Friday, December 14 2018

VietNamNews

Running by the light of the moon

Update: November, 17/2018 - 19:00
Nguyễn Tiến Hùng seen at the Việt Nam Mountain Marathon 2018 . — Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Tiến Hùng

Viet Nam News

Runner Nguyễn Tiến Hùng has done very well in his sport.

His sport has also been good to him and given him wonderful memories.

One was running in the moonlight, passing rice fields, waterfalls and friendly people.

Nguyễn Tiến Hùng loved it so much he switched off his headlamp and ran only with the light of the moon to guide him.

Nguyễn Tiến Hùng, 34, is considered the best amateur runner in the country. He beat more than 200 rivals from across the world to win the men’s 100km event at the Việt Nam Mountain Marathon (VMM) 2018, the country’s biggest ever mountain race in September. At the Long Biên Marathon 2018 in late October, he also defended his title in the men’s 42km category. Thanh Nga talks to him.

Inner Sanctum: You are the second Vietnamese runner to win the 100km event at the VMM, after Trần Duy Quang who won last year’s event. Were you happy with your achievement?

Last year, I also took part in the 100km category and I was thirsty to carry the national flag across the finish line but I failed. This year, I had the chance to do it again and I succeeded. I was very happy.

Inner Sanctum: What do you remember most about VMM 2018?

Running under the moonlight was a wonderful experience. I began the race at 10pm. At that time, the moon was very bright. Everything around me was beautiful. I was very impressed with the terraced rice fields, waterfalls and friendly people.

I had a lamp on my head but I turned it off to run with just the moonlight. It was very romantic.

Another unforgettable moment was at Sa Pa Church. All the runners gathered here to prepare for the race at 8.30pm. The buses brought them to the starting line. All runners exchanged greetings, encouraging each other like we were preparing for a fight.

As you know, the 100km race was very longParticipants had to run on different kinds of terrain – over the mountain, fording springs, running on cobblestones, thick mud and rice fields. No one knew what dangers we would meet so we were very attached to each other.

Inner Sanctum: How did you prepare for VMM 2018?

I registered for the race quite late in August, so I did not have much time for training. I only trained for road running, not trails like other runners. Luckily I got on the podium.

I didn’t intend to compete this year. I thought I would only support my friends in the race. After that, a nutrition brand sponsored me to take part so I signed up.

In June, I also ran from my hometown in Phú Thọ Province to Hà Nội, a distance of around 100km. I remember that it was the hottest day this summer at around 40-41 degrees Celcius. I started at 3am and finished at 2pm at West Lake. It was my first trial run.

Inner Sanctum: When did you discover your passion for running?

I have played football for 20 years, but I injured my right ankle in 2015. After recovering from injury, my weight rose to 76kg. I had to lose weight by running and I succeeded. Then I fell in love with running.

In 2016, I took part in the Long Biên Marathon and finished third in the 21km. Since then, I made friends with many amateur runners throughout the country to gain more experience and skills and also took part in more events.

Inner Sanctum: As well as the above results, what else have you achieved?

In 2017, I came fifth in the Đà Nẵng International Marathon and sixth place in the VMM’s 100km. I won the Long Biên Marathon’s 42km category and finished third in the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon.

This year, I was runner-up in the men’s category aged 30-39 at the Tiền Phong Newspaper Marathon held in Đắk Lắk Province in March.

Inner Sanctum: Among these events, which is your favourite?

It has to be the Long Biên Marathon which I took part in for the first time. The first is always impressive. It is a beautiful route through high class residences and scenic rice paddies.

Inner Sanctum: What is your day job? Does it help you train better?

I work for a company in Phú Thọ Province, producing fireworks. It relates to chemical substances so my work is rather harmful.

I am lucky enough to play sport regularly so it helps me get rid of the toxins from my body.

I work from 6am to 1pm so I have time for my hobby.

After finishing work, we often go to drink beer. But after falling in love with running, I have stopped drinking to have a better life.

Inner Sanctum: Some people say that you are crazy about running. Is this true?

Last year, my mother was ill and treated at a provincial hospital. It was 25km from my house. During that time, I ran about 50km from my house to the hospital and back to see her. Some people were amazed and called me “mad”.

When Việt Nam beat Iraq in the quarter-finals of the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship in China in January. I arrived in Hà Nội and ran three laps, around 45km, at West Lake at 3am to celebrate Việt Nam’s win in my own special way.

Inner Sanctum: What are your future plans?

I will compete in an international marathon event in China on November 17, the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon on November 25, and the Techcombank HCM City International Marathon 2018 on December 2.

I will also take part in a marathon held in Sóc Sơn District, on the outskirts of Hà Nội in December.

Inner Sanctum: Can you tell me a little bit about your family?

My wife is the same age as me, 34. We work together in the same factory. We have two children – one girl and one boy.

We also own a drugstore near our house so our income isn’t bad.

My wife supports my running as she notices that thanks to the exercise, I am stronger and healthier.

My 10-year-old son also likes sport. He often runs with me during my training sessions.

Inner Sanctum: What is your dream?

Running is my passion. I hope to be able to compete in all events in Việt Nam. And one day, I will qualify for the Boston Marathon in the US which is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the world’s best-known road racing events. — VNS


 

GLOSSARY

Nguyễn Tiến Hùng, 34, is considered the best amateur runner in the country.

An amateur runner is one who does not run as a career but earns a living in another way too.

He beat more than 200 rivals from across the world to win the men’s 100km event at the Việt Nam Mountain Marathon (VMM) 2018, the country’s biggest ever mountain race in September.

Rivals are people you compete against and always try to beat.

At the Long Biên Marathon 2018 in late October, he also defended his title in the men’s 42km category. 

If an athlete wins a competition one year, then he would have won a title. If he enters the same competition a year later and try to win again, and therefore keep his title, he is defending his title.

I was very impressed with the terraced rice fields, waterfalls and friendly people.

Terraced fields are arranged in terraces, which are like big steps in the countryside.

It was very romantic.

Romantic, in this case, means lovely and pretty.

Participants had to run on different kinds of terrain – over the mountain, fording springs, running on cobblestones, thick mud and rice fields.

Terrain means countryside.

Fording means crossing over water.

Luckily I got on the podium.

A podium is a stand where people, like winners of a race, parade before spectators.

After that, a nutrition brand sponsored me to take part so I signed up.

Nutrition means food. A nutrition brand is the image of a food company.

To sponsor an athlete means to pay for him, or her, to perform.

When did you discover your passion for running?

If you have a passion you love it so much that you do not mind how much time or money you spend on it.

This year, I was runner-up in the men’s category aged 30-39 at the Tiền Phong Newspaper Marathon held in Đắk Lắk Province in March.

A runner-up is someone who comes second in a competition.

The first is always impressive.

Impressive means worthy of praise.

It is a beautiful route through high class residences and scenic rice paddies.

Residences are people’s homes.

Scenic means pretty scenery.

I work for a company in Phú Thọ Province, producing fireworks. It relates to chemical substances so my work is rather harmful.

I am lucky enough to play sport regularly so it helps me get rid of the toxins from my body.

 

Toxins are poisons.

Running is my passion. I hope to be able to compete in all events in Việt Nam. And one day, I will qualify for the Boston Marathon in the US which is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the world’s best-known road racing events.

 

Annual means “every year”.

 

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. Nguyễn Tiến Hùng’s hometown is in Phú Thọ Province.
  2. Nguyễn Tiến Hùng ran his first trial run in 40 to degrees Celsius heat.
  3. Nguyễn Tiến Hùng injured his ankle playing football three years ago.
  4. The company that Nguyễn Tiến Hùng works for produces fireworks.
  5. Nguyễn Tiến Hùng is 43 years old.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. True; 2. True; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

 

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