|Athletes test the route ahead of the second VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight which will be organised this weekend in the capital city. Photo of organisers|
HÀ NỘI — The VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight will be back this weekend with double the number of participants in its second edition.
Almost 10,000 elite and amateur runners have registered to participate in the event, starting at midnight.
"We want to highlight and discover Hà Nội's tourism potential through midnight in the field of sport and physical training," said Nguyễn Thị Thùy Linh, a representative of the organising board.
"We try to popularise tourism information and the city's night-time economy.
"Each runner is expected to be an ambassador who will deliver our message to the community in the hope that more and more people will join us in the future," she said.
Athletes will compete in different categories of age groups, distances and genders, vying for a total bonus of VNĐ1.5 billion (US$60,500).
Those who set new records will receive extra bonuses from the sponsor and prizes for the winners.
"The midnight running will be a special event for any runner. They will compete in one of the most professional events, which has lured the highest number of participants," said Lê Thị Hoàng Yến, deputy director of the Việt Nam Sports Administration.
"The runners will help inspire people to practise sport while the VnExpress marathon will contribute to developing running nationwide.
|Organisers answer questions from reporters and representatives of running clubs at a press briefing on November 19 in Hà Nội. — Photo of organisers|
"The race will also partly popularise Việt Nam's beautiful images and friendly people to the world and push the tourism industry back to bloom after the pandemic," she said.
Among runners are 2,000 children from six to 10 years old. They will be divided into different groups and run in the Kun Marathon on Saturday morning.
On the 1km track, organisers will set up obstacles to increase the difficulties and push the motor skills of the kids. Top three finishers of each group will receive awards.
The opening ceremony will be organised on Saturday night with the participation of famed artists such as rapper Rhymasric, singers Bảo Trâm and Madihu.
The race which is sponsored by Aqua Việt Nam will be kicked off at 0.00 Sunday for the 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km, respectively.
According to organisers, running at night athletes would enjoy typical experiments when people were sleeping and most activities were off. The city became quiet and peaceful. It was time to discover another beauty angle of the capital city in the early days of the winter.
Through the race, they will pass by Hà Nội's most famous and beautiful roads and streets such as Thanh Niên, Nguyễn Đình Thi, Hùng Vương and Phan Đình Phùng roads.
They also admire famous landscapes such as President Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum, the Opera House, the St. Joseph's Cathedral and the Hà Nội Flagtower.
This year, organisers open a new category for teams and 36 groups from different localities from Hà Nội to HCM City will vie for the top place.
A special award will be given to athletes with the best cosplay custom this year.
"After one-year hiatus due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the VnEpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight under the sponsorship of Aqua is expected to satisfy marathon lovers with unique experience of running in the cultural and historic atmosphere of Hà Nội," read a statement of Aqua Việt Nam Company.
|Athletes will witness Hà Nội's beautiful iconic landmarks during the marathon at the Hanoi Midnight event this weekend. — Photo of the organisers|
"By sponsoring the marathon, Aqua wishes to promote cultural and sporting events in the context of the new normal, inspiring Vietnamese people to return to their daily active and healthy lifestyle."
In the first edition in 2020, Trịnh Quốc Lượng came first in the men's 42km class with a time of 2hr 31.6min, which is the VnExpress Marathon series' men's record.
The women's record is 2:50:33 by Phạm Thị Huệ set up at the VnExpress Marathon Huế in April.
The VnExpress Marathon is one of the largest national marathon series, organised and managed by the VnExpress online newspaper and FPT Online Joinstock Company.
The first tournament was held in 2019 in Quy Nhơn City, Bình Định Province. It has been an annual event in cities and provinces in Việt Nam since then.
In 2022, the marathon came to Huế in April, Quy Nhơn in June, Hạ Long in July and Nha Trang in August.
VnExpress Marathon was awarded silver at the Asian Media Award 2021 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in revenue diversification.
All its tracks have been certified with the AIMS-World Athletics running standard by the International Marathon Association and the World Athletics Federation. VNS