05 October 2021, 7am
Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon
Sun 12 December 2021
Yet despite all the attractions before 2017 there wasn’t a major marathon to showcase all that Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) has to offer.
Sunrise Events Vietnam (SEV), founded in 2015, was responsible for bringing the IRONMAN 70.3 race to the country. With the growth of the triathlon SEV noticed an increasing desire among the Vietnamese to focus on healthy activities and friendly yet challenging competition.
SEV’s vision was to bring the best of the world to Vietnam, and the best of Vietnam to the world. They did so by featuring world class athletes in their events, and delivering the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Danang. In HCMC, the country’s largest metropolis, SEV launched the first Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon in 2017, with three more hugely successful editions since then.
The organisers have designed iconic courses running through six city districts. The four courses to choose from: 5km, 10km, 21.1km and the Marathon, attract an enthusiastic range of local and international runners.
On race weekend Saturday features the Kids Runs. On Sunday, starting from 04.00, participants gather in front of the Saigon Zoo & Botanical Gardens in a welcome escape from the sweltering daytime temperatures. Anticipation and excitement are high as competitors embrace the chance to run safely through the city, for a few hours owning those streets normally dominated by millions of motorbikes.
Landmarks dotting the course include Independence Palace, Saigon Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Opera House, and the intriguing maze of the city’s Chinatown, with its aroma of turmeric and cumin. The Thu Thiem bridge offers sprawling views of both sides of the Saigon River.
The Marathon has grown to be one of HCMC’s annual highlights. It has quickly become the biggest competitive running event in the country, with 13,000 participants over all distances offered
Despite the setbacks and restrictions of the global COVID-19 pandemic the 4th Edition of the Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon took place successfully and safely on 11 April 2021. Thanks to the crucial support of the HCMC government, the Department of Tourism, the event’s partners, suppliers and volunteers, and the year-round efforts of SEV’s industrious team, the 4th edition provided a palpable sense of relief and joy to the city’s residents.
At the fourth edition of the race SEV’s General Manager Onslo Carrington noted that: “at certain times in the history of an event or a city circumstances can shape both to take on a much larger meaning. Life is a marathon, and sometimes the road is smooth. Other times it is full of holes, with wild dogs chasing you and thousands of motorbikes and cars to dodge. As Vietnam has shown the world if you can keep putting one foot in front of the other then eventually you will have run, walked or crawled towards a greater sense of purpose. One that encapsulates all of us.”
The future for competitive running in Vietnam, much like its 3260km of coastline, is bright, beautiful and full of promise.