Over 4,500 Participate in the 2023 Vietnam Mountain Marathon

Experience a unique and unforgettable event like no other - the Vietnam Mountain Marathon, set against one of the most breathtaking backdrops in the world.


Approximately 4,500 runners from 51 countries and territories are set to participate in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2023, according to a recent preparatory meeting coordinated by the People’s Committee of Sa Pa township in the northern Lao Cai province.

The marathon will see runners from 51 countries and territories around the world, with 20% of them being foreigners. Notably, the Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, Nicolai Prytz, will also be participating in the 21km distance of the event.

4,500 Runners Join 2023 Vietnam Mountain Marathon
At the meeting to prepare for the 2023 Vietnam Mountain Marathon. Source: Lao Cai newspaper

This year’s race will take place from September 22 to September 24, featuring five distances (10km, 21km, 50km, 70km and 100km) that pass through 12 communes and wards in Sa Pa town.

The organizing board has made adjustments to the route and running distances in order to provide a new and challenging experience for the athletes, while also minimizing travel time. For example, the 100km distance will start at the center of Sa Pa town, the 42km distance will change to 50km, and the 70km distance will include additional trails and increased altitude for a more enhanced experience.

The 15km and 160km distances will be temporarily suspended, with the 160km distance expected to return in the 2024 edition of the marathon.

4,500 Runners Join 2023 Vietnam Mountain Marathon
Set amid the mountain peaks of Sapa, this year’s route winds past buffalo trails and yellowing rice terraces, passing ethnic minority villages along the way.

The organizer will allocate 50% of the funding contribution from participants running distances of 21km or more to charity work in Sa Pa town. The remaining 50% will be used to purchase equipment for the care of Vietnamese newborns in cooperation with Newborns Vietnam, support street children and families in difficult circumstances through the Hanoi-based NGO Blue Dragon, and sponsor surgery for children with cleft lip and cleft palate through Operation Smile Vietnam.

The race, organized by Topas Travel and supported by Topas Ecolodge, is part of the Vietnam Trail Series, which has now raised over USD 400,000 for charitable causes.

The marathon is one of the activities in a series of events celebrating 120 years of Sa Pa tourism. The organizing board expects the event to become a prominent activity in promoting Sa Pa tourism to both Vietnamese and international tourists, contributing to the diversification of tourism products in Sa Pa and Lao Cai province.

Hannah Nguyen