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Race previews Halong Bay Heritage Marathon

27 March 2024, 2pm

Dynamic and colourful backdrop to a straight and flat course

A natural allure that captivates

Halong Bay Heritage Marathon
Sun 17 November 2024

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The Halong Bay Heritage Marathon proudly claims the title of having the most spectacular course globally, tracing the shorelines of the poetic Ha Long Bay.

Entering its 10th year, the Halong Bay Heritage Marathon stands as one of the oldest marathons in the Heritage Race series and in Vietnam as a whole. Held in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh, the marathon route winds along the romantic Ha Long Bay. Recognised both by World Athletics and AIMS, the course has been included in the Age Group Ranking System of Abbott World Marathon Majors since 2022. It has also been acknowledged by Runner’s World UK as one of the 50 most breathtaking running routes globally.

The race offers four distances: 5km, 10km, half marathon (21.1km), and full marathon (42.2km). Runners have the opportunity to conquer the scenic coastal course which traverses Ha Long Bay from Ha Long City to Cam Pha City. With limestone mountains against the backdrop of the azure sea, the route offers a picturesque blend of nature’s beauty and is sure to invigorate runners.

The straight and flat course, with no intersections, ensures runners’ safety and allows them to fully focus on their performance. On top of that the fresh atmosphere along the bay combined with the late autumn weather, ranging from 18–25ºC, helps runners to achieve their best results…

AIMS President Paco Borao will be in attendance at this year’s marathon to personally award prizes to the winning athletes. He will also sign certificates for athletes achieving sub-3 and 3:30 records for the Full Marathon distance.

Building on the triumphs of past seasons the Halong Bay Heritage Marathon 2024 has swiftly garnered interest from domestic and international athletes. Nearly 4000 athletes from numerous countries have signed up to conquer the 21.1 km and 42.2km distances.

Ha Long is an ideal destination for runners thanks to its special geographical location and excellent transportation infrastructure. The marathon takes place in November, offering the perfect late fall climate for an enjoyable journey. By blending running with sightseeing, runners and their families can explore the city’s renowned tourist attractions such as Bai Chay Beach, Bai Tho Mountain, Tuan Chau Park, and the bustling Halong Night Market, renowned for its shopping and dining opportunities.

In particular, Ha Long Bay and the Cat Ba Archipelago are distinguished as UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a natural allure that captivates both domestic and international tourists. In December 2023 Ha Long Bay was officially recognized as Vietnam’s World Natural Heritage Site, an honour bestowed by UNESCO only three times.
With 1,133 limestone islands of various shapes and sizes the Ha Long – Cat Ba Archipelago resembles a mesmerising chessboard crafted from precious stones, featuring serene waters and pristine white sand beaches.

Regarded as a geological marvel received from the gods, this region holds a heritage of global significance, bearing witness to the Earth’s evolutionary history. It consists of a remarkable level of biodiversity in Asia encompassing seven ecosystems: primary tropical rainforest, caves, mangroves, tidal flats, coral reefs, soft bottoms and saltwater lakes. The Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago also serves as a habitat for many rare species of animals and plants.

Runners and their companions can relish the tranquility and fresh air on yacht excursions navigating through distinctive landmarks such as Ga Choi Island, Dinh Huong Island, Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave and Titop Island.

Ha Long in particular and Quang Ninh in general boast a diverse cuisine featuring many delectable dishes such as squid rolls, vermicelli noodles, sweet and sour fried sam, Ha Long pearl yogurt, nodding cake, and chicken Tien Yen hill… With well-developed infrastructure this coastal locale can accommodate the culinary, lodging, and sightseeing needs of many runners and tourists during the days of the event.

Halong Bay Heritage Marathon is not just a footrace; it also fervently advocates for a healthy lifestyle while showcasing the splendour of this magnificent, dynamic, modern and colourful heritage land to international friends.

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