Hanoi international marathon to welcome 'new normal'

Thousands of runners from across the world will participate in the VPBank Hanoi Marathon ASEAN 2020 (VPHM) on October 18.
Hanoi international marathon to welcome 'new normal' ảnh 1People and children join last year's Hanoi International Heritage Marathon hosted by VPBank. (Photo courtesy of the organisers)

Hanoi (VNA) - Thousands of runners from across the world will participate in the VPBank Hanoi Marathon ASEAN 2020 (VPHM) on October 18.

To comply better social distancing, the race organising committee has decided to trim the size of the event from the expected 8,000 to 10,000 people to 5,500 people, of which 3,000 will join the race directly in Hanoi and about 2,500 will compete at mini race spots throughout the country, in ASEAN and some other countries.

The start line is located in front of Ba Kieu Temple in Hoan Kiem district and VPHM will take runners through six Hanoi districts, with tracks going past heritages and architectural works such as the Old Quarter, Long Bien Bridge, West Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and several historic buildings part of the capital city’s history and development.

Runners competing in the VPHM categories will start every two hours.

The start times will begin at 00:00 on October 18 for the 42km full marathon, at 3am for the 21km half marathon, at 4.30am for the 10km distance and at 8am for the 5km category.

There are also multiple slots for starting at each time to ensure the marathon is safe for all.

“With the slogan 'Meet sunrise - Welcome to New Normal', the VPHM has become the official event of the ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship, and it will also be the first large-scale community activity to mark a new period, a 'new normal' life after the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam as well as in the entire ASEAN bloc,” said a representative of the organisers.

“When most international marathons have been postponed or cancelled, the successful organisation of the VPHM carries a special meaning for Vietnam's image, showing a safe country, ready to open doors for integration and welcome foreign visitors when the pandemic has been spectacularly controlled.”

Held annually since 2018, the VPBank Hanoi Marathon is recognised as a member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), with the running course standardised by AIMS experts.

Runner's results at the competition this year can be used for qualification for the prestigious Boston Marathon.

The VPHM 2020 times will also be officially recognised for runner qualification to compete in the SEA Games 2021 to be held in Vietnam./.

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