The Dalat Ultra Trail last weekend saw the confirmation of the raw talent of Vietnam's own Quang Tran. After winning the Vietnam Mountain Marathon last year, he now also took top honours in Dalat in a great 70k run that took him 7 hours 32. Quang Tran stayed ahead of two European runners: Florian Deichmann (Germany) and Kevin Morisseau (France), who reached the finish in 7:49 and 7:54. HCMC-based Dutch woman Marieke Dekkers, training partner of Asia Trail Master champion Kim Matthews, won the women's race ahead of Vietnam's Julia Nguyen Thi Duong and Philippines' Ann Jilian Pulanco.
2300 runners took the start over the four available distances in Dalat, of which 70K was the longest and the one that counted for ATM championship points. The event received praise from participants for its great organisation and a pleasantly runable, yet tough enough race course. The highlands around the city of Dalat are relentlessly going up and down.
Kim Matthews, who of course lives nearby in Ho Chi Minh City, has not yet recovered from her dramatic fall a few weeks ago and was unable to start what could be called her home race. The good news was that Matthews did the 21k, albeit hiking for the most part.
The next Vietnamese points race is the Vietnam Jungle Marathon in Po Luong on 14/15 April.