VMM is arranged by the Danish & Vietnamese travel company Topas Travel and supported by Topas Ecolodge. It was founded in 2013 with The Danish Embassy in Vietnam as co-organizers. The run is a social event, planned and organized by runners for runners, nature lovers and people who want an extraordinary, remote and unique experience.
The event is a result of a long lasting relation between Topas Travel and the Sapa area, as Topas was one of the pioneers in the area more than 20 years ago. Topas Ecolodge is remote located in the Sapa mountains and was partly funded by Danish development assistance as a development project and a showcase for sustainable tourism in the early 2000s.
At the same time this event supports development in the local area as all runners long distance runners donate US$20 to charitable work via their entry fee. Over the years these donations have gone to both Sapa O Chau, a local organization that provides education and vocational training for minority youths, Operation Smile, and Newborns Vietnam. Funds are also used for projects in villages along the route, for example a school house has been constructed to vastly improve the education conditions for children living in the mountains.
Our hope is that you and your supporters and friends will enjoy this mountainous experience as much as we do while helping to contribute to its sustainable development.
David first developed his love for the outdoors through white water kayaking and mountain running in North Wales. Countless hours in the Welsh hills culminated in a solo completion of the Paddy Buckley Round – a 100km unmarked circuit of 47 peaks with around 8,500m elevation. He is also a competitive cyclist.
He moved out to Vietnam five years ago and has been a part of VMM from the beginning. He now works as Director of Sport for Topas Travel, organiser of VMM. Before this, David founded Velo Vietnam and was a travel journalist and photographer. He has written for the New York Times and authored numerous guidebooks, including the latest Insight Guide to Vietnam. He lives in Hanoi with his wife and daughter.
Asger Køppen – Race Director
Asger is from Denmark and despite his flat homeland he loves the mountains and has been a mountain guide for 13 years.
First he began as a young road bike rider but has been competing in Danish adventure racing for 10 years.
His craziest adventure was at the age of 22 when he biked from Tanzania to Denmark km 9000 on a $100 bike. Another notable experience as a mountain guide was to organizing and trekking 8 sick Danes and a television team km 800 through the Pyrenees.
Asger is CEO at Topas Travel Vietnam.