BREAKING NEWS: One of UNIS Hanoi’s PE Teaching Assistants has been selected to represent Viet Nam in the marathon event at the 31st South East Asia Games!
Nguyen Quang Phi, lovingly known as Mr Phi, will be competing against hundreds of professional and non-professional runners hailing from 11 South East Asian nations in Thursday’s event.
Participating in the Games will be a first for Mr Phi, who’s been an avid runner for most of his life. The invitation to run for his country came as a surprise to him. He explains, “I took part in the VP Bank Marathon back in November 2020 and I finished the race in three hours, eight minutes, which was a personal best for me. What I didn’t know at the time was that because I positioned third in my age group, I’d be shortlisted to progress to the next race. The race was postponed as a result of COVID and we didn’t know when it would take place. I contracted COVID myself in February 2022, then only two days after I recovered I received an invitation to participate in a qualifier race. That was on a Friday. On the Sunday, I ran the race. I completed it in three hours, 22 minutes - automatically qualifying me for the SEA Games!”
It wasn’t until last week however, that Mr Phi received an email confirming the date and time of the race. “I was shocked to receive the message!” confesses Mr Phi. “I’d just participated in the Iron Man competition, and I wasn’t expecting to compete soon after. But I’m so excited! This will be the first and last time I run in the SEA Games. I’m almost 50 years old and I can’t believe I get to represent my country doing something I enjoy doing. I’m so proud and so are my friends and family.”
Although Mr Phi hopes to set a new personal best on Thursday, his main aim, he says, is to enjoy the experience. He shared, “I really enjoy running as it keeps me fit and healthy. I also like the social part of it. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends from UNIS Hanoi and outside of the School coming together on weekends to run.” He adds, “Running makes me feel good and when I feel good, I transfer that positive energy to teaching.”
Whatever happens on Thursday though, you’ll find Mr Phi doing what he loves best, teaching UNIS Hanoi’s Secondary School students a variety of sports - something he’s been doing for more than 25 years.
About the 31st SEA Games Men’s Marathon Event
The Southeast Asian Games is the first time that Vietnamese non-elite runners selected from the VPBank Hanoi Marathon 2021, the Tien Phong Marathon 2021 and the Salonpas HCMC Marathon 2022 will run alongside members of the region's national teams. It will also mark the first time when the top three winners of men’s and women’s groups will receive nationally-ranked medals (DHA Vietnam 2022)
The men’s marathon event will take place in the morning of Thursday May 19, 2022.
The track route consists of 8 repetitions, 5.5 km each, as follows: Starting from the gate of My Dinh yard on Le Duc Tho - Le Duc Tho - Le Quang Dao streets - turning around at Le Quang Street Dao (crossing the street near Le Quang Dao roundabout - Me Tri street) - Le Quang Dao - F1 Racetrack - Do Xuan Hop - Tan My - Le Duc Tho - through the starting gate (one loop).
You can support Mr Phi as he runs by tuning into VTV6 on Thursday May 19, 2022.