The second Vietnam Mountain Marathon will kick off in September expecting to attract a large number of global participants.

The competition will take place from September 20-21 in the picturesque town of Sa Pa in the northern province of Lao Cai and host four races measuring 10km, 21km, 42km, and 70km.

"I believe it would be the largest international tournament to be held in Vietnam as about 500 athletes from 40 countries will take part," said Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen.

Nielsen said participants would enjoy not only the breath-taking beauty of the mountainous area but would have to overcome tough challenges, especially those registering for the 70km extra-marathon event.

"This year there is a new 10km route with a view to lure more Vietnamese people in general and local residents in particular," said Nielsen, who participated in the event last year.

The Ambassador said the tournament is one of many activities to raise awareness of diabetes which recorded sharply increasing in Vietnam, especially in major cities.

"Vietnam Mountain Marathon showcases Vietnam's extraordinary natural beauty and highlights the positive energy when people from many countries and cultures come together.

"At the same time we and our partners want to highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle and support the local community around Sa Pa" concluded Nielsen.

He added that organisers had considered carrying out marathons in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where most victims of diabetes are concentrated.

Each runner joining the marathon will donate 20 USD as part of their race entry fee to local charity organisation Sapa O'Chau that provides education to local minority groups in Sa Pa.

The marathon is jointly organised by the Danish Embassy and Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company specialising in diabetes and eco-friendly resort Topas Ecolodge.-VNA