The 11th annual Hanoi Half Marathon returns to the capital city on December 10 with the theme “Run for Bears – End Bear Farming”. (Photo: ENV)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The 11th annual Hanoi Half Marathon returned to the capital city on December 10 with the theme “Run for Bears – End Bear Farming”, attracting hundreds of runners from 43 countries.

The event was hosted by the charity club Red River Runners (RRR), in partnership with Sporting Republic Company and Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV). It was the fifth edition in a row the RRR has organised to raise funds for wildlife protection in Vietnam.

More than 800 people participated in the event, showing strong support for efforts to end bear bile farming in the country and urge the public not to consume bear bile. Many runners came from the embassies of the US, UK, France and the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam.
Runners pose for a photo at the half marathon. The event attracts over 800 runners from 43 countries. (Photo: ENV)

This year’s half marathon also includes 3km, 5km, 10km, 21km challenges and an 800m kid sprint, said Jody O’Dea from the RRR. It aims to raise public awareness of the need to protect bears, reduce demand for bear-based products and bring an end to the cruel and illegal bear bile industry, he added.

The 2017 marathon marks a year with lots of achievements in the efforts to end bear farming in the country, said ENV Deputy Director Nguyen Phuong Dung.

The Government of Vietnam reaffirmed its commitment to closing bear farms in the country while the second phase of the project to plant microchip in captive bears at farms in hot spots like Hanoi and Dong Nai has helped intensify monitoring efforts in these areas, she noted.

The run was the start for a bear week taking place in Vietnam from December 10-16 to encourage the public to take part in bear protection activities.-VNA