The Tien Phong Newspaper Run and Half Marathon will be held in the beautiful beach province of Kien Giang’s Ha Tien Town on March 24.

The event, in its 54 th year, is expected to draw the participation of both amateur and elite athletes, with more than 230 runners already registered.

Men and women will compete in the half marathon (21km), and there will also be a men’s 10 km, a women’s 5km and various other distances for children and teenagers. Their result will be counted in both individual and team rankings.

They will compete for up to 130 million VND (6,200 USD), the highest price money in domestic athletics.

The nations’ top runners are all expected to compete apart from Asian and Southeast Asian champion Truong Thanh Hang who is recovering from a foot injury.

“The Tien Phong run is an annual tournament so everyone has time to prepare for it. This year, it doesn’t clash with any other national or international athletics meetings, so the athletes will be giving 110 percent,” said Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation.

“Let’s wait and see but I believe that records will fall and new faces will be discovered in Ha Tien.”

At the first race in 1958 in Hanoi, there were 72 runners including Czechoslovakia’s Emil Zatopek, who set world records five years in a row from 1948-1953. He also won an Olympic gold in Helsinki in 1952.

Organisers said they hope that more international athletes will take part in future events.-VNA