Schulich Alumna Becomes First Vietnamese Female Ultramarathoner
Thanh Vu (BBA ‘12) has always been ready for a new challenge. After interning at HSBC in Vietnam and landing her dream job at Bloomberg in Singapore, she left the business world to pursue her passion and complete the 4 Deserts Marathon Race Series.
4 Deserts is widely recognized as the most prestigious and difficult series in the world, tackling some of the planets toughest climates and conditions. The series took place in Namibia, the Gobi, the Atacama in Chile, and the Antarctica. Participants completed 250 km of ground over seven days at each location. In order to complete the series runners had to finish all four races within one calendar year.
“Each of the deserts had such different characteristics that I felt like a novice every time. But I have tremendous gratitude for the chance to be the first Vietnamese and the first female from Asia to complete the challenge,” said Vu. “Everything came down to mentality. During adversities, I pulled together and pushed through. I have come back to the normal life with a whole new attitude.”
“20% of the race is physical and the other 80% is mental,” Vu added, recalling how her time at Schulich helped in this challenge. “Each race required focus and perseverance. My background in business helped tremendously in terms of positioning myself to sponsors as well as the financial and logistical preparation, which is parallel to starting an entrepreneurial business.”
Now that Vu has completed the series she is looking to build the sport in Vietnam. It will not entail the same amount of running, but instead bring fitness to the forefront as a way to inspire the next generation.
“I’d love to inspire the new generation to defy the fear of not having a path setup and to look at all the possibilities with a sense of ambition,” Vu said in an interview with Vietcetera.” The learning curves can be steep and the road can be long, but just like any endurance race, as long as you don’t stop, you will find a way to reach your goal.”