Foreign runners electrified ahead of Hanoi midnight marathon

Hours before VnExpress Marathon (VM) Hanoi Midnight, excited foreign participants are full of expectations for the special event.
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The first large-scale night run in Vietnam started at 6 pm on November 28 at Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square. (Photo: VN Express)

The first large-scale night run in Vietnam started at 6 pm on November 28 at Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square with many attractive performances. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, VM Hanoi Midnight has fewer foreign runners than previous VM events. Still, many residing in Hanoi and other localities signed up for the marathon, to feature over 5,500 athletes.

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Ambassador of Sweden in Vietnam, Ann Måwe, talks about participating in VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight. (Photo: VN Express)

One of them is the Ambassador of Sweden in Vietnam, Ann Måwe. She has registered for the 10 km run. "I’m looking forward to running on the streets of Hanoi at night. This is my first time joining a marathon in Vietnam. It’s only my second year as an ambassador in Vietnam, my first was so busy I didn’t have the time. This will be my son and daughter’s first marathon ever," she said.

She has run 10 km races in Sweden and around Hanoi's West Lake, so she believed she could make it in the midnight race, which will begin late on Saturday and continue through Sunday morning, VN Express quoted the Ambassador.

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Dean Pham comes to receive his kit for VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight. (Photo: Tien Phong News)

Dean Pham, a 37-year-old Vietnamese-American born in the U.S., has signed up for the half marathon. He is currently working in Hanoi and has taken part in several marathons in the country before. The Hanoi race will be Pham's first night marathon, according to Tien Phong News.

"I have run a full marathon before but found it quite long and difficult. For me, the half marathon is a more suitable challenge. It’s a good mix of speed and endurance. Unfortunately, I’ve had some injuries recently so I haven’t prepared enough. Hopefully, I can still finish my run."

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Hanno, a German who has come to Hanoi from Sa Pa to attend the city's first night marathon. (Photo: VN Express.)

Hanno, 55, a German living in the northern mountainous town Sa Pa is really excited about the marathon.

"I like running, I have joined many races all over Vietnam but I have never participated in a midnight run so this will be my first time and it should be interesting. The preparation for this run is really great and I’m looking forward to enjoying it tonight. Plus, I like running in Hanoi, which is why I came here from Sa Pa today. I have lived there for almost three years now but I have spent 25 years in Vietnam," Hanno said.

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Matsuda, a half marathon runner at VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight. (Photo: VnExpress)

Matsuda, a 45-year-old Japanese who has been working in Hanoi for four years, has previously joined many marathons in Vietnam. He chose the half marathon like most of his friends did because the full marathon to them is quite a long run.

"I haven’t prepared much for this marathon as I registered in the last minute when I saw the information on Facebook. Running in the night is not so hot compared to during the day so I decided to join this one. Hope I won’t fall asleep tonight," Matsuda said.

Darren Barnard, a 26-year-old English teacher from the U.K. who has been living in Hanoi for one year, will be another first-time Vietnam marathon runner.

"To prepare for this marathon, I ran about four to five days a week around the Tay Ho (West Lake) area. I love Hanoi so much. People here are very friendly and it’s safe here. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to join this event. I have registered for the half marathon," Barnard said.

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Runners prepare for the VM Hanoi Midnight. (Photo: VN Express)

VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight takes place from the night of November 28 to the morning of November 29. The program was jointly organized by VnExpress, Hanoi People's Committee, and Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank).

To guarantee the safety of thousands of athletes, organizers will set up medical, water and navigation checkpoints. On average, there will be one checkpoint every two kilometers, with eight medical stops in total. Organizers will further install high-power lighting systems along the way so runners could take great photos. With a clear route and chilly weather, VM Hanoi Midnight may see several personal records set, said the organizers.

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Valerie Mai
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