Apr 21 2012
I’m a runner; I try to run whenever I can. I run anywhere I can, mostly in the gym because I live in the city of Saigon, but I particularly love running on the beach. Luckily for me, Vietnam has some awesome beaches for running. Since Saigon can be a bit of a grind, I’m always on the lookout for excuses to head to the beach and recently my prayers have been answered: Phu Quoc Island, home to one of the country’s best beaches, is holding a very realistic run.
On June 17, Phu Quoc’s first 21 kilometre half-marathon is slated to be held. "From beautiful beaches to world class resorts, Phu Quoc Island is a perfect place to race and run," said David Shin, director of Sporting Republic, which is one of the sponsors. "In addition to providing participants with an outstanding race experience, we are certain the runners who will participate will discover why Phu Quoc Island is such a great place to visit.” I would have to agree that Phu Quoc is a great island with fantastic beaches, with tasty food and plenty of things to do.
Another great Phu Quoc feature as far as runners are concerned is that the island is mostly flat. In fact, 90 percent of the marathon is on flat ground, making things a little easier. Things don’t get too crowded here, either, which is good for not having to avoid people on the road, but bad in the fact that the lack of crowds means less paving of said road. About 80 percent of the marathon will take place over a red dirt road; after 21 kilometres expect to be caked with red mud. And don't be surprised if you run into a cow or two along the way. Racers are expected to check-in at the Long Beach Resort -- the other sponsor -- the day before the race and participants will receive a T-shirt, timing chip, race bib and other sponsor goodies.
Half-marathons take quite a bit of preparation and determination; they’re not for everyone. If a half-marathon doesn’t seem like as much fun (ed: yes, pass me a cocktail please), there will also be a 10-kilometre Challenge and a five- kilometre Fun Run held at the same time -- there’s a little something for everyone (ed: sorry where did you say the cocktails were?!). Registration is open now until June 1. The entry fee to the half marathon is $45 while the 10k and 5k will run at $35 and $25 respectively.
I can already picture it, running in the early morning on the red dirt road with a beautiful beachfront view. If you're as excited as me, get registered, start your training, and I’ll see you at the finish line.
For more information and to sign up go to www.pqmarathon.com.