Petr Novotny of the Cezch Republic is the winner of the competition (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
  Hanoi (VNA) - Petr Novotny of the Cezch Republic won the 100km event at the Vietnam Mountain Marathon, which closed in Sa Pa in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai on September 25.

The tournament, which has become one of the premier trail running events in the region, attracted the participation of 1,600 people from 40 countries for various categories.

Novotny clocked a time of 14:53.36. Cao Ngoc Ha of Vietnam and Marcel Hoeche of Germany were the runners-up with 15:36.09 and 15:59.23, respectively.

The 100km run is the hardest one-day race event in Vietnam.

Ninety runners started at 11pm on September 23 and finished at the Topas Ecolodge a day later.

“I am very happy. I pushed myself up and up. It was an amazing feeling and event. It included all types of landscapes of mountain range and river crossings,” said Novotny.

In the first part of the route, runners ran deep into Hoang Lien valley, through rice fields, muddy trails and minority villages. They passed the Ban Ho area, ran along the Nam Cang River and climbed to the My Son village of the small mountain tribe of Xa Pho.

They experienced the sunrise as they were running on the edge of remote rice terraces following a river running from Fansipan Mountain, the highest peak of Indochina.

“I am very glad. Actually, I didn’t train very hard for my category but I always think that I must try my best in every stage to catch up my rivals so I won. However to reach the finish line, I have been fallen down four times” said the runner-up Ha.

“For me, competing during the night isn’t too dangerous. The most important is that you have good tactics,” Ha added.

In the 70km category, Antonie Epinette of France took the lead with a time of 9:12.11. Cory Lewandowski of the US finished second with a time of 9:29.22. Stephen Hargrave of Britain came in third at 10:36.40.

“I cannot find my words now. I took a lot of pictures while I was running. Usually I never do that. I have never done such a long distance. The longest one I have done was 50km. I broke my own record,” said French winner Epinette, who did a lot of runs in Hong Kong.

British Ambassador Giles Lever came in fourth in the event, with a time of 10:38.39.

“This is second time I have enjoyed the event. I am very happy with my fourth position. I am very pleased because every year more and more Vietnamese people take part. It is good for the international friendship,” said Lever.

In the 42km race, Andrew McConnell of Australia became the winner after clocking a time of 4:35.44. Vietnamese Nguyen Quang and France’s Romain Demare were second and third with a time of 5:03.41 and 5:07.06, respectively.

In the 21km division, Oeyvind Teigen of Norway triumphed with a time of 2:02.53. Derek Hunter of Ireland and Maik Berger of Germany were the runners-up.

The run was organised by Topas Travel and supported by Topas Ecolodge. This year, 20 USD from each race entry will be given to Operation Smile, a charity for local communities that live along the race route.-VNA