It’s been over 2 years since I completed my 2200km run from Hanoi to HCMC. What a 2 years it’s been since that finish line on Thu Thiem Bridge.
I’m sure none if us expected the military lockdowns, hotel quarantine or years without seeing our families. However, we made it through and I am forever thankful for those zoom chats, online workouts and friendships that flourished through screens.
In February 2021, when the boarders to Vietnam were firmly shut, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had never felt so far away from home and there was no way to exit or re-enter Vietnam at that point. Six months after his invasive surgery, he was told he needed chemo to get rid of the remaining cancer cells. I’d always told myself that I would go home if the word ‘chemotherapy’ was ever mentioned. My work were wonderful and allowed me to take leave between Christmas and TET (Chinese new year), this meant I could spend six weeks at home with dad. Supporting him through his treatment and keeping my mum company. My daily routine consisted of forcing dad to drink a concoction of healthy drinks, which he hated, and spending hours completing puzzles, watching sport and taking walks to the local shop to get the daily paper with dad.
At the start of February, I returned to Vietnam to welcome my class into the school building for the first time in eight months and dad was told that the chemo had been successful! His cancer levels are now almost undetectable. He needs blood tests every three months to monitor these levels and is on the road to recovery. I am so grateful that I was able to spend the time with my parents and I knew then that it was time to leave Vietnam and find a job nearer to home.
The idea of a job nearer home soon changed to ‘an adventure nearer home’. I knew that I wanted to do another multi-day run adventure (runventure!?) and that I wanted it to be self supported and self funded.
So, as of August 2022 I will be setting out on my London-Lisbon (the coastal route) challenge. It is roughly the same distance as Hanoi to HCMC but I’m sure will be a very different experience.
Once again, I don’t speak the language and have no real plan. Bring it on!
This is a self supported adventure but I am always delighted to have people to run and share the adventure with. If you are in the UK, Spain or Portugal between Aug-Oct (ish!), come and join me for a run or a rest day!
I will be running to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer.
Love and kindness. Naomi (aka Nam) xxx