What does it take to be Number 1?

If you want the answer to this question, then there is no better person to ask than Thanh Vu, Vietnam’s first ultra marathon runner and the brand ambassador for our Number 1 Energy Drink. Thanh is someone who completely embodies THP’s “Nothing is Impossible” spirit whether she is pushing herself to her very limits representing THP and Vietnam at the world’s most demanding endurance challenges, or coming up with brilliant ideas within our company.

Thanh is my “warrior sister”. And I could not be more proud of her right now, as she has just completed the Swiss Ultra Deca Ultra Triathlon World Championship 2022 at Buchs, Switzerland. The scale of her achievement is truly inspiring.

For if you think a full Ironman distance triathlon sounds daunting (3.8km swim, 180 km cycle ride and 42.2 km run), then try to imagine the physical fitness and mental willpower required to complete an ultra-triathlon that covers 10 times that distance. Yet in mid-August, Thanh completed a 38km swim, a 1,800km bike ride and a 422km run in less two weeks.

But it wasn’t the fact that she finished, which makes her Number 1: it was the effort and determination she showed to fulfil her dream. Having a “Nothing is Impossible” spirit means having a clear goal and never giving up.

There were times during the Ultra when Thanh reached her physical and mental limits. On one notable occasion, she conducted a livestream on Facebook during which she sobbed continuously for almost 20 minutes feeling unsure if she would be able to complete the race within the time restriction.

However, when she was in danger of losing her positive and can-do attitude, all her fellow THP warriors, including myself, were there on the sidelines to give her ours. She picked herself up and carried on.

This is what it means to a THP warrior too. It is not just about achieving our own personal milestones: it is about supporting others to reach theirs too.

Thanh also displayed another THP attribute. She was inventive and creative when the going got tough. For example, despite a warm summer in Switzerland, it poured and the temperature dropped significantly during the bike leg. Coming from Asia, meant that she was less acclimatized to the weather than many of the other competitors. But she adopted an ingenious solution.

She conserved heat by wearing the wetsuit from the swimming leg during the bike leg. Her fingers also went numb cycling 1,800km through  the scorching heat, the freezing rain, the ominous thick fog along the banks of the Rhine, but it she persevered to cross the finish line.

In many ways, Thanh’s strategy mirrors what a successful company needs to do. She had a big goal. To achieve it, she did plenty of careful planning and preparation, build a strong support system, then took it one lap at a time, celebrating small wins along the way.

This is how we view the world at THP. We have a long-term vision and lots of short-term goals that help us to get there. And we couldn’t do it without all of our employees who share the same goal and live our core values.

Over the past few years, Covid-19 has been difficult for so many businesses including ours. In some ways, it was even tougher for Thanh because she was unable to compete during some of her peak performance years. But it made her more determined than ever.

Thanh always brings the best version of herself: her number 1 version.  We are proud to call her THP’s Number 1 too.