Hanoi midnight marathon promises unique take on running in Vietnam

The VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight will be back on November 26 with double the number of participants in its second edition.

Almost 10,000 elite and amateur runners have registered to participate in the event, starting at midnight November 26.

"We want to highlight and discover Hanoi's tourism potential through midnight in the field of sport and physical training," said Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh, a representative of the organising board.

"We try to popularise tourism information and the city's night-time economy. 

"Each runner is expected to be an ambassador who will deliver our message to the community in the hope that more and more people will join us in the future," she said.

Athletes will compete in different categories of age groups, distances and genders, vying for a total bonus of VND1.5 billion (US$60,500).

Those who set new records will receive extra bonuses from the sponsor and prizes for the winners.

"The midnight running will be a special event for any runner. They will compete in one of the most professional events, which has lured the highest number of participants," said Le Thi Hoang Yen, deputy director of the Vietnam Sports Administration.

Among runners are 2,000 children from six to 10 years old. They will be divided into different groups and run in the Kun Marathon on Nov. 26 morning.

The race, which is sponsored by Aqua Vietnam, will be kicked off at 0.00 November 27 for the 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km, respectively.

During the race, runners will pass by Hanoi's most famous and beautiful roads and streets such as Thanh Nien, Nguyen Dinh Thi, Hung Vuong and Phan Dinh Phung.

They will also run past famous landscapes such as President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Opera House, the St. Joseph's Cathedral and the Hanoi Flag Tower.

This year, a new category is open for teams and 36 groups from different localities from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

"After one-year hiatus due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight under the sponsorship of Aqua is expected to satisfy marathon lovers with unique experience of running in the cultural and historic atmosphere of Hanoi," read a statement of Aqua Vietnam Company.

"By sponsoring the marathon, Aqua wishes to promote cultural and sporting events in the context of the new normal, inspiring Vietnamese people to return to their daily active and healthy lifestyle."

The VnExpress Marathon is one of the largest national marathon series, organised and managed by the VnExpress online newspaper and FPT Online Joinstock Company.

The first tournament was held in 2019 in Quy Nhon City, the south central province of Binh Dinh. It has been an annual event in cities and provinces in Vietnam since then.

In 2022, the marathon came to Hue in April, Quy Nhon in June, Ha Long in July and Nha Trang in August.

VnExpress Marathon was awarded silver at the Asian Media Award 2021 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in revenue diversification.

All its tracks have been certified with the AIMS-World Athletics running standard by the International Marathon Association and the World Athletics Federation.