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Runners take on northern mountains

Released at: 12:22, 28/09/2015

Runners take on northern mountains

The Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2015 was held over the weekend, with runners going up hill and down dale in the area around Sapa.

by Viet Tuan

The Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2015 was held in the northern resort town of Sapa on September 26 and 27, with about 1,000 runners from 45 countries taking on the different courses. The run was organized by Topas Travel, Topas Ecolodge, and the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam.

This year’s event follows on from the successful 2013 and 2014 runs. Runners this year competed over 70 km, 42 km, 21 km, and 10 km courses. Sapa has some of the toughest terrain in Asia, taking runners across valleys at the foot of majestic mountains and across terraced rice fields under the gaze of local ethnic minority groups.

Mountain Marathon 2015 also had a charity target. Organizers presented the local charity “SaPa O’Chau” with scholarship for ethnic minority children. Part of the charity funds were also donated to Operation Smile for surgeries on children in Vietnam with harelips and cleft palates.

The 70 km run for men was won by Sanya Khanchai from Thailand, in a time of 8 hours, 4 minutes and 15 seconds. Federica Brugnara from Italy won the women’s 72 km event, with a time of 10 hours, 36 minutes and 32 seconds. The winners of the 42 km traditional marathon were Graham Knight from the UK and Kayla Feld from the US. The 21 km run was won by Rune Kvikstad from Norway and Victoria Crawford from the UK, while Sung A Toa from Vietnam and Lauren Hilary Wells from Canada won the 10 km run.

The demanding 70 km run got underway at 3am on September 25

Smiling at the starting line

Cau May Street in Sapa taken over by runners

Rain and fog no obstacle

Spectacular Sapa scenery makes the run just a little bit easier

Everyone has their own running style

Feeling the heat as the weather changes

The finishing line is within sight, at Topas Ecolodge

Sanya Khanchai from Thailand wins the men’s 70 km run

Everyone's a winner despite the disappointment

Finishing the race a great feeling

The first runner-up of Miss Vietnam 2010, Hoang My, Ambassador of the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2015

The first runner-up of Miss Vietnam 2010, Hoang My, Ambassador of the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2015

A runner shows off her medal after a hard race

The finishing line at Topas Ecolodge in Sapa

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