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Over 4,000 Runners Competing In First-Ever Vientiane International Marathon

Source: Vientiane Times

The nation’s largest-ever field of more than 4,000 domestic and foreign runners is expected to tackle the inaugural Vientiane International Marathon through the capital’s streets on December 8.

Organisers Events for Good and the Lao Amateur Athletics Federation revealed the details on Thursday at a press conference which reported on preparations for the major sporting event.

Runners will be in for a very early start at That Luang esplanade for the various events, with the men’s and women’s 42km marathon commencing at 3am, the 21km half marathon at 5am, 10km race at 5:30am, and the 5km fun run/walk starting at 6am.

According to organisers, about 80 percent of participants will be Lao runners with the rest coming from 40 different countries, fulfilling their dual aim of promoting running domestically and using the event as a major drawcard for international visitors.

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Runners will make their way past the city’s prominent landmarks with the marathon route also deviating along the Mekong before returning to the That Luang esplanade finish line via Thadeua and Kamphaengmeuang roads.

Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Laos, Mr Kasem Inthala; President of the Lao Amateur Athletics Federation, Mr Chandee Phommabood; and representatives of the main sponsor Lao Brewery Co., Ltd. and other corporate supporters attended the press conference.

Mr Chandee said organisers were cooperating with police to manage traffic during the massive event which would also be supported by hundreds of volunteers, along with medical and rescue teams.

He added that the marathon was an excellent way to encourage health and fitness as well as celebrate Visit Laos-China Year 2019.

Mr Chandee noted that some Lao runners would not compete in the marathon as they were preparing for track and field events at the 30th SEA Games to be hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 11.

Organisers said the 21km race was already sold out with the 42km marathon running out fast. As of Friday, there were still 10km and 5km spots available with last-minute registrations expected. That Luang esplanade will also be the site of a marathon expo on December 6 and 7 from 10am to 6pm.