Mountain marathon benefit set for Sa Pa

By Thanh Nien News, TN News

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Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen runs to prepare for the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2014 . Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen runs to prepare for the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2014 .

Around 500 runners from 40 different countries will participate in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2014, which is slated to take place from September 20 to 21.

The race will be held on small twisting, buffalo-beaten trails, across bamboo bridges and through small mountain villages, according to a press release issued by the Danish Embassy, which co-organizes the event with the Topas Ecolodge in the resort town of Sa Pa.

Runners participating the event can choose between four distances 10, 21, 42 or 70km. The first place winner will receive a $200 award. Denmark's ambassador to Vietnam, John Nielsen, will participate in the event.

Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company and the Vietnamese Association of Diabetes & Endocrinology are sponsoring and supporting the event to raise awareness about the sharp rise in diabetes in Vietnam.

Vietnam has seen some of the fastest growth rate of diabetes in the world.

“More and more young people are being diagnosed with diabetes. They are the future of Vietnam and therefore it is key to guide them in leading a healthier life and hopefully prevent the spread of diabetes,” said Nielsen.

“I hope that by co-organizing and joining Vietnam Mountain marathon, we can highlight the importance of improving access to medical services and treatment for people with diabetes in Vietnam,” he said.

Each runner will donate $20 as part of their race entry fee to local charity organization “Sapa O’Chau” which provides education opportunities to young local minority groups in the mountainous region. Runners will bring clothes and school books that will be handed out in Sa Pa.

The first Vietnam Mountain Marathon took place in 2013.

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