About 5,000 people will join the 2022 Manulife Da Nang International Marathon -- one of the top races in Southeast Asia -- this weekend after a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, according to the organizers.
The marathon is jointly organized by the Da Nang Department of Culture and Sports, the World Marathon Company, and Pulse Active in the central Vietnamese city while insurance company Manulife Vietnam remains to be its main sponsor.
Of the 5,000 runners in the sporting event, more than 65 percent are athletes from provinces and cities outside Da Nang.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the number of international participants to reduce to just 760 foreigners, a number which pales in comparison to that of previous editions of the marathon where foreign athletes accounted for 30 percent.
According to the schedule, the runners receive running kits on Friday before a kids’ run of 1.5 kilometers takes place on Saturday and the divisions for a men’s and women’s full marathon, a half marathon, a 10-kilometer course, and a 5-kilometer FunRun commences on Sunday.
A total of 900 runners have registered for the full-marathon, while 1,700 athletes have signed up for the half-marathon event, and more than 1,000 people for the 10-kilometer race, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The race, which is the first Vietnamese marathon certified by the International Amateur Athletics Association (IAAF) and the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, elevated its number of runners from 1,000 in its first edition in 2013 to a peak of nearly 10,000 in 2019.
It has also accumulated over 9,000 international participants from more than 65 countries despite a two-year suspension for COVID-19 prevention in 2020 and 2021.
Its organizers hope that some 4,000 foreign marathoners will join the race in 2023 once international tourism has kicked in.