This year’s IPP Group Challenge Vietnam takes place on 14 July in Nha Trang – a coastal resort city in southern Vietnam.
The Challenge Vietnam organising team note that Nha Trang is a key tourism destination. Surrounded by clear blue tropical waters, 7km of white sandy beaches and numerous varieties of beautiful trees, it has been crowned the ‘beach capital of Vietnam’. This, along with good weather all year round, has caused a surge in tourism to the area.
IPP Group Challenge Vietnam comprises a 1.9km swim, 90km bike leg and 21km run. The event was awarded the ‘Best Inaugural Long Distance Triathlon in Asia’ by AsiaTri in its first year in 2016.
Long-term event sponsor Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG) is a family-run group established in 1985. IPPG is an investor spanning various fields. Its airport operation encompasses duty free, in-flight duty free, downtown duty free, advertising, retail stores & other services, fast foods & restaurants, investment & operations.
IPPG also undertakes shopping mall investment & management, hypermarket duty free investment, real estate investment, as well as hotel, casino & resort activities.
The Challenge Vietnam team add that the location in Nha Trang not only offers a background for the triathlon itself but also an ‘abundance of activities’. The surrounding waters are home to lots of small islands and 120 square kilometres of coral reef.
Nha Trang is also home to some of Vietnam’s best hotels, including the ‘second top hotel’ in Vietnam, L’alyana Ninh Van Bay, which is ‘a tropical oasis, where jungle meets the ocean’. The Intercontinental Hotel Nha Trang has also recently been awarded ‘Vietnam’s Leading Luxury Hotel 2018’ so athletes can relax in indulging environments before and after the race.
This year, travelling to Nha Trang has never been easier, due to the recent opening of a new international terminal at the Cam Ranh International airport. The expansion of the airport has allowed an additional 8 million passengers a year – with direct flights from South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan and Russia.
Aiming to maximise participation among female athletes, To Phuong, IPP Group Challenge Vietnam’s 2019 ambassador, called out specifically to all Vietnamese women to take on the challenge in Nha Trang. She said, “I am blessed with a sport that allows an ordinary woman like me to do the extraordinary. I was taught when I was a little girl to walk, limp or even crawl but never give up. My journey with Challenge Vietnam is to encourage other women to take on the challenge and train with me. You can do it, because nothing is impossible for a woman!”