Simon Grimstrup of Denmark won the second Vietnam Mountain Marathon's 70-km category which wrapped up at this magnificent town in Lao Cai province on September 21.

The Dane finished the super challenge with a time of eight hours and 30 minutes while Nora Senn, a Swiss female runner, came in second with a time of 10 hours and 12.55 minutes.

"This is the toughest and most beautiful route in the world," he said. Simon, an experienced trail runner, took part in a 168-km run in France just three weeks before coming to Vietnam.

In the 42-km class, Briton David Lloyd came in first with a time of five hours and 47.50 minutes, followed by American Samantha Young, with a time of six hours and 27.20 minutes.

Other winners are Florian Deichmann in the 21-km event and Vietnamese male Sung A Toa, 16, in the 10-km event. Toa is from the H'Mong ethnic group and lives in Y Linh Ho.

Nearly 500 runners from 40 countries and hundreds of Vietnamese joined the event, making it the country's biggest international mountain marathon. It took place on the weekend in the beautiful mountain town of small twisting, buffalo-beaten trails that cut across bamboo bridges and run through small mountain villages.

John Nielsen, Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam, also took part in this and the previous year's 21-km run. "It was tough and the last mountain was horrible to climb, but I like the race," said Nielsen.

The Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam has joined forces with Topas Ecolodge Resort to organise the marathon.

Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company, is sponsoring and supporting the event together with the Vietnamese Association of Diabetes and Endocrinology under the theme "Changing Diabetes", to raise awareness on the rise of diabetes in Vietnam.

All fees collected from the marathon will be donated to Sapa O'Chau, a local charity organisation which offers educational opportunities for children of ethnic minority groups.-VNA