Around 500 runners from 40 countries and territories worldwide will compete in the 2014 Vietnam Mountain Marathon (VMM), scheduled for September 20-21 in Sa Pa district, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai .

Co-organised by the Danish Embassy in Vietnam and the Topas Ecolodge Resort, this year’s event aims to raise public awareness of increasing diabetes in Vietnam .

Addressing a press conference in Hanoi on September 17, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen expressed his hope that the marathon will encourage young people to live healthily, thus preventing the rise of diabetes.

Competitors can choose a short race of 10km, a half marathon of 21km, a full marathon of 42km or an ultra marathon of 70km through small mountainous villages.

Each participant will donate 20 USD as part of his/her race entry fee to a local charity organisation named Sapa O’Chau, which helps ethnic minority children finish their education.

This is the second time Vietnam has hosted the marathon. Last year’s event, which took place on October 5 and 6, attracted 200 participants from nearly 30 countries, including 20 from host Vietnam. -VNA