Hanoi Pledges to Ensure Success for AIMS-certified Marathon

By Ho Binh Minh

HANOI, Oct 14 (DHA) - The municipal authorities in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, on Monday pledged to step up with specific measures to ensure safety for the runners attending the AIMS-certified VPBank Hanoi Marathon – Heritage Race 2019 (VHM) at the weekend as the number of the competing athletes has nearly tripled from last year.

Officials in the city of eight millions will re-organize traffic, including full or partial  bans on 26 routes in six districts on October 20 morning to assist the competition of some 7,000 runners, said Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF), which is in charge of professional matters for VHM.

Hanoi Pledges to Ensure Success for AIMS-certified Marathon

Nguyen Manh Hung (standing), deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Athletes Federation, presents the preparation plan to Hanoi city officials at a meeting of the Race Organizing Committee for the AIMS-certified VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2019. Some 7,000 runnes are expected to compete in the VHM to be held in Hanoi on October 20.  Photo by DHA.

"The race aims for an early start to avoid traffic in crowded Hanoi," Hung told a meeting chaired by the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, a key member of the race's organizing committee, and attended by officials from city departments including the police, health, construction, foreign affairs officials as well as the six local districts.

VHM 2019 runners will compete in four categories, including the 42-km full marathon and the 21-km half marathon. The race's running courses are designed to connect Hanoi's Old Quarter with its key destinations, including Hoan Kiem lake, the Cathedral, West Lake and Long Bien bridge over the Red River.

Hanoi Pledges to Ensure Success for AIMS-certified Marathon

Offiicials from the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, the police and related municipal agencies attend a meeting of the Race Organizing Committee for the AIMS-certified VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2019 due to be held in Vietnam's capital on October 20, 2019. Photo by DHA.

Hanoi has been organizing several running competitions each year, but the municipal government officials say they plan to make VHM, held for the first time in 2018 as the Hanoi International Heritage Marathon (HIHM), an annual event and place it on the world's map of major marathons, along with those in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York City and Tokyo.

"We are hosting not just an ordinary race, but this is an opportunity to promote the image of Hanoi in particular and of Vietnam in general," Director To Van Dong of the Department of Culture and Sports said at the meeting. "Safety for the runners remains the priority," he added.

Hanoi Pledges to Ensure Success for AIMS-certified Marathon

The Hanoi municipal authority says they plan to make VHM an annual sporting event and wish to place it on the world's map of major marathons. Photo by DHA.

The Hanoi marathon has already gained more popularity after having received the certification earlier this year from the Association of International Marathons and the Distance Races (AIMS) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The certification means runners can use results from VHM, a member of the AIMS since this September, to qualify for attending the Boston Marathon to be held in April 2020.

VHM 2019 has drawn attention of some 1,500 foreign runners from 58 countries. Last year, over 2,600 runners, including foreigners from some 50 countries, competed in the HIHM.

The VHM 2019 is co-organized by the Dai Bieu Nhan Dan (People's Representative) newspaper, the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, VAF, DHA Vietnam Company Ltd and the Vietnam Prosperity JSC Bank, also known as VPBank.

Here are some key details from the preparations by VHM’s Race Organizing Committee and various Hanoi government departments:

VHM 2019 PARTICIPATION (in brackets are the start time, Hanoi time GMT+7)

42 km (0430): 1,000 runners; 21 km (0530): 2,000 runners

10 km (0600): 1,500 runners; 05 km (0800): 2,500 runners

- Including 1,500 foreigners from 58 countries;

- More than 500 volunteers have been trained earlier this month to assist runners and the VHM as a whole.

MEDICAL CARE

- Four units, including one on duty at the post-race recovery area for runners and three mobile. Each unit consists of one doctor and several nurses.

- Seven medical points are located along the running course, while hospitals nearby are asked to give priority to treating VHM runners.

TRAFFIC

- Public buses are to be re-routed on October 20.

- The city police will re-structure traffic on the streets where VHM athletes will be running through, reserving a third of the road for the competition.

- Flexible ban on the streets for pedestrian crossing will be in place, with the help of volunteers.

Besides, extra mobile toilets are to be set up along the running course, while street lighting will be in place to ensure safety for runners in the early hours.

 

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