On November 13, early in the morning, Seventh-day Adventists in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, organized a fun run to inspire participants to be more physically active, mentally aware, and socially connected through regular cause-oriented marathons.
More than 150 runners participated in the race, which began before dawn at the Gia Dinh Stadium in the Binh Thanh District.
The Vietnam Mission’s Health Ministries Department has been hosting the fun run for six years to promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle in a positive and upbeat setting. Through numerous health-focused initiatives, this campaign, known as “Let’s Move Day,” enables the Adventist community in Ho Chi Minh to forge healthy relationships with others.
“Every year, more and more people are joining, and it is a blessing to share these moments with the community,” Pham Nguyen To Phuong, health and publishing ministries director in the Southeastern Asia Union Mission, said.
Three different events made up the fun run: a relay marathon; a 400-meter kids’ race; and a 5K run. All runners received medals in appreciation for their participation and willingness to finish the marathon alongside their coworkers and new acquaintances.
One of the runners, Keiko Le Bao Ngan, who took first place in the women’s 5K category, thanked the organizers of the program for giving her the chance to relax, let go of her stress, and enhance her relationships with her family and friends.
“This is the sixth year of the Let’s Move Day program, and it just gets better and better,” Ngan said. “More than the medal I received, I am grateful to see more people interested in bettering their health and finding ways to improve our lifestyle,” she added.
There were runners of various ages. The oldest runner to sign up, despite the difficulties of her advanced age, was 76-year-old Tran Thi De.
To encourage people to support the cause, the Adventist community in Ho Chi Minh City distributed invitations to nearby communities. Some runners have already been participating in various health initiatives and ongoing activities in the Adventist community. Aside from organized fun runs, local towns participated in several initiatives including health seminars, the One Year in Mission initiative, and mental health programs.
After competing in multiple marathons, To Phuong came up with the concept of doing a fun run. She is involved in numerous run-for-cause campaigns in Vietnam, which enables her to encourage the community to have a healthy lifestyle and participate in numerous Adventist activities. To Phuong recently joined the cycling group in the United States that rode 1,200 miles (2,000 km) to this year’s General Conference Session, from Washington D.C. to St. Louis, while distributing literature.
To Phuong started cycling five years ago, and she has done it constantly since then. She recalled her old prayer, “Please, Lord, use my passion for your glory.” This has led her to set up initiatives through the Health Ministries Department to assist people in enhancing their lifestyles and building positive connections with others.