Triathlon Hanoi 2012

Hanoi Triathlon 2012 – Race Results

Hanoi Triathlon – Race Album

Update 23 April (email to all competitors): A big congratulations to all of you, it is a pleasure working with such a supportive and enthusiastic community – we hope that you will consider training for the next Red River Runners event, stay tuned for further information in coming months.

A number of you were asking about the Hoi An triathlon as a possible next event, we have heard there not be a Hoi An Triathlon this year, but the organiser assures us they will be back for more in 2013.  If you are interested in more events around the region, I suggest that you check out out blog roll on the Red River Runners Blog to keep up to date.

Results – the results are up on the blog, you can check out your overall time and see how you went.  As we gather more information from others about their split times, I will add another document showing these times.  Please fill out the Survey to get your times in.

Survey – Did somebody say feedback?  Yes!  We are constantly trying to improve our efforts, please take a few seconds to jot down your thoughts and add your times to this google doc.  The feedback we got last year assisted us with making this year’s event even better!

Photos – We are keen to get as many photos as we can our hands on.  If you or your support crew took photos, please can you send me an email, I will then invite you to share your photos on our Picasa Album.  This will require you to have a google account – but please do send us your snaps, it is a great way to see the event from all angles.  You may even see your photo in next month’s edition of Word magazine!  You can see all the up-to-date photos on the blog (thanks Clint for the ones we have started with!)

Blue Dragon Children’s Fund – is our nominated charity group.  Last year we were able to buy 20 bicycles with the money raised, for disadvantaged youth to be able to get them to school and home again.  We have raised about $1100 and hope to buy another 20 bicycles for another 20 children, so feel good that you are contributing to a worthy cause.  Thank you to those who donated a little extra to this amazing charity group.

Sponsors – An event like this is always raised in its profile by having generous and supportive sponsorship.  A big thank you to Ciputra for assisting us with this event, we hope to work together again.  Thank you also to Topas Travel, Family Medical Practice, Jafa, Word Magazine and Palm Garden Resort for all their help and excellent prizes!

We had a number of TV crews at the event we will let you know what they are doing with our interviews as soon as we find out!

Thankyou again to all of our volunteers who came to assist, if you would like to be a part of the organising team or volunteer some time on the course next event, please let us know.

Mel Hamada as a rep of the RRR Admin Team.

A big Thank you to all participants and volunteers.  Results will be posted soon.

Update 19th April: email sent to all registered competitors:

Saturday 21 April 3.00-4.00pm – please come to UNIS Hanoi Library for the official Race Briefing. Time are approx, but we appreciate your prompt arrival.

  • 2.30-3.00 Final race registration in the library
  • 3.15pm Presentation for all individuals and a representative of each Team
  • 3.45pm – Walk through the Swim/Transition/Run on UNIS campus
  • 3.50pm – Bike Set up/Maintenance discussion on the Covered Court area – there will be active security on the campus, feel free to leave your bike.
  • 3.50-4.00pm – time for final questions/race registration etc. in the library
  • 4.55pm Red River Runners representative will run the 5K course as part of our weekly Saturday runs (meet outside UNIS main gate)
  • Please note: this briefing is compulsory for ALL individual athletes and a representative from each team. If you do not attend, we may not let you compete in the event on Sunday.

Sunday 22 April Race Day

  • 6.30-6.50 am – Pool will be open for warm up laps/set up of bikes and running gear
  • 6.35-6.50 get your race numbers inked on/talk to Family Medical Practice staff
  • 7.00am First Competitor will begin their swim
  • 7.00 – 7.20am Swimming course
  • approx. 9.30am all competitors will complete the Triathlon
  • approx. 10.00am Prizes/Results
  • 10.15am pack up and optional Brunch at Jafa for all competitors/supporters
  • approx 10.30am – leave UNIS campus
  • Please Note: we will have a TV crew and photographers around on race day. If you would prefer not to be in media press, please let Mel know on Saturday.

Update 15th April:  Only ONE week to go!  Please make sure that you take the time to either come to Jafa on Tuesday night from 6.00-7.30pm or come on Saturday 2.30-3.00 to register/pay your registration fee.   Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our T-shirt for this year, you can get a full refund on Saturday after the race briefing.

Sponsors:  A big thank you to our sponsors – Ciputra Hanoi; Topas Travel; Family Medical Practice; Jafa; Palm Garden Resort and Word Hanoi for their media coverage

Saturday 21 April 3.00-4.00pm please come to UNIS Hanoi canteen for the official Race Briefing.

  • 2.30-3.00 Final race registration in the canteen area
  • 3.15pm Presentation for all individuals and a representative of each Team in the Canteen
  • 3.35pm – Walk through the Swim/Transition/Run on UNIS campus
  • 3.50pm Bike Set up/Maintenance discussion on the Covered Court area – there will be active security on the campus, feel free to leave your bike.
  • 4.00pm onwards time for final questions/race registration etc. in the canteen
  • 5.00pm Red River Runners representative will run the 5K course as part of our weekly Saturday run

Sunday 22 April Race Day

  • 6.30-6.50 am – Pool will be open for warm up laps/set up of bikes and running gear
  • 7.00am First Competitor will begin their swim
  • 7.00 – 7.20am Swimming course
  • approx. 9.30am all competitors will complete the Triathlon
  • approx. 10.00am Prizes/Results
  • 10.15am pack up and optional Brunch at Jafa for all competitors/supporters

We are still interested in finding a few more volunteers to assist us on Sunday morning.  We need to have 2 people out on the cycle course/ 2 people on the run and we are always keen for photos of the day!  We would also love to have 2 more people to help out at the race finish/results table.  If this sounds like you, please email us!

All competitors should have received an email from us by Thursday night.  If you are not getting information, please contact us.

Update 4th April:  Interested in riding the cycle section of the course?  Please come and join Michelle Matias on a trial ride, please email at or text her (098-2309266) if you are intending to come so she knows to meet you, she will confirm your text/email so you know she will be there (thanks Michelle!) too.

Meeting Place: Ciputra, 8AM:

    • 6th April, Saturday –  introduce the actual bike leg course, 18k – moderate pace
    • 7th April, Sunday – bike leg course, 20km – moderate pace
    • 15th April, Sunday – bike leg course, 20km – moderate pace
  • 9th-18th April – Mondays and Wednesdays – 6 -7AM (meeting place at the Water Dragons in Lac Long Quan, Duong Ven Ho) – Interval Training (fast-paced)
  • Saturdays, 7th and 14th  of April – long ride  (at least 40km, average pace from 26-37kph) – route in and around Hanoi
The swim/run course has been cancelled due to a lack of numbers, please get your refund from UNIS ComEd.  Thank you to those that signed up!

Next/Last in-person registration will be Tuesday 17th April at Jafa from 6.00 – 7.30pm

We are very pleased to invite you to enter Triathlon Hanoi 2012 event online

social media: Twitter: @redriverrunner1

Entry forms (in person payment):       Team Entry            Individual Entry

Entry form for online registration can be found here.

ComEd Waiver – Triathlon Hanoi 2012


If you are interested in a training program, Mel Hamada and Jody O’Dea are teaming up to offer 20 lucky athletes a Triathlon training session from 3-4pm at UNIS.  We will start off in the pool and then move on to transition /run session.  It is expected that you are able to swim 500m and to run for at least 15 mins for these sessions.  To sign up for this you will need to contact Ms Ha @ the UNIS ComEd office.  Please go here for more details.

Triathlon Hanoi 2012 will take place on Sunday April 22nd at UNIS, Ciputra, Hanoi.

All funds raised from entry fees and donations from our Sponsors will go towards purchasing bicycles to get children back to school and young people to work.  We thank Blue Dragon for their continued hard work with the young people in our communities.  If you are interested in helping further, please go to their website.

Where are we going?

The 300m will be held at the UNIS Hanoi 6 lane, 25m swimming pool.  The event will begin in Lane 6, snaking up and down each lane, and exiting in Lane 1 where each competitor will make their way to the transition area.Information about the swim:

  • Each competitor will be given a 30 second wave start.  It will be each competitors responsibility to be ready for their individual start.
  • The swim will begin in the shallow end with a push off the pool wall to begin (no diving).
  • Everyone will swim on the right hand side of each lane with either tumble turn or open turn to continue.
  • If you need to overtake, toe tap the competitor in front of you so that he/she can move closer to the lane rope, to create more space for overtaking.
  • When moving into a new lane, either tumble turn off the wall and swim under the lane rope to continue into the next lane or touch the wall and then push off under the lane rope (open turn) and continue into the next lane.
  • Every competitor will be required to wear a swimming cap.
The 18km bike course has been difficult to find!  Hanoi is a vibrant city and is well-remembered for the traffic that can come from any direction!  We have gone with a course that we think is safe because it has limited traffic, however it is on a narrow road and the road has many users.  We ask all participants to consider the safety of others on the road including other competitors as well as motorbikes; cars; bicycles and foot traffic.  We will do our best to help with road crossings but this is a ‘back-to-basics’ course and we expect that competitors will be doing their best to keep everyone safe.
View West Lake Bike Course Run
The 5km run will begin at UNIS leaving out the back gate (known as Gate 5) and through the wide streets of Ciputra.  Competitors will run right out of the gate to the roundabout  – turn left to the next mermaid roundabout – right for 1.2Km past apartment blocks E4/E5 and all of the T-Section houses – right turn onto the paved road that curves around to the P block apartments – right turn out towards the horses past the first grassy roundabout towards the second roundabout [exact turn needs to be verified here] and back following the correct side of the road around the grassy roundabout – past P block and onto the paved road – back the same way to go past the back UNIS gate (as you will be running on the other side of the road) and around the top roundabout before heading back down to the back gate.  Keep running all the way into the finish chute and across the line!Once you have completed the run, you will receive your finish time on a piece of paper.  Please stay in your finishing order and make your way to the Results table to have your finish time recorded.  Each Individual and Team will get a Start and Finish time; the transitions and individual course times will be up to competitors to time themselves.


Please read carefully, you will need to indicate that you understand the rules and regulations on the Entry forms.

Entry Regulations

  • On-the-spot entries will not be accepted, all participants will need to complete entry forms and pay their race entry at the designated times.
  • The Organizers will not be responsible for any disputes arising from incomplete and/or incorrect entry details given by the participants.
  • Triathlon relays can be made up of 2 or 3 people.
  • Changes to team relay members are permitted.
  • All changes must be made by 16 April 2012.  An Admin fee of 200,000VND will apply per change of name or information after this date.
  • Individual race entries are non-transferable.
  • There are a limited number of Individual and Team Entries for this event, participants who are not accepted into the event will be shortlisted and contacted if places become available
  • Once the registration form has been processed, there will be no fee refund for the participants who, for whatever reason, do not take part.
  • All money raised will go towards buying bicycles for disadvantaged youth through Blue Dragon Children’s Fund and Know One Teach One (KOTO) in Hanoi.

General Rules

  • The Organizers reserve the right to limit and refuse entries
  • The Organizers reserve the right to remove any participant deemed physically incapable of continuing the race.
  • The Organizers reserve the right to amend the Rules and Regulations without prior notification.
  • The Organizers reserve the right to amend the race course with prior notice to participants.
  • On-site reporting and body marking will start one hour before the commencement of the race.
  • Participants have to place their bicycles at their designated location in the transition area, either the day prior to or the morning of the race.
  • Participants are responsible for timing their own race.
  • In the event of inclement weather, the Organizers reserve the right to delay the commencement of the race, shorten the race or modify the course.
  • Should the inclement weather persist after the delay, the Organizers reserve the right to cancel the race without any refund of registration fees.
  • All Individual participants must be 18 years or older on Race day.
  • The Swim and run participant in the Team event must be 14 years or older on Race day.


  • Swimsuits must be worn.
  • All swimmers must wear a swim cap.
  • Swim goggles may be worn.
  • Fins, paddles, pool buoys, snorkels or any other swimming aids are not allowed.
  • Wet suits are not allowed.
  • No persons other than the participants and officials are permitted in the swimming area.
  • Swimmers in difficulty shall signal by raising an arm for assistance. Once assistance is rendered, the competitor must retire from the competition.


  • Cyclists must ensure that their competition numbers are clearly visible at all times.
  • No bare torso is allowed at all times.
  • A participant may run or walk with his/her bicycle.
  • Cyclists are to keep to the right side of the road and reminded to observe traffic rules at all times.
  • All participants will be to perform their own repairs if their bicycles should breakdown. Support vehicles and crews are not permitted.
  • All cyclists must wear their helmets strapped from the moment they remove their bicycle till they place their bicycle back at the allocated spot.
  • It is the participants’ responsibility to ensure that their bicycles and bicycle brakes are in good working condition.  There will be bicycle mechanics available for minor repairs and adjustments on the day prior to and on Race day.
  • Wearing headphones is not allowed at all times.
  • Drafting is not allowed. You are considered drafting when you are within 5 metres of another participant’s rear wheel or riding next to someone within 2 metres. You are allowed 15 seconds in someone’s draft zone. Once you are passed, you must drop back out of the draft zone before overtaking the person who passed you.  Please use your discretion when observing the drafting rules.


  • Runners must wear their race numbers clearly visible at all times.
  • Support vehicles or pacers are not allowed.
  • No bare torso is allowed at all times.
  • Wearing headphones is not allowed at all times.

Vietnam International Triathlon ‘Rules Tribob Singapore, 2010 – rules from this event have been used in creating the Rules and Regulations for the Hanoi event.

Race Tips

The hard work you have done is working its magic as we get towards race day and then a well-earned rest before setting your sights on a new race/event goal!We have put together some reading for you on information about racing and some of the questions you might have.  Mel Hamada has gathered this from some of the running and Triathlon experts amongst us and also from various websites that host good advice.  If you have any other websites that you love to use and read about running or racing or both.. please share them with us!
What is the best Nutrition before on Sunday?  And after….?
1.  Try and avoid a big night out on Saturday, possibly you may find the odd glass of wine is fine to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
2.  Try to eat normally in the days before. Avoid too little or too much food!
3.  Think about what you are going to do about hydration before Cycling/running.  Will you carry water/drink water during your race or not?  If yes, then practice drinking on a cycle and run to see how that goes (are you going to carry water?  are you going to drink at the designated stations – practice drinking on the go – you may find this harder than you think!  What are you going to drink?)  If you are not going to drink during your race,  drink a lot of water in the couple of days before.  You will need to go into the race fully hydrated (helped by the fact you haven’t had 10 pints the night before!) so you will not need to take on water unless it is a really hot day. Too much water and you will feel it swilling in the stomach, again, if you are planning to run and drink, practice this first.
4. Drink after you have run!
Q: What should I eat before the race?

The pre-race meal is important and should be thought about, some good information and reading on this topic and other related triathlon info can be found here. Food ideas for the night before and day of can be found here.  and finally an article written by Chef’s who also happen to run…. how can you beat that?  some interesting recipes to try at home.  Enjoy!  Try and eat something before your race that will aid your race effort (carbs/water etc) and try and avoid proteins and fats that can take longer to digest.

Q: What time do you think I will finish in?

The answer to this has to be incorporated with factors such as weather; your health (are you sick?); your energy levels and all the rest!  You can predict your time by using a race calculator (like this one for running) where you enter your last time trial finish time and then the formula will predict a lot of information  – but remember this is only a guide, you will have the greatest impact on your race.

Q: What do you recommend for race day?

There are a few things to keep in mind before race day comes and a few simple strategies will keep you and your body true to your training and make your race much more pleasant!

  • don’t do anything differently – don’t try new food the day before or day of; don’t put on new shoes or socks; don’t try to wear a new MP3 player or headphones on race day – make sure everything is tried and tested long before you race
  • Be sure to know where the race starts and the time – nothing is more stressful than not remembering where to be or when!
  • Pack your bag the day before – this will help you to remember all of your stuff, so that you aren’t too stressed or excited (!) on the day!
  • Practice your transition before-hand and make sure that you bring all the essential gear on the day.

Q: What kind of training should I be doing in the week before the race?
Answer: Tapering!

1.  Doing more kilometres or training in the last few days will not help and it may hinder. It is what you have done in the last two months that counts.
2.  If you are completing a longer race (Olympic distance Triathlon) then try to jog a mile or two and ride out on your bike during each of the last couple of days before (you may even do a surge or two to keep your legs used to moving fast)  but proper long session/sprint session training should finish in the days leading up to your race day.

Q: Do I need to know the course?

It helps if you know the course as you know where the best places are to overtake or speed up and where to watch out for traffic etc.  f it is very sunny the sun might bother you in the morning try running with sun glasses/hat etc. on to see how that is going to work for you.  If it is raining, you still might like a hat and/or glasses to stop water in your eyes, but this is all very personal.  The course is all concrete/road.  Make sure you are wearing running shoes that will cater for that.

If you are set to race and you are interested in posting a fabulous time, then it may be of interest to you where you are cycling/running and to have completed the course beforehand.  If you are setting out for a stroll and the course is not so important, then it doesn’t matter so much!  Most people like to know where they are going and where the turns in the course are – especially if it is a low-key race without much sign-posting.  Some ideas to think about:

1.  Have a good idea about where the course is going.
2.  Visualize yourself having a great cycle/run, including where you are really going to work hard on the course. Really think about this.
3.  Have a Plan B if things do not go according to plan.  It could be wet. It could be hot. It might be windy.  There might be a JCB digging up the road.  You might get bitten by a dog.  You might feel bad.  But you will finish.

Q: What should I wear? 

1.  You should be wearing clothes that you have worn before and that you have swum/cycled/run in before to avoid any problems with your kit – put it on and wear it around the house to make sure you are happy with it.  I like to choose my kit out at least the day before so that I don’t have a panic looking for my favourite socks or running shirt.  I also try and take some of my own safety pins to attach my number – and do this before I put my shirt on!  [Phil shared with me the following ” I am very superstitious so I will have decided what to wear way in advance and my kit will be prepared with loving care including how the safety pins attach the number to my vest.  It will be attached at least a day before. I may even wash my racing shoes but if I do I will wear them walking around to make sure they have not changed in any way.”]
2.  Do not change your mind about what to wear at the last minute.
3.  If you plan to use an MP3 player/water bottle or other device/s – practice running with them first to ensure you are happy running with them. [not for this race however!]

Q: What about Race day and the race?

1.  I suggest that you get up early and jog a mile or so or swim or cycle to warm up and to make sure you get “my bowels moving”, nothing is worse then needing a toilet break on the run! [Phil says…]
2.  Eat, even if you make it a very light meal (see recipe’s above).  Everyone has a different ritual (remember nothing should be new on this day – whatever you eat should be something tested from experience).  Toast and honey is Phil’s favourite; I like to have toast with jam and OJ and water.  Phil told me that he usually does not eat.. just drinks coffee. Sometimes race nerves can make eating hard!
3.  Arrive in time to do a little bit to warm up just before the race.  Nothing taxing.  Then a little stretching.
4.  As you start remember to breathe and relax.  If you do that well all else will follow.
5.  Race nerves can get some people to go off too fast.  Swim/cycle and Run your own race.
6. Enjoy yourself…. smile and remember how much training you did to get you this far!
7. Encourage others as you see them along the course (if you can) it is nice to get a positive comment from a friend when you are struggling.
8. Smile and congratulate yourself and others upon finishing – it will feel amazing!

Some Racing advice from those who know…. (mostly applies to Running)

  • Swim/Cycle/Run the shortest legal course – move to the sides of the road that will lead you through the shortest route.
  • relax on the downhill sections, let your body weight or gravity help to carry you down the hills, take large strides down and enjoy them.
  • when running, use your arms to work you up the hills, surging a little on the way up will help and ensure that others will not follow you – they will be impressed with your surging and think you are in control of your race!
  • Remember, the person in front of you is always catachable.
  • When passing someone appear relaxed and in control even if you are not.
  • Never look back.  If you do the person behind you will know you are catachable.
  • If it gets really tough count each time your left leg hits the ground and link it to your breathing. Find a rhythm.  Forget about everything else,  others like to sing a ditty in their head that goes with the rhythm of their breath (“don’t stop ~ run!”  is one of mine…)
  • If it gets really, really tough set yourself intermediate distance markers and treat it as a triumph every time you reach one.  Take it bit by bit.
  • Dig in hard over the hardest part of your race (probably the 3rd quarter of your distance) and remember that the last 1/4 is coming up!
  • Always smile when finishing.  You never know who may be watching!
  • But mainly don’t tell other people what you plan to do!!

I have some issues with my bike, where is the best place to look online?

Advice for those trying Triathlons for the first time?
Triathlon for Beginners – things to do before right before your race (warming up) – Movie (5 mins)

  • Make sure your kit/bike etc is ready to go before you arrive for the race, bring a pump in case of any issue leading up to your race
  • Try a colourful towel or something in Transition that helps you to remember your spot
  • Keep your transition simple (don’t bring too much gear and keep it neat and ordered)
  • Try a transition at home first, go through what you need and when so you can keep it all together.
  • If you are wearing socks, get them ready, if not use some kind of vaseline (or equivilent) to slide up your shoes to keep from blistering and to help put them on!  Put baby powder into your shoes to help absorb up the water/sweat.
  • Drink – and practice drinking while cycling and running.
  • If it is not, use sunscreen/hat/sunglasses and make sure you have practiced in these items too.
  • Have fun!

Any Transition Training advice?
There are a lot of things out there, try some of these to get you started.

  • Setting up your Transition – Movie 1 (5 mins) or try this one as well (2 mins)
  • Transition tips Swim to Bike – Movie 3 (2.34 mins)
  • Transition tips from Bike to Run – Movie 2 (3.30 mins)

Interesting things…

We thought you might like to know about other races/events and other things in this region.Vietnam Adventure – interested in more races?  Look on their website for triathlons; kayaking; mountain bike races; adventure challenges and more.Vietnam International Triathlon – Singapore’s Tribob team is organising their annual Hoi An Triathlon in Sept 2012.  They offer training weekends and lots of support for those interested.  There are different events offered including children’s events; Duathlon and Olympic Distance races.Hanoi Hash Harriers – for those interested in following the HHH philosophy ‘drinkers with a running problem’ please go to their site for details of their next run.
Hanoi Triathlon – former webpage is here.

Bike Mechanics we know and love:

  • Mr Anton  091 731 8888 21/150 Yen Phu St Hanoi (speaks very good English as well as Vietnamese)
  • Mr Tuan 0974 765 566 (Tuan does not speak english, if you don’t speak Vietnamese you will need a translator).  Tuan has a good supply of parts and regularly imports parts from Thailand.

4 Responses to Triathlon Hanoi 2012

  1. juracraven1 says:

    Hello, I would like to register for the triathlon but I was unable to make it to today’s registration. Is there any other way for me to pay in person? I filled in one of the individual registration forms and I started the online payment process, but I was a bit worried because I would like to confirm that I have a space before I pay online. Please let me know if there is still a way to pay in cash in Hanoi.


    • Hi there, the online system will not accept your registration if the event is full so don’t worry about that. We will have another in-person registration event here in Hanoi, but the date has not been arranged. I would recommend reserving online if you can.

  2. Music began playing as soon as I opened this website, so annoying

    • the Red River Runners are crying rivers of tears at the trauma you have suffered. We think you should take legal action against us. We really do find it annoying when volunteer-organised sports groups can be SO inconsiderate with their web presence. While we welcome cheerful comments from trolls, we also know that there is no music on our WordPress-based website so suspect that you have some other webpages open on other tabs and / or you have not got an adblocker installed.

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