VnExpress Marathon, scheduled to be held in central Hue Town on December 27, will allow athletes to explore famous landmarks in Vietnam’s former imperial capital.
The marathon will commence on Le Duan Street, between the relics of Phu Van Lau, or Pavilion of Edicts and Nghenh Luong Pavilion, two Nguyen Dynasty landmarks featured on the VND50,000 ($2.16) note. The Pavilion of Edicts will host an opening ceremony with music performance ahead of the event.
Pavilion of Edicts was built in 1819 during King Gia Long’s reign and Nghenh Luong Pavilion in 1852 during the rule of King Tu Duc. Both were Nguyen Dynasty kings, the last royals to rule the country from 1802 until the end of feudal Vietnam in 1945.
Le Duan Street next to poetic Huong (Perfume) River boasts many green trees. Hue is one of the few towns in the country to hold on to its green space with more than 64,000 trees planted along its streets and parks.
Runners joining the race will cross Truong Tien Bridge spanning the Huong River and a symbol of Hue.
Built in 1899 during the reign of King Thanh Thai, the 10th Nguyen Dynasty ruler, the 400-meter bridge was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the architect who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Statue of Liberty in New York.
Participants will pass along Le Loi Street and the Hue High School for the Gifted, one of the oldest high schools in Vietnam. The school filled with rows of ancient camphor trees was built in 1896 under the reign of King Thanh Thai.
Athletes will run along August 23 Street and have the opportunity to admire the magnificent UNESCO heritage Hue Imperial Citadel, which witnessed the rise and fall of the Nguyen Dynasty.
As the official Nguyen Dynasty residence, Hue’s Imperial Citadel began construction in 1804.
August 23 Street, covered with ancient Faux acajen trees, will be part of the 10 kilometer run.
The marathon will also lead runners past Doan Thi Diem Street, ancient Hien Nhon Gate, and more green trees. The gate on the east side of the citadel was built in 1805 during the reign of King Gia Long.
In 1833, King Minh Mang added terracotta and stone to the front. In feudal times, only mandarins and royal family members were allowed to enter and exit the Imperial Citadel through this gate.
A new experience will see athletes pass through Phu Mong – Kim Long Garden House, a typical Hue abode. The town currently is home to 2,800 large and small garden homes, including more than 1,000 over 200 years old.
The two most challenging distances, 21 kilometer and 42 kilometer, will allow runners to explore Thien Mu Pagoda (Pagoda of the Celestial Lady), another symbol of Hue, on Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street.
Located on Ha Khe Hill, about five kilometers west of downtown Hue, Thien Mu Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River was built in 1601 and is considered one of the most sacred sites in Vietnam.
VnExpress Marathon Hue 2020 is organized by VnExpress and Thua Thien Hue Province People’s Committee. It is part of a series of marathons that VnExpress has organized in recent years, including those in Hanoi and central beach town Quy Nhon, with the desire to open up a healthy playground for sports lovers, especially in the marathon category.
The Hue event is expected to attract over 4,000 domestic and foreign athletes.