|Runners run past Quảng Ninh Library at the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon last year. This year, the event attracts the participation of 9,100 runners. — Photo courtesy of the organiser|
HẠ LONG — The Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon 2023, Việt Nam's oldest heritage race, is set to make a significant breakthrough with over 2,000 runners from Quảng Ninh Province joining the competition.
The Quảng Ninh runners are among the 9,100 marathoners, including nearly 1,000 foreigners from 42 countries, to compete on Sunday in Hạ Long City. This event is part of the activities commemorating the 60th anniversary of the province and the 20th anniversary of Hạ Long City.
"Since its debut in 2015, all eight editions of the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon have consistently received attention and support from the leaders of departments and agencies in Quảng Ninh Province, particularly Hạ Long City," said Associate Professor, PhD. Nguyễn Trí, the general director of Đức Hương Anh Company (DHA Việt Nam), the race's organiser.
"This year, as an official activity celebrating the 60th anniversary of Quảng Ninh Province, the marathon is a great honour that recognises the efforts of the race organisers in creating a high-level platform. It also attracts domestic and foreign tourists to Hạ Long and Quảng Ninh Province, contributing to realising the aspiration to build Quảng Ninh as a model city - a rich, beautiful, civilised and modern city, a marine economic centre, and a key destination for foreign tourists."
|Runners ready to compete at the event last year. — Photo courtesy of the organiser|
Equipped with a long-term vision and drawing on the expertise and experiences shared by 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 map. It has been voted by the renowned Runner's World UK magazine as one of the 50 greatest races on earth.
"The recognition by a prestigious magazine like Runner's World UK has helped position Việt Nam as a destination that attracts an increasing number of foreign runners who come to experience the beauty of the world's natural heritage, Hạ Long Bay and Cát Bà Islands, and to discover the beauty of Việt Nam's country and people. These runners will, in turn, become ambassadors, promoting Việt Nam's tourism in the most vivid and effective way, and supporting the sustainable development of the country's tourism," Trí explained.
With Quảng Ninh residents participating in this year's event reaching over 2,000 for the first time, it represents a new milestone in the marathon's development. It serves as evidence of the marathon's expanding popularity and highlights the fact that running has transcended being a mere sporting activity to become a lifestyle.
The event will be managed by Đinh Huỳnh Linh from the Việt Nam National Heart Institute, a medical doctor and lecturer in cardiology at Hà Nội Medical University, who is also an experienced runner.
Participants will have the opportunity to compete in four distances: 5km, 10km, half marathon (21km) and full marathon (42.195 km), with the starting point at the Quảng Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Centre on Trần Quốc Nghiên Street in Hạ Long City.
The running course has been accurately measured and standardised by A-class experts from AIMS. The route passes through numerous beautiful landscapes, connecting the cities of Hạ Long and Cẩm Phả, including a unique tunnel through the mountain in Cẩm Phả City. One side of the tunnel will be completely closed for the race to ensure the absolute safety of the runners.
The event offers a total prize value of VNĐ346 million (US$14,200), including both cash and in-kind prizes. Notably, the winners of the half marathon and full marathon will earn tickets to compete at the World Platinum Championship scheduled to be held in Thailand next year.
This year, the Hạ Long Bay Heritage Marathon has once again been recognised as eligible to participate in the Age Group Ranking System of Abbott World Marathon Majors. Runners' achievements at the event will be considered qualified, granting them the right to register for any of the world's six most prestigious running events, including the New York, Chicago, London, Boston, Tokyo and Berlin Marathons. VNS