4th place VMM 100km runner Tran Duy Quang ran 160km by doing 100 1.6km laps last weekend. He ran for almost 32 hours to raise money for Newborns Vietnam, a great charity that works to improve neonatal intensive care here.
When did you start long distance running and what is your sporting background?
I have only been running long distance since January 2015 which is when I registered for the 42km distance at the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2015.
Before that I played football and often went hiking and trekking.
What do you prefer, road or trail?
I prefer the trail because on the trail I can enjoy nature and the beautiful scenery. Running on trail gives me a greater sense of freedom and trail also offers a lot more variety.
What was your longest run before the VMM 100km?
The longest distance I ran before the race was also 100k – I ran from Quy Nhon to Tuy Hoa.
What is a typical week of training for you when preparing for an ultra?
Every week I run an average of 80 -100 km, including speed running and light running exercises plus stretching so that the body has time to recover. Besides, I also do other complementary exercises like squats and push ups.
You looked very strong at the end of 100km. How did it feel to cross the finish line?
I put all my effort into the 100km. All along the way the main thing in my mind was the finish line at Topas Ecolodge. When I reached it I was extremely pleased and proud.
How did you prepare after VMM for the 160km challenge?
After the completion of the VMM 100km I rested for just one week, then started to practice for my 160km challenge. The total distance I ran each week was from 130-150 km. The longest run I did before the 160km challenge was 60km across Hai Van mountain pass (the Hai Van Pass is a 9km coastal road climb averaging over 5%).
What made you decide to run for Newborns Vietnam?
Newborns Vietnam is a non-profit organization which is specialised in training doctors and nurses according to British standards of care and support of children born prematurely. I am proud of Newborns Vietnam, and I’m happy to be a part of the organization.
What was your nutrition strategy for the 160km?
I am very concerned about daily diet. During the 160km run every 45 minutes I ate an energy gel pack, and I also ate bananas, frozen fruit and constantly drank electrolyte water. I also ate bread, soup, and porridge for the breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You run with Danang Runners – what’s it like to be part of this club?
Danang Runners is an amazing club connecting sports enthusiasts,. The group members regularly practice together, especially in the preparation time for the VMM. In addition the group also has the voluntary social activities, such as support for highlanders and centers for underprivileged children in Da Nang.
What advice would you give someone who is considering VMM 100km for the first time?
VMM 100km is really tough, but very worth the effort. If you’ve never run an ultra marathon before, please consider this one carefully. If you have run one before, then I highly recommend it, but be careful with the section to the first checkpoint!
You can still donate to Newborns Vietnam for Quang’s 160km challenge here