|Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ holds the national flag during the opening ceremony before the start of the 42km and 21km at the Hạ Long Heritage Marathon. She won the women’s 42km category. — Photo courtesy of the organiser
By Thanh Nga
HẠ LONG CITY Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ and Đặng Anh Quyết were the winners of the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon 2023, held in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province on Sunday.
Lệ, a member of the national athletics team from Bình Định, secured first place in the women’s 42km category with an impressive time of 2:54.23.
"I am incredibly happy to have emerged victorious in this event, especially after overcoming my injury. This win serves as a great motivation for my future marathons," Lệ told Việt Nam News.
Lệ also expressed her enthusiasm about participating in the event for the first time, remarking on the beautiful weather and the excellent organisation that prioritised the safety of all participants.
Lệ's teammate from the national team, Lèo Thị Tình, secured second place in the women's marathon with a time of 2:59.12, while Lê Minh Tuân finished third, clocking in at 3:03.01.
During the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019, Lệ won a bronze medal in the women's marathon category, completing the race in 3:02.52. Following that achievement, she shifted her focus to the 5,000m and 10,000m distances in the subsequent SEA Games.
|Đặng Anh Quyết (first right) celebrates winning the men's 42km. — Photo courtesy of the organiser
In the men's marathon event, amateur runner Đặng Anh Quyết delivered an outstanding performance, setting a personal record with a time of 2:37.39 to claim the title. Phạm Đức Thọ followed closely behind, securing second place with a time of 2:42.54, while Hoàng Hữu Hanh finished third with a time of 2:44.27.
Nguyễn Trung Cường, a member of the national team who had previously won the gold medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at SEA Games 32, won the men's 21km category. He completed the race with a time of 1:11.58, with Tống Văn Hoàn and Bá Văn Hân finishing in second and third place, respectively.
|Nguyễn Trung Cường celebrates winning the men’s 21km category. — Photo courtesy of the organiser
On the women's side, Phạm Thị Huệ claimed the title in the women's 21km category, completing the race in 1:19.42. Trần Thị Duyên secured second place with a time of 1:25.59, while Hoàng Hương Thùy finished third, clocking in at 1:32.29.
The Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon this year attracted a total of 9,100 runners, including nearly 1,000 participants from 42 countries and territories. The event was held as part of the commemorative activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the province and the 20th anniversary of Hạ Long City.
Sacha Dray from France, who participated in the marathon, said: "I decided to compete in this event because it is one of the oldest marathons in Việt Nam. The organisation was excellent, and the race offered breathtaking views of Hạ Long Bay. It's been a pleasure to explore the bay while running."
|Evelyn Lengua and her family in Hạ Long City. — VNS Photo Thanh Nga
Evelyn Lengua from Australia, who completed the 42km category, described the course as amasing and praised the beauty of the sorting venue. She expressed her hope to participate in the Hạ Long City's marathon event again next year.
With a long-term vision and drawing on the expertise and experiences of leading professional organisations such as the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and World Athletics, the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon has established itself as a pioneering race on the international marathon circuit. It has been recognised by Runner's World UK magazine as one of the 50 greatest races on earth.
|Runners are ready for the race. — Photo courtesy of the organiser
The event's running course has been accurately measured and standardised by AIMS-certified experts. The route took runners through numerous stunning landscapes, connecting the cities of Hạ Long and Cẩm Phả, including a unique tunnel through the mountain in Cẩm Phả City. To ensure the utmost safety of the participants, one side of the tunnel was completely closed for the race.
The achievements of the runners in this event qualify them to register for any of the world's six most prestigious running events, namely the New York, Chicago, London, Boston, Tokyo, and Berlin marathons. VNS
|The Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon this year attracted a total of 9,100 runners. — Photo courtesy of the organiser