The 2016 Hanoi Boot Camp was attended by 22 Vietnam Swans and Viet Celts

The 2016 Hanoi Boot Camp was attended by 22 Vietnam Swans and Viet Celts.

A great turnout of 22 Swans and Viet Celts gathered in Hanoi to officially kick off the season in the north under a bit of a cloud. Some of it to do with the grey overcast weather, but mostly the result of a Bia Hanoi or two too many at Rob Lee’s farewell party at Republic the night before…

In light of some key recent departures, most notably Club BnF Tommy Doer, SOS, “The Criminator” Marty Crimmins, BJ and now Mitt Shaking B2 Rob Lee, this Hanoi bootcamp was all about recruitment. And Republic Burger and Beer vouchers. We are happy to report success on both fronts.

While the names and vital stats of impressive new northern recruits will remain under wraps ahead of the Phil Johns Cup at the Central Vietnam Games in Da Nang, we can confirm that footy in the north of the country is looking as good as it ever has, with plenty of new premium northern cattle sure to be putting their hoofs up for selection on 23 April in Vung Tau.

The day started in typical Hanoian lassair fair style, with club legend “Not so crazy anymore” Dan Hopkins deciding that a relaxing coconut by the lake was more appealing than having to ride around the other side to meet the guys at the Republic starting line for the Westlake Criterion. So one down, a select group of participants set out from the Republic on the pushies for a wonderful 20km start to the day, picking up Not so Crazy half way around.

Hanoi boot camp fitness session

Hanoi Coach Joe Vile taking the fitness session.

It was then to Lenin Park, where Hanoi Coach Joey ‘Joffa’ Vile gathered all comers to dodge adolescent skaters and rollerbladers and scuff up a few of the new Dragon Sherrins on the famous central Hanoian slate. Not 10 meters into the warm up jog, the Prez went down with an ankle, some thinking a suckling pig was on the menu at the nearby bia hoi with all the screams that could be heard, while most just thinking it a ploy to get him out of the run.

Despite all the obstacles and uneven surfaces put in their way, Coach Joff managed to squeeze out an impressive hour of skill work, finishing with a grueling fitness circuit with great support and voice from the two legendary Hanoian Dans, Lucardie and Not so Crazy. All then moved across the other side of Dien Bien Phu to begin the Citadel Circuit run, the second time this classic foot race has been held as part of Bootcamp Hanoi.

With Republic Burger and Beer vouchers up for grabs, tall Irish rucking sensation Mark Horkan put all on notice this year with a scintillating 3 kms around the old imperial palace in a time of 8.27. While in the women’s division it was Alison Keys who showed her lame husband how its done, the first woman home in a time of 11.59.

2016 Swan Boat Race winners Mark Horkan & Thanh

2016 Swan Boat Race winners Mark Horkan & Thanh

2016 Swan Boat Race winners Mark Horkan & Thanh[/caption]All then gathered a few blocks north at the majestic Truc Bac lake for the most talked about event in Hanoi since Dai Hoi XII, the famous Swan Boat Challenge. Growing in stature every year, this lap around Truc Bac on the famous swan boats is not for the feint hearted, with extreme lactic acid build up and shenanigans aplenty. Following a grueling event with plenty of skullduggery mainly coming from Not So Crazy’s Swan boat and snapped rotator belts leaving some stranded mid lake, it was Horkan once again along with Viet Celt Lady and Blue Dragon employee Thanh who took home the burger vouchers. Amazing what a free burger and a beer can do to entice a tall hungry Celt, we will have to offer him more burger deals throughout the year to see more of this freak natural talent in action.

A solid stretching session was then held at the nearby Truc Bac bia hoi, with everyone getting plenty of opportunities to stretch sore legs out in between bouts of cheers and squatting down on the low blue stools. A great end to the biggest ever bootcamp in Hanoi, and a great reflection of the close and mutually beneficial relationship we have with the Viet Celts mens and women’s programs.


Full photo album .