Once again, UpRace has broken its own record by accomplishing a goal seemingly “unreal”: 5,113,053 kilometers completed across 22 days (31 October – 21 November) by its runner collective. More notably, the number of participants in UpRace 2021 doubled compared to that of 2020, from 115,000 to over 238,000 people.

UpRace 2021 “về đích” thành công với hơn 5 triệu km, 238.000 người tham gia, đóng góp hơn 5 tỷ đồng
Thành thích của UpRace qua các năm

An accomplished UpRace amidst obstacles galore

UpRace 2021 along with its heartwarming journey has yielded over VND5 billion for 4 charity organizations: Newborns Vietnam, Operation Smile Vietnam, Green Viet, and Saigon Children’s Charity. The funding came from multiple sponsors: VNG, Philips Vietnam, Hong Ngoc Hospital, BIM Group, Minh Long I, Ong Bau Coffee, 365Begin, Younet Media, Garmin, Tiktok, among others.

This year’s UpRace is more meaningful than ever as it overcame such challenging circumstances, being that the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging on. Besides having to follow social distancing rules and the 5K message, months of home quarantine also took its toll on the runners’ physical strength. On top of it all, travel restrictions were removed right as Central Vietnam entered the harsh rainy season. Despite all that, over 5 million kilometers were completed in the face of many hardships – an absolute victory for runners across the country.

UpRace 2021 “về đích” thành công với hơn 5 triệu km, 238.000 người tham gia, đóng góp hơn 5 tỷ đồng
Ngày chạy UpRace giữa trời mưa của runner Quảng Bình

Runners from Quang Binh starting their journey in the rain

“On the first day of UpRace 2021, Quang Binh was seeing heavy rain and freezing weather. Still, it was 3am and the Ho Chi Minh Square was filled with chatters and cheers of support from one runner to another. Under the white curtain of raindrops, the orange figures from Quang Binh Runners pressing on tirelessly with such persistent is an image I will never forget”, Nhu Quynh, representative of Mien Trung Runners (the runner collective from Quang Binh, Hue, and Quang Tri), recounted.

The record-long distance of UpRace 2021 reaches 164.35km, covered by Tran Van Quynh (42, Ha Tinh Runners) in 31.5 hours. Quynh then told of his experience: “Running gives me the will to overcome obstacles in life. Though it’s my first time taking part in UpRace, I already felt its significance thanks to its far-reaching impact on the community at large. Without UpRace, I wouldn’t have set such a high goal for myself to achieve”.

According to Ms. Tran Xuan Ngoc Thao, Representative of the UpRace project: “This new record of  UpRace 2021 speaks volume about many things. After the pandemic broke, everyone gained a deeper awareness of their health and developed a strong desire to contribute to the community, even with something as small as their running steps. The project not only created a positive social movement but also showed the immensely strong connection runners have amongst themselves and with their association, their team, and their goal of contributing to society”.

Among over 3,000 participating teams, the respective top-ranking teams of the Corporate, Sport Club and University tables are: VNG, HRT-Ha Tinh Runners, and Hanoi University of Science & Technology. This year, thanks to the grouping-within-teams feature in the UpRace app, active competition and team spirits, especially the fellowship between company employees after the pandemic, were strongly encouraged.

Providing new smiles, seedlings, and new lives 

As UpRace 2021 came to a close, over 5 million kilometers covered by the runners were “transformed” into: Almost 120 new smiles for children with cleft palates, a 25 percent reduction of mortality rate in newborns at 17 hospitals, 10,000 newly planted trees, and support for about 90 children orphaned by Covid-19. These are the goals set by Operation Smile Vietnam, Newborns Vietnam, Green Viet and Saigon Children’s Charity for their upcoming plan.

UpRace 2021 “về đích” thành công với hơn 5 triệu km, 238.000 người tham gia, đóng góp hơn 5 tỷ đồng
Providing new smiles with Operation Smile Vietnam

“In recent times, applications for social welfare are on the rise, so a sponsorship from UpRace during this period is really valuable and well-timed; it will help us provide timely support to children who lost their family due to COVID-19. With an expense of over VND11 million per typical case in the “You are not alone” (saigonchildren) project, the budget of VND1 billion from UpRace equates to about 90 children impoverished/orphaned by COVID-19 getting help”, stated Ms. Vuong Ngoc Vy Van – Funding Manager of Saigon Children’s Charity.

UpRace 2021 “về đích” thành công với hơn 5 triệu km, 238.000 người tham gia, đóng góp hơn 5 tỷ đồng
A helping hand for children orphaned by Covid-19

Mr. Nguyen Viet Phuong, Chief Representative of Operation Smile in Vietnam said: “This wonderful outcome in both the finance and morale aspects during these difficult times has shown the community’s great interest in sports and running activities. As we band together to introduce more changes to our society, especially via surgeries to return the smiles to children with clefts, Operation Smile will definitely spread the message “sports can change lives” within the community”.

With this year’s impressive results, UpRace is continuously generating inspiration for running as well as bringing about positive social contributions in the fields of health and environment. “This year’s UpRace was like a ray of light that lifted our spirit after the impacts of COVID-19; it gave us motivation and inspired us to reach out and help more people”, as expressed by Ms. Suzanna Elaine Lubran – Managing Director of Newborns Vietnam.

Mr. Tran Huu Vy, Director of GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Center shared Ms. Suzanna Lubran’s sentiment: “The significance of this year’s event lies not only in raising fund for charity organizations and promoting good health for participants, but also in creating sentimental values for each person to overcome traumas caused by the pandemic”.

UpRace 2021 “về đích” thành công với hơn 5 triệu km, 238.000 người tham gia, đóng góp hơn 5 tỷ đồng
Helping Green Viet continue their environmental mission

“The runner community is expanding day by day and has a profound influence on changing Vietnamese people’s notion on running. Though the UpRace event is held once a year, the mobile app remains an open and free platform for groups and associations to take the initiative in creating their own playing field, maintaining the sport as a habit, and contributing to the community in their own way”, Ms. Thao added.

“We’ll definitely feel a bit empty leaving a routine we’d had for 22 days, and we’ll miss the fun time practicing with everyone night and day. All the numbers – the kilometers and the money donated – made our team really proud. We felt more confident choosing to fall into this “rabbit hole” of running because we not only can improve our own health, but also do our tiny bits for the community and society through UpRace. After all is said and done, we really look forward to UpRace 2022!”, exclaimed Nhu Quynh, on behalf of the runner community as UpRace 2021 drew to an end.

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