I have been in Vietnam now for the last two weeks. And believe me, the place is great… great climate, fabulous food, interesting history, and peaceful people.
On the sporting side of things, there seems to be plenty to do. I have met up with the Saigon Hash for Sunday runs around the countryside. Last Saturday, I even played two hours of touch rugby, the first time in over a decade that I’ve touched a ball since my university rugby playing days. I also have found a really good gym out in District 2 that does a tough Pilates class. And we even have a little road circuit around 23/9 Park for early morning runs.
I’ve also been doing some web searches and been asking around what is happening in terms of outdoor adventure races on this side of the globe.
Action Asia Events based in Hong Kong have a raft of races for mountain biking, trail running, and adventure races including a three day staged ultra marathon in Vietnam. Active Asia hosts a series of six adventure dashes just across the border in Thailand starting from September. Viet Adventure organised a Mekong Delta mountain bike weekend recently and has other adventures in mind. And I’m even considering doing the Vietnam International Triathlon in Hoi An, I who swore never to do such tarmac based sports!
But it’s still hard to leave behind the Irish mountain running scene. I log on every second day to see the latest forum entries or race results. I watched guys run the Galtees and the Circuit of Glenmacnass, and desperately wished I was there too.
I know it will take time to make the transition between the countries, to meet new people and find new sports to do here in Vietnam. However it just brings home to me how fun it was running those races back in Ireland and lucky I was to hang out with such great IMRA guys.