Vang Vieng will host the second Vang Vieng Trail Run on 9-10 November to strengthen the growing view of the area as an ecotourism destination.
Last year, Vang Vieng hosted the first-ever trail run in the country, and brought together over 600 running and adventure lovers.
This November’s second edition of the race hopes to gather even more runners to a unique venue promising incredible natural landscapes. Events like Vang Vieng Trail Run bolster the blossoming notion of Vang Vieng as an ecotourism destination in a region once known as a party destination.
Trail running is a rising trend in Asia, with more and more people interested in outdoor and adventure sports. In Laos, the Vang Vieng Trail Run meets the needs of many running enthusiasts, who want to connect with like-minded people and challenge themselves.
Green Step, a new Lao event organizing company with an eco-background is behind the challenging yet incredibly fun event. It is a joint venture between Green Discovery Laos, a leader in ecotourism and adventure travel in Laos, and Teelakow, a trail run organizer based in Thailand. Green Step sees all their events, from trail runs and cycling races to conferences, as a way to promote environmental conservation by helping people connect with nature.
The companies explored Vang Vieng’s breathtaking surroundings, looking for the perfect combination of challenging trails and beautiful nature. Their ambitious goal was to create an adventure turned into a race, and not a traditional race.
The result is 85 kilometers of a paved and gravel circuit that weaves between the mountains surrounding Vang Vieng, passing streams, small villages, and a few buffalos. Participants can choose to enter different competitions, from 8 to 85 kilometers.
“The competition itself is not as important as giving the participants the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the area, going through places that tourists wouldn’t normally be able to discover”, said Ithy Deuansavanh, Green Discovery Laos President.
Interaction with locals is another aspect of this trail that immerses runners in the authentic culture of Laos. Is not unusual for runners to come across villagers on their daily duties in the forest, such as looking for food, nor is it unusual to be followed by curious kids.
“For us, the most beautiful part is the feeling of community that arises among runners. We witnessed the birth of many good friendships”, said Nop Suksawat, Teelakow’s director.
Green Step currently organizes three races in Laos’ most popular locations: Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, and the Bolaven Plateau.
There are more races to come, but the next event will be the much anticipated Bolaven Trail, which sends runners deeper into nature than ever before, and sees them running between stunning waterfalls.