People in Australia will donate money through the Australian Red Cross. We also encourage people here in Viet Nam to donate money to the local Red Cross."

"The role of our Australian team crew who will travel with us is to make sure that the world knows about this run and to encourage the Australian people to support the cause through the Australian Red Cross," Farmer said, adding that the media in Australia would be following the run.

The marathon, the first of its kind in Viet Nam, also serves as an event to mark 40 years of diplomatic and trade relations between Australia and Viet Nam in 2013.

"Huy and I will run the length of this country to symbolise the two countries working together through difficult and arduous conditions," Farmer said.

Farmer said that he wanted the Vietnamese people to greet him and Huy at the end of their journey. His goal is to show the spirit of Viet Nam and the community working together towards a common cause.

The Vietnamese version of his book, Pole to Pole: One Man, 10 million Steps, will be available tomorrow, while the English version can be purchased online. — VNS

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