Danish Ambassador John Nielsen participates in Vietnam Mountain Marathon

The ethnic minorities in the mountain regions of Sapa in Northern Vietnam will experience an unusual group of guests on their small trails, when the first Vietnam Mountain Marathon takes place 5th October this year.

Danish ambassador John Nielsen and the Danish Embassy have joined forces with Topas Ecolodge  to organize the event and with the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk as main sponsor.

Topas Ecolodge View FB

The event has already attracted runners from more than 20 different countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Denmark.

“We have engaged in this event to increase focus on Vietnam in general, but also to focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle and tourism in one of the most spectacular regions of Vietnam” , the Ambassador said.

“Vietnam has for a long time been an important partner for Denmark through development cooperation and in the recent decade also through the increase in commercial links. Now we want to add a focus on sports and tourism on top of that”

The Danish Embassy have teamed up with Topas Ecolodge and managing director Asger Koppen to organize Vietnam Mountain Marathon. Topas Ecolodge, which was originally funded partly by Danish development assistance, has many years of experience organizing events and guided tours in the region around Sapa. On top of that the Ecolodge has been awarded as one of the most beautiful located lodges in the world.

Novo Nordisk, the world leading company in diabetes prevention from Denmark, is sponsoring the event under the headline “Changing Diabetes”. Diabetes has become the price many countries pay for progress and currently affects a growing number of the Vietnamese population. Novo Nordisk hopes to curb this development, in part by spreading awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

All runners will donate part of their race entry fee to help Sapa O’Chau – a local organization that provides education opportunities to young local minority groups who did not finish school.

Runners have the choice of three distances: half Marathon, full Marathon or an Ultra Marathon, which covers close to 70 kilometres. The routes will take runners through small villages and stunningly beautiful valleys that are usually closed to tourists.

The Ambassador was quick to sign up for the event himself, “I know it will be tough, but the  ambience and beauty of running in the mountains and paddy fields around Sapa  will compensate for the suffering” the Ambassador said.

For more information – and to sign up for the event – visit:



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