Almost 300 Vietnamese and foreign runners gathered on October 27 for the Ha Long International Marathon 2013 in Ha Long city, the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh.

According to Ha Quang Long, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event, along with the Vietnam-Japan Culture Exchange which was held in the locality for the first time, aimed to celebrate 50 years of the province’s establishment and the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan.

He stressed that the events will contribute to promoting Quang Ninh’s landscape and people to domestic and foreign visitors.

He said the marathon provides a good chance for Vietnamese runners to learn from experienced foreign athletes trained in nations that embrace the sport, such as Japan , the Republic of Korea , the United Kingdom and China.

Domestic runners bagged the gold medals in most categories, with the exception of the women’s 42km race where Kito Miky from Japan was the winner.-VNA