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Day 1 completed!

Hi everyone,

After months of preparation, today was the day I started my 2200km run from Hanoi to HCMC to raise funds for children’s education, healthcare and to end human trafficking.

After an awesome fundraising day at The Fitness Village Hanoi on Saturday (more pics to follow in a future post) a group of 10 legends met me to begin the run. Members of the Blue Dragon team (an amazing charity that are working tirelessly to stop trafficking) came and joined me as well as Emily from Saigon, Chris and Fiona from TFV and other Hanoi hero’s!

We ran through small hems (Vietnamese narrow streets) and quickly out into fields of bananas. I was surprised how quickly the city became countryside. The group chatted and pushed each other until we reached a small shack serving Cha Da (iced Vietnamese tea), where we chilled out amongst the banana trees and added some songs to my running playlist. I’ve vowed to not skip any songs so I think people’s choices were interesting!

After 4km we waved goodbye to the blue dragon team. I’ve loved spending time with them, their positivity is infectious. At the 5km mark we waved goodbye to Emily. This was the furthest she has run in 2 years after pretty terrible knee issues. She has been an epic support in the leadup to this event and made the video attached to this post.

The remaining group pushed out another 5km where we had a much needed coffee stop. By this time the temperature was pretty warm! After 10 amazing Kms it was time for me to continue on my own. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more positive team to start this adventure with! THANK YOU!!!!!!

14kms later and I reached my destination for the night. I’ve treated myself to a lovely apartment, had a hot shower and am now off to the pool to sort out my route for tomorrow!

Thank you for reading. Please share my page and donate as little or as much as you can to help change the lives of children over here in Vietnam!

Love Naomi (aka Nam)

Come run with me!

Hi all,

I’m back from injury and feeling great! I’ve been training hard whilst back here in the UK, the weekly Kms are slowly building up and the ankle is feeling strong.

With just over a month to go until my start date, things are becoming very real! This morning, after my run along the seafront, I employed the computer skills of my patient mum who has created a sign up document so that you can join me along the way!

Click on this link, add your name and dates next to where you would like to join me. (The link is also accessible through the ‘run with me’ tab on the website.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10kemzTnXr275udFA_ShXjltf17cvuE8thRb4iQdYftU/edit?usp=drivesdk

Don’t worry about pace or distance, I’ll just be delighted with your company! I’m also willing to push on further for any of you ultra runners out there…

Please share this link with any runner friends who might interested!

I’ll try and stick as close to the plan as possible but obviously it could change…

A very British seaside.
Post run treat!

Leaving Saigon. For now…

Scroll down for short blog.

It’s time to leave Saigon after an epic 4 years. I’m sat having my final airport beer and feeling more emotional than I expected.
I’ve got almost 2 months back in the UK before returning to start my run at the beginning of October in Hanoi. I’ve got lots of multi day trail runs planned so hopefully will be fit, healthy and ready to go! I’m currently getting a form sorted for you guys to sign up to run with me for a day, weekend, week or month! If any of my UK based friends would like to join me for some slow training runs over the next couple of months that would be awesome. Just drop me a message!
I also have a suitcase stuffed full of ‘race to saigon’ games, created by the fabulous Ellie. If you haven’t done so already let me know if you’d like one. Only 7GBP and all money goes to support children’s education and wellbeing in Vietnam.

Namrunsnam Day @BIS

After 4 amazing years teaching at BIS I have handed my notice in so that I can complete my 2200km charity run challenge. On my penultimate day at school, Thursday 27th July, I hosted Namrunsnam Day at the British International School, HCMC, in order to introduce my challenge to children, staff and parents.

The entire school community were invited to wear sports kit or come dressed as their favourite sports person. My day started up on the stage on the sports field at the junior campus where I was able to share my challenge with the kids and how they can get involved. I have taught many of the children throughout my years at BIS and was blown away by their excitement for my cause. Two of my chosen charities, Thien Phuc Orphange and Friends for Street Children are linked to the junior campus and most of the children will have either visited the children at the centres, hosted events or attended clubs with the kids that will be helped by the money raised through my adventure. After pulling some heart strings I led 800+ children and staff in a sweat inducing warm up to Eye of the Tiger. Supported my some of my amazing colleagues in their fluro sports wear and sweat bands. Us teachers, love the spotlight! Once everyone was warmed up I sent class by class to run a lap of the field before returning to their classes where they would be completing activities and additional challenges relating to namrunsnam. It was awesome to see the smiling faces of hundreds of kids and adults from the community that I have called home for the past four years. I felt a huge boost of confidence that we are going to make a real difference to so many vunerable kids. I completed my lap with Deputy Head, Chris McKelvie, who has been an absolute legend with his support of my challenge and ensuring the kids get involved as much as possible.

All drone video and photos were supplied by the talented Matt Payne, check out his instagram @mattyp7 and website here: http://www.imagesbymattpayne.com

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1Y3VRyQ1XdLJGUQ0Eq76Xcxj8jGGwZFwv

After leaving the junior campus I ran the whopping 400m down to the infant campus, where I have spent my final year teaching in Year 2 (6 and 7 year olds). I was again given the opportunity to introduce my challenge to the children in an assembly and do some warm up dancing with them. All kids at this campus have or will have the opportunity to enjoy playdates with the Thien Phuc children. This is such a valuable experience for our students and they always impress me with their ability to look past any physical issues or language barriers and just play. It’s an ability many of us as adults find difficult.

For the remainder of the day, each class undertook challenges or activities relating to health and wellbeing. I challenged my amazing class to stair climbing where they had 15 minutes to climb the 3 flights of stairs to the top floor and back again as many times as possible. I was impressed by the mental strength of some of my kids. Some found this activity challenging and were on the verge of giving up many times. I saw the determination in their eyes as they took another swig of water, gritted their teeth and heading up the stairs again. I think the winning number of climbs was 11 but I do know that every single one of my kids pushed themselves as much as they could. Another challenge was the plank challenge. The class split themselves into their house team and competed against the other house for the longest cumulative plank held by one house. The teamwork, support, love and respect that every children showed one another was awesome!

In the afternoon the whole of Year 2 had a huge golden time with each activity relating back to namrunsnam day. The children got to choose 3 activities to participate in, including: bootcamp, yoga, mindfulness colouring, just dance, team games and meditation. The buzz I could feel when I walked into each classroom was awesome. Kids coming up to me and asking questions, giving me tips and wanting to know more about the run.

I have been particularly honoured to have been approached my many of our wonderful Vietnamese teaching assistants offering me places to stay with their friends and family down the length of the country.

With the generosity of the BIS community, we raised an unbelievable £2040 for the namrunsnam charities.

I’m so excited to begin this adventure, just need my ankle to fix quicker so I can get back out there pounding the pavements.

More Saigon running/limping…

Hi everyone,

I’m writing this from my sofa as im resting up due to a grade 2 sprained ankle. Turns out cars in Vietnam like to drive on the pavement as well as on the road. I dived one way, my ankle went the other. Ouch! I’m still able to weight train so it’s not all doom and gloom. I’m getting physio 3 times a week and aim to be back pounding the Saigon streets within the next week or so.

Luckily, I’ve still been able to go exploring with my talented photographer friend Jon Fitton. This week our theme was ‘Saigon Traffic’, apt given how I got injured!

Here are a few of my favourites!

Night running at Sala, An Phu, HCMC.

Bui Vien Walking Street, District 1, HCMC.

Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, HCMC.

Saigon is green!

Thanks for reading!

Love Naomi

(aka Nam)