600 local athletes to compete at 2021 VPBank Hanoi Marathon

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A runner, wearing the official jersey of the VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2021, practises on the track inside the Mỹ Đình Stadium. Photo courtesy of the organiser

HÀ NỘI — Hundreds of runners from across Việt Nam will participate in the VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2021 (VPHM) on Sunday.

Due to the pandemic in the capital, the race organising committee has decided to trim the size of the event from the expected 10,000 people to 600 qualified full marathon runners to compete to be on the official track for the marathon at the 31st SEA Games.

The 42km full marathon starts from Mỹ Đình Stadium and is fully located in Nam Từ Liêm District.

The race will take runners through the National Sports Complex in Mỹ Đình, the F1 Racing Road and routes including Đỗ Xuân Hợp Road, Tân Mỹ Road, Lê Đức Thọ Road and Lê Quang Đạo Road.

The start times will begin at 5 pm on March 6 for the 42km full marathon within 5 hours of the cut-off time.

This year marks the first time a running event has been allowed by the Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF) to introduce the National Record-Breaking Prize in the marathon.

Dr Nguyễn Trí, General Director of DHA Vietnam, the owner of the marathon, said the decision was: “In line with the world sports trend of attaching importance to the fundamental level rather than only to high achievement sport.”

“With the slogan ‘For a strong Vietnam,’ this is not only a message to cheer for the 31st SEA Games but also an extra-ordinary reminder to the community that a foundation of strong physical strength is the basic to overcome the pandemic. And sports (in which running has the largest number of people practising) is the basis for creating that physical foundation.”

“For a strong Vietnam” is also a message about a new lifestyle, sportsmanship and increased public health. Practising sports is the most effective and least expensive, active health care method. That is also a highly precious awakening point from the pandemic.

Held annually since 2018, the VPBank Hanoi Marathon is recognised as a member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

So far, the national records in the marathon are among the longest standing records in Việt Nam’s National Athletics Championships, with the 18-year-old record of 2:21:51 set by athlete Nguyễn Chí Đông at the 22nd SEA Games, which was held in Việt Nam in 2003, and the record of 2:45:09 established by athlete Hoàng Thị Thanh at the National Athletics Championships in 2016.

Before that, the national record set by Bùi Lương (2:32:00) had existed for 35 years (from 1968 to 2003).

The prize for a new national record is VNĐ50 million. VNS

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