Following the success of the first Vietnam Mountain Marathon in 2013, the event is set to return this year on September 20.

The Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2014 Following the success of the first Vietnam Mountain Marathon in 2013, the event is set to return on September 20 2014

Photos: Jeri Chua

It offers unique trail runs of 21km, 42km and 70km in the stunning rice terrace-clad mountains surrounding Sapa. September is the most beautiful time of year to visit these northern hills – the rice fields will be bursting with colour and the harvest season will be in full swing.

With an expected field of 400 runners, this will be the largest mountain marathon ever seen in Vietnam. Competitors from Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia,  France,  Denmark,  Hong  Kong,  Brunei, England, and Switzerland have already signed up.

Vietnam’s Ly A Song, winner of the 2013 21km race, is set to return to defend his title, while Simon Grimstrup of Denmark will be looking to keep his 70km crown.

Set in the beautiful mountain ranges of Hoang Lien National Park, runners can expect an extraordinary adventure along twisting, buffalo-beaten trails. The route will take them across bamboo bridges and through small villages where colorfully dressed ethnic minorities will be out in force to cheer them on.

This is a pristine corner of Vietnam that is usually completely closed to all but the few ethnic minority people who live there, so running in the area will be a true privilege for all involved.

The 2014 event also features a 10km fun run on September 21. This will be a great opportunity for more people to get a taste of off-road running.

Starting and finishing in Sapa town, the fun run promises to attract plenty of running talent from the local minority groups who will be keen to show the international contingent how it’s done.

Charity: Every entry fee for the event includes a $20 donation to Sapa O’Chau. Sapa O’Chau runs a variety of local projects, including its own school with over 70 students. Many ethnic minority kids from the villages surrounding Sapa have limited access to educational opportunities beyond the age of ten. Even before that, many drop out of school to help their families. There is a clear need to enhance the educational opportunities of ethnic minority youths in Sapa. Through their participation in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon, runners can help make this happen.

Date: September 20, 2014

Distances: 70km, 42km, 21km

Location: Sapa, northern Vietnam

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Contacts: +84 912 578 335