Australian Angel leaves all the men in her wake

October 22, 2023 - 16:37
Kellie Angel beat all the men, with an incredible time of 08:08.03.


Kellie Angel celebrates winning the 70km category of the Việt Nam Jungle Marathon. — Photo courtesy of the organiser


THANH HÓA The ultimate challenge, the 70km race in the Việt Nam Jungle Marathon (VJM) held at Pù Luông Nature Reserve in Thanh Hóa Province at the weekend saw the extraordinary performance of Kellie Angel from Australia. She beat all the men, with an incredible time of 08:08.03.

“It was great – it was challenging. Some good running and some seriously steep climbs," said triumphant Angel. 

"The landscape was so pretty. There were some sections where we came to the peak of a mountain and saw the most amazing vistas.

“I love Việt Nam. I have eaten so much here in Việt Nam this week. That’s my favourite part of being here – the food! Carb loading here is very easy.”

In the male category, Jean-Henri Haniquaut from France won, crossing the finishing line 12 minutes after Angel.

“It was amazing. A wonderful route and stunning views," Haniquaut said. 

"Great people, we passed some very remote villages. Kids giving high-fives along the way. I loved it. It was like a dream for me. The course marking was amazing and so were the checkpoints.”


Jean-Henri Haniquaut of France competes at the VJM 70km. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

Nguyễn Tiến Võ of Việt Nam finished second in the men's event with a time of 8:31.11, followed by Rainer Predl from Austria with a total time of 8:37.37.

The second place in the women’s 70km was Nguyễn Thúy Xuân Quỳnh of Việt Nam with a time of 11:24.29. The podium was rounded out by Nguyễn Đăng Quỳnh Như also of Việt Nam with a time of 12:05.46.

Meanwhile, the 50km route, known for its challenging terrain, was conquered by Nguyễn Đức Tuấn Anh of Việt Nam. He clocked a time of 05:12.35, while the second place went to Lilian Vitre from France with a time of 05:25.43. The third place was Vương Xuân Hòa of Việt Nam with the total time of 05:26.49.

The 50km female race was dominated by Christine Mitchell from the United States with a time of 6:35.40, followed by Nguyễn Thị Trà Giang of Việt Nam with a time of 6:41.30 and Le Hunsec Dorothee from France finishing in 7:15.05.

The champion of the 25km in men's category was Alexandre Videau from France with a time of 2:25.29. The second place and the third place were Tạ Văn Hậu and Đới Sỹ Thuận both of  Việt Nam with 2:48.19 and 2:52.36, respectively.

The top three female runners in the 25km category were Vietnamese Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Anh with a total time of 02:53.29. Tracy Ramberg from the US took second with a time of 02:59.45 and Abigail Rhodes from the United Kingdom finished third in 03:11.43.


The organising board gives awards to the winners. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

In the men’s 10km division, first place belonged to Trần Văn Nhân of Thanh Hóa – the land of VJM – with just 1:05.51. The second and third place went to Nguyễn Thành Trung and Huỳnh Tiểu Phước, both of Việt Nam.

In the female category, the champion was Vietnamese Nguyễn Thị Ánh Tuyết with a time of 1:22.59. The second place was Agata Kantorska from Poland in 1:25.10, closely followed by Vietnamese Trương Quỳnh Giang who completed the race in 1:25.32.

The VJM this year welcomed more than 1,500 runners from 40 nations and territories on the beautiful trails of Pù Luông Nature Reserve. The event was part of the Topas Việt Nam Trail Series along with Việt Nam Mountain Marathon in Sa Pa, Việt Nam Trail Marathon in Mộc Châu and soon Việt Nam Ultra Marathon in Mai Châu.

VJM concluded the 2023 series in Thanh Hóa, marking another successful year of trail running in one of the country’s most stunning landscapes.


Runners compete in this year's VJM. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

The VJM has been renowned for its challenging terrain, combining rugged limestone mountains and cascading waterfalls. But it's not just the physical challenge that draws runners from around the globe - the race offers breathtaking views of Pù Luông Nature Reserve, making every step worth the effort.

Charity work

Like every race by Topas, VJM has a charity element. A school in the finish village was set for upgrading with classrooms and teacher rooms using VNĐ500 million from the VJM.

Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation also benefited from the race, with 50 kids and staff being fully funded to join the race, with transport from Hà Nội and accommodation and food in the race village. VNS