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06/07/2021 - 09:01

The first Hue person to conquer 100-km distance

“The emotion right now is indescribable… I am stiff, breathless but really happy when achieving the target of the 100-km distance running”.

Nguyen Thi Ngot (blue T-shirt - leading) on the track

 Energy source for "running with Hue"

That Nguyen Thi Ngot (with Facebook nickname Ngot Nguyen) put her name on the list of a few dozen people in Vietnam, who could run 100km in under 12 hours, heartened Hue lovers of  long-distance running.

Ngot also beat her long-distance running record, from 70km to 100km. This has been the result of persistent and scientific training over the past 18 months since Ngọt started to train for marathon.

Huynh Anh Thuan (Head of Hue Citadel Runners Club – HCRC) confirmed, “This is the greatest achievement ever in the running circle of Hue. How proud! Ngot has shown the strong will of Hue people in long-distance running.

Ngot's total distance of 100km covered 10 laps of the running track: Truong Tien - Da Vien - Hue Citadel. The "Hue-style" running race was started by Ngot from 6 pm on Saturday (June 19) to nearly 6 am on Sunday.

On the track, the 26-year-old girl from Vinh Hien (Phu Loc) received the support of a pacer, the nutritional care and recovery from members of the HCR and HTC clubs in Hue. Throughout Saturday night, the livestreams were continuously conducted to report Ngot's arduous and challenging journey. The encouraging words from the viewers stimulated Ngot to overcome her own obstacles.

Nguyen Thi Ngot after completing the 100-km distance

Ngot confided, “I was really tired and exhausted at the 74th kilometer. Then, my legs were cramp; my body was stiff. But after resting and being nursed for a while, I got up, walked 5 kilometers and then started running again. At this time, the body seemed to have just undergone a new state. I myself did not expect that I could run more than 20km left to complete the race. Perhaps because of running on the familiar green road of Hue, I was infused with a certain source of strength from the river and Hue Imperial City.”

Female pharmacist crazy about running

Nguyen Thi Ngot set the 100-km distance record just a few months after her graduation from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Previously, Ngot spent time jogging and working out at the gym. It was the supplementary exercises at the gym that helped her to strengthen the upper body, to increase her stamina for over 42-km marathons.

Despite starting to run since late 2019 with HCR Club members when joining the BIDV online running tournament, one year later, Nguyen Thi Ngot won the second prize in the 20-30 age group for 42-km distance at VNExpress Marathon Hue 2020.

Afterwards, also in 42-km distance, she ranked 8th in age at the Tien Phong National Marathon Championship 2021 held last March in Pleiku. This result put her in the group of 200 movement athletes invited to compete at the Marathon Sea Games organized late this year in Vietnam.

Special body

The 100-km running distance is the most extreme distance in the ultramarathon, requiring runners to have a special body, adapt to the arduous training process, and have a good cardiovascular system and flexible muscles.

In Vietnam, usually only half of the number of athletes completes ultramarathon distances such as 70km and 100km in famous mountain trail races nationwide like Da Lat, Sapa, Moc Chau. That a person completes a 100-km distance is not too rare in Vietnam, but the fact that a Hue female like Nguyen Thi Ngot has recently run throughout the night to "swallow" 100 km made some people protest. In their view, such running is unscientific and anti-sport, only producing the opposite effect on the body.

However, in conversation with Dr. Tran Pham Chi (Head of Gastroenterology Department, Hue Central Hospital), also a long-time road runner, the writer received totally positive information.

He said, “Completing a 100-km run depends entirely on each person’s body. Each person has their own stamina and ability, and there is absolutely no regulation on the harmful way of running. Some people that run only a few tens of meters are harmful, but others that run hundreds of km are normal. Each person's body structure and stamina have the peculiarities. There is no separate regulation regarding marathon and ultramarthon. Of course, it must be accompanied by diligent training."

Ngot is less than 1m50 tall and has a short and bold figure. The special abdominal muscle system makes it possible for her to endure the ultramarathon.

When becoming the hottest name in the Hue running circle, the first to conquer the 100-km distance, 26-year-old Nguyen Thi Ngot, immediately returned to train for marathon tournaments late this year, especially the Sea Games marathon with the time of less than 3 hours at a full marathon distance (42km).

Ngot  has no intention of getting married, still makes her own training plan, still gets up early every day to train diligently for the conquest of  new milestones on the path ahead.

Story and photos: Bui Xuan Hoa

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