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Thousands join marathon event on Olympic Day Run in Vietnam

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 10:12 GMT+7
Thousands join marathon event on Olympic Day Run in Vietnam
Runners join the 2019 Tien Phong newspaper marathon and mountain running competition in Vung Tau, Vietnam, March 24, 2019. Photo: Hong Linh / Tuoi Tre

Thousands took part in a marathon and mountain running competition held in the southern Vietnamese city of Vung Tau on Sunday in celebration of a national day for running.

The 60th edition of the annual competition, held by Hanoi-based Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, drew the participation of 2,000 amateur and professional athletes of all ages, including those with disabilities.

They all shared a passion for running and determination to cross the finish line in the unpleasant weather of Vung Tau.

Among the participants was Ngo Van Vinh, a 23-year-old software engineer from Hanoi, who was born with a disability in his arms that made them grow only half as long as they normally would.

Despite the setback, Vinh finished the half-marathon distance of 21 kilometers in just over two hours.

Vinh said he took up running two years ago to improve his health for work.

“I feel much healthier and more optimistic now,” he said.

Ngo Van Vinh, a handicapped runner from Hanoi, joins the 2019 Tien Phong newspaper marathon and mountain running competition in Vung Tau, Vietnam on March 24, 2019. Photo: Hong Linh

Ngo Van Vinh, a handicapped runner from Hanoi, joins the 2019 Tien Phong newspaper marathon and mountain running competition in Vung Tau, Vietnam, March 24, 2019. Photo: Hong Linh / Tuoi Tre

The oldest runner at Sunday’s event was 66-year-old Nguyen Do Hung, who competed in the 42-kilometer full marathon distance.

Since his retirement from a full-time job as a bus driver, Hung has been joining running competitions across the country.

Bui The Anh was crowned the champion in the men’s marathon category after finishing first in two hours and 38 minutes, while Pham Thi Hong Le won the women’s marathon.

The Tien Phong newspaper marathon and mountain running competition is part of a series of events to celebrate the National Olympic Day Run for Public Health, observed annually on March 25 since 2015.

It also celebrates the Vietnam National Sports Day, which falls on March 27.

Seven million people took part in running competitions nationwide on the 2019 National Olympic Day Run for Public Health, according to the General Department of Sports and Physical Training.

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