Hà Thị Hậu of Sa Pa (middle) celebrates winning the 70km female race in the Việt Nam Trail Marathon this year. Photo courtesy of the organiser
MỘC CHÂU — Hà Thị Hậu of Sa Pa won the 70km female race in the Việt Nam Trail Marathon (VTM) held in Mộc Châu District, Sơn La Province on Saturday.
First-time ultra runner Hậu took the victory after beating established trail runners Axelle de Feraudy from France and Việt Nam Mountain Marathon (VMM) 100km champion Nguyễn Thị Đường of Việt Nam.
Hậu is from a mountainous area, hailing from Sa Pa Town, Lào Cai Province where she regularly runs the hills and is also a running guide for Topas, the organiser of the event.
“I’ll run in the 52km category in the upcoming VMM, then I target the VMM 100km,” said Hậu.
Runners during the Việt Nam Trail Marathon this year. Photo courtesy of the organiser
In the 70km male event, the winner was Valentin Orange of France who beat Phạm Đức Luân and Nguyễn Văn Long of Việt Nam in second and third, respectively.
“It was a beautiful route through Mộc Châu,” said Orange at the finish, where he looked very strong despite running 70km, much of which was under the strong April sun.
On the 42km start line this year were two Operation Smile Ambassadors including singer Đức Tuấn and traveller Trần Đặng Đăng Khoa who travelled around the world on his motorbike. They both ran the VTM for the first time.
Also running for Operation Smile Việt Nam at this year’s event was Miss Việt Nam 2006 Mai Phương Thúy. This was the first time she ran 10km of trails.
A runner enjoys the beautiful scene in Mộc Châu. Photo courtesy of the organiser
The 70km this year saw the ‘running writer’ Trang Hạ who ran 70km for her first time at the VTM. She is also signed up for 70km distance at the VMM 2021 on August 27-29 in Sa Pa and Việt Nam Jungle Marathon 2021 on October 16 in Pù Luông Nature Reserve in Thanh Hóa Province.
The event saw almost 4,300 Việt Nam-based runners from 48 nations race from 5km to 70km on trails through the orchards and tea fields of Mộc Châu. — VNS