Việt Nam's 'Trail Queen' wins Doi Inthanon race on international debut

December 11, 2022 - 17:36
Hà Thị Hậu made her name on the board of winners in her international debut at the Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB on December 10 in Chiang Mai.

Ultra Marathon

Hà Thị Hậu of Việt Nam celebrates her win in the Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB's women's 54km trail. Hậu won her first international competition. Photo of Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB

HÀ NỘI — Hà Thị Hậu finished top of the podium in her international debut at the Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB, which closed on December 11 in Chiang Mai.

The Vietnamese runner finished first in the women's Pagoda50 category with a time of 6hr 15.31min in the 54km race.

The athlete of MUDE Running Team was the winner of both women's 20-34-year-old group and women's overall class.

In the Pagoda50 general, Hậu was the 12th finisher.

Priya Rai of Nepal was second as she crossed the line after 7:07.04.

Darika Suwanmongkol from Thailand came third with a time of 7:24.51.

Hậu is a rising star of Việt Nam's, grabbing remarkable results from both trail and road races domestically.

The Chiang Mai's Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB was the first international event that she took part in.

The 33-year-old said she did not force herself for a place on the podium but felt free to run. For her, success meant a comfortable and fast time.

"This is my first international competition, and I am really happy with the win," Hậu told Việt Nam News.

"I ran following my own pace and feeling, but then I trailed downhill like I was flying over the most difficult terrain in Southeast Asia, which was a bit like Sa Pa, my home town.

"Elite athletes in this category were really strong and fast. The second finisher from Nepal was a tough rival. It was difficult to run 54km with over 3,000 elevation gain in 6.15 hours, but I was happy running, feeling freedom on the mountain."

Hậu was one of almost 60 runners from Việt Nam at the Thai event.

They were among about 3,000 competitors who ran in different categories from 14km to 171km. Many of them could not finish their races.

Hậu said she would take part in the final of the 2022 Asia Trail Master Championship next week.

"Next weekend, I will race for a title at the Asia Trail Master in the 70m class in the Philippines. I hope I will recover well and be ready for that race because the athletes there are excellent ones. But I will try my best to win for Việt Nam," she said.

In other categories, reigning champion Jiaju Zhao of China won the men's Summit160 (171km) with a time of 21:53.46. He was followed by country fellow Canhua Luo and Gediminas Grinius from Lithuania.

The female winner was Canadian Jenny Quilty, who ran 27:24.11. Chinese Wenfei Xie and Japanese Kaori Niwa were second and third, respectively.

In the Clift100 (104km), the winners were Huohua Zhang of China in the men's race and Yuri Yoshizumi from Japan in the women's.

In the men's Pagoda50, Guangfu Meng of China was the winner.

In the Terrace20 (24km), Australian Vlad Ixel and Yupa Saelee of the hosts took the limelight for men and women, respectively.

In the Tribes10 (14km), Thai runner Poomjai Rangsri and Canadian Alicia Kelahear topped the podium. VNS