This is what I did at 5am

marielle marathon

That Luang is a place of worship, prayer as well as a tourist attraction.

On the morning of March 6th 2016, it was where thousands of people filled with adrenaline gathered to participate in the first ever Vientiane International Half-Marathon (21km, 10.5km or 5km).

Hundreds of yellow t-shirts floated below the dark sky of a Vientiane morning, illuminating the kilometres ahead of them.

starting in the dark

I had anxiously been waiting the race countdown for weeks- and so was everyone in Vientiane.

My 10.5km race was filled with excitement, concentration, self-doubt and perseverance. I just kept telling myself: Just go. Just keep running. Just keep moving your legs. It helps keep my focus.

I think I may have talked about my dad’s soccer coaching technique before on this blog, and I’m going to repeat it. He coached my competitive soccer team and kept hearing the words ‘I can’t‘ from the girls. So, he got these bright yellow t-shirts made with the words “YES I CAN’ written in huge block letters. We wore those shirts every practice- seeing those words on each others’ shirts made us believe.

Today, I didn’t need those words on my shirt because I knew I could. I had learned from my dad how to believe in myself and not let self-doubt take over my thoughts. (tearing up, love ya dad!)


I crossed that finish line- and my oh my did it feel AMAZING!

Up on that award stage went incredible athletes who finished in impressive times. I was taking photos of my friend who won 1st place in her age category when all of a sudden I heard “In 4th place is Marielle Hossack from Canada”.


I turn my head around so fast and look at my friends like ‘did you hear what I just heard?’. ‘GO GO GO!’ they tell me.

I go on stage and accept the award for 4th place in my age category! AHHHH!!!!!

getting my award

Proud is an understatement for how I feel about everyone from World Vision Laos who participated in this event. This race has brought us staff closer together and I am grateful for it.

Half-marathon…I’m coming for you next!





Crossing the finish line

that luang.jpg

Six years since I’ve crossed a finish line in a sprint.

Sometime ago in primary and secondary school, track and field was what I loved. I still love it, but somewhere in between university and work, it just hasn’t been in the cards.

Until now!

I love organizing events that bring people together, especially for a good cause. I heard about the Vientiane International Half Marathon in early January and suggested to my communication team that we gather staff from our office and participate as a team! They said YES!

15 sign-up sheets later and we’ve got a team running to stay healthy and to raise awareness for child protection, through the End Trafficking in Persons program. It has been so much fun these past few weeks seeing where everyone is in their training and going for runs with each other. Sports really do bring people together. (And it seems like that’s what everyone is talking about in Vientiane. This small town I tell you, so easy for the word to get around!)

Back to ETIP; this program focuses on on prevention, victim protection and policy advocacy to eliminate trafficking into exploitative and abusive situations. Asia Pacific is the region with the most trafficking victims. The ETIP program works in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Here is the website if you want to read more about it!

I will be running the 10.5km race on March 6th and am so looking forward to it!

Our team has set up a fundraising page, check it out! If you want to donate to help make a difference, don’t hesitate to do so!

I hope all my Canadian friends and family are staying safe in this crazy snow storm that is taking over headlines across every media channel!!