Life Life

05/09/2019 - 08:01

Running for the hometown sake

There has been a growing trend towards running for the past year. It is the efforts of Hue Citadel Runners (HCR), a group of 1,000 runners from all over the country, that contribute to the rapid growth of this kind of exercise.

On the weekend running route of the HCR

Stamina at the age of four

HCR has just celebrated the fourth anniversary after the Danang International Marathon 2019 during the mid-August. At the ceremony, the two founders of HCR, Huynh Anh Thuan (a lecturer at Hue University of Economics) and Phan Van Hoa (an architect), recalled the memories of the early days.

“Many elderly people in Hue think that only professional athletes are able to take part in half marathon (21 kilometers) or full marathon (42 kilometers),” said Huynh Anh Thuan. “However, younger people think differently because they have been trained following the plans of their clubs. The runner groups have rapidly developed in other big cities and they are confident to participate in different marathon distances.”

“In late 2015 and during 2016, Huynh Anh Thuan and I took part in a number of marathon journeys, and I would like to encourage young people in Hue to participate to make the running activities in Hue more exciting. It took three years - until the Hue half marathon was first organized on the Independence Day in 2018 -that the number of runners of 21-kilometer distance and over increased,” Phan Van Hoa added.

Since the first half marathon in Hue in 2018, running-lovers in HCR group have gained new energy and motivation in training for long distance. They realized that the long distance in marathon is achievable if they have appropriate training together. HCR members have the courage to increase their running distance through the training plans they shared online.

Participating in the two marathon journeys in the summer, namely the VNExpress Marathon Quy Nhon and Manulife Danang International Marathon 2019, HCR had 50 members registering for long distances (21 kilometers and 42 kilometers). Most of the 42-kilometer runners have had experience in this distance from previous events such as Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon, Da Lat Ultra Trail Marathon and Hue Marathon.

After four years of operation, HCR has increased its members to 1,000. These members are from all over the country, and a hundred of them are frequent runners from Hue, making up the core members for the development of the running movement in Hue.

Run for love

“Run for love” is the HCR motto. Members of the group are doctors, teachers, journalists, students, IT engineers, architects, entrepreneurs and government employees. They all have one thing in common, that is, they have a positive attitude towards the role of marathon in improving health and consider long-distance running to be a modern sport.

HCR members collect rubbish after reaching Mount Vuon

Other purposes are often embedded in the weekend running journeys with widespread social effects, such as running and collecting rubbish for a greener Huong river and running for a clean Hon Vuon mount.

Tran Pham Chi, a medical doctor, who overcame injuries with effort to reach the finish at Danang half marathon, often has Facebook posts about his feelings after each running journey. His rich memories of the running journeys inspire his followers with the regional cultures of the places he has been to.

A female runner, nicknamed Chau “Sau” (bug), composes beautiful poems after she finishes her running routes. As for the group founder Huynh Anh Thuan, he shares worthwhile books to help members enrich their knowledge and skills of running.

Running for the hometown sake

In September, HCR members will take part in two running events: Trans-Vietnam Revive Marathon and the event Uprace to raise a charity fund.

Uprace is a voluntary event where runners do their best for the kilometer accrual in four weeks. For each kilometer recorded in the measurement tool, a runner is paid 1,000 VND by the sponsors to the social charity foundations: Newborns Vietnam, VietSeeds and GreenViet.

The Trans-Vietnam Marathon will take place on September 8 along the Truong Son pathway in Quang Binh. Hue runners will have a chance to understand more about the 60-year history of the 559 pathway, the legendary Truong Son pathway during the American war.

Participants in this journey run for their love of their hometown and for the magnanimous history of the country. Every step of their runs along majestic Truong Son range is an indicator of the love and gratitude of today’s generations towards the older generations’ sacrifice.

The more journeys, the more love that Hue runners have towards their hometown and the more experience they gain for life. This is a good way to make their heart stronger physically and spiritually.

Story and photos: Nhan Hoa