Hong Kong Mountain Marathon Report, Feb 5, 2006
(Hill) Running Dogs
(Repulse Bay, HK 5 February 2006. 13 degrees and overcast in the morning, but warming to 20 degrees and sunny by mid-day.)
Full Marathon - The Stone and King Show
The first KOTH race in the Year of the Dog began in cool conditions, but heated up when the sun came out. Fresh off winning the China Coast Half Marathon, Adrian King raced to the front at the beginning of this one. Fireman Tsang Siu Keung Stone did his best o hold on during Adrian's early surge, but trailed by 30 seconds at the second checkpoint. By the 4th checkpoint water stop Stone had closed the gap and they ran together through the riverbed and checkpoint 5. Ultimately, the Twin Mountains proved the deciding test with Stone gaining the advantage and then opening up a decisive lead on the down trail. Stone would end up winning the 3rd fastest time in the course's history with Adrian second in the 4th fastest time. Peter Lee ran a very steady race to finish third, ahead of Daniel Brown.
Michael Maddess continued to show the fine form that has allowed him to set several age group records this season. This time he managed 5th overall while breaking Chan Kwok Keung's V-40 age group course record along the way. Michael should be an inspiration to anyone fretting about getting older as he ran the course almost 5 minutes faster this year than he did in 2004 in perfect weather conditions. Peter Faarbaek was the second veteran in is best race of the season with Olivier Streun making his first podium appearance of the season in third.
Mak Ping Yin was unsurprisingly dominant in the V-45 division with yet another fine performance. Few people have been as consistently excellent over so many seasons as Mak. Li Cheuk Ming had a very solid run and should be encouraged to finish only 2 minutes behind Mak and capture second in the age category. Meanwhile behind them, Ng Chau Yan and Paul Keeler were fighting a spirited battle for third place. Ultimately, Ng prevailed by a mere 20 seconds.
Bob Whitehead won the V-55+ race only 5 weeks after varicose vein surgery. He cheekily remarked at the end that the guy who set the age-group course record must have been pretty fast since he was 5 minutes off that pace this time. Of course, modest-Bob set the record himself two years earlier. Kin Hang Hiking Club teammates Lam Ngok Kam and Wong Pak Kun had a hard fought battle for second with Lam beating Wong by one minute.
In-form Claire Price was never challenged in the women's race. Her main motivation to run faster was to beat some of the boys and better JoeJoe Fan's course record. She succeeded in beating most of the boys, but fell one minute short of the course record. Hiko Takeda recovered from her boyfriend's bad cooking to finish second with Chippy Kawasaki finishing third and showing a glimpse of the form that made her Queen of the Hills several years earlier.
In a bit of an upset, Chan Kwok Lin ran a terrific race to beat season-long nemesis Ann Miles into second place in the FV-40+ age category. Chan looked fresh and ready to run more at the finish while Ann was covered in bruises from a few slips on the rough trail. Leung Oi Yim finished third and then stoically waited for her husband to finish, predicting that he would be last (he actually did better than she predicted).
Half Marathon - Veterans Dominate
On this day age beat out youth. Olympian (and V-55+) Chris Wardlaw led through the uphill sections of the course, but relinquished the lead on the tricky downhill section to the stream to (V-45+) Peter Hopper. Peter went on to win the race and set an age group record while Chris took second while also setting and age group record. Chris lamented afterward that he would need to improve his down hills to be more competitive. Watch out if he does, as he is the only person who runs up every hill. Peter Hopper was understandably ecstatic with his fine performance and very grateful for all the rough sections on this course.
Ben Blain finished third to salvage some pride for the male open racers, before the veteran onslaught continued. Andy Thomson (V-40) was next in, followed by Derek Irwin (V-45), in his first KOTH race, Tim McCosker (V-40), Leung Ping (V-45), and John Shaw (V-45). Finally, the next open racer, Rene Frauenfelder crossed the line. Yet another V-45, Mark Leper, crossed the line next, before the third open runner, Mathias Haeussler crossed the line. In all, 8 of the first 10 finishers and 10 of the first 13 finishers were veterans. Perhaps the veterans have learned from experience how to control their Chinese New Year indulgences better than the youth or perhaps this is the year of the old dog?
In a repeat of the Lantau race finish order, Grace Balintong won her 4th consecutive women's half marathon with Jeannette Holmes-Thomson second and Melissa Lo third. Cissy Chan was 4th, only 10 seconds behind Melissa.
Wong Peter Chung Tong was the second MV-55 age grouper to finish with Cho Yan Kwon third.
Edwana Estolatan edged out Anne Knecht-Boyer in a competitive women's veteran race with Lynn Poelmann third.
Many of the age group champions for the series have been decided already, while others, including the King and Queen of the Hills remain to be decided at the final race in the series in Sham Tseng on 26th February. See www.seyonasia.com for further details.
6 February 2006
Half Marathon Results:
MO: 1) Ben Blain, 1:57:08; 2) Rene Frauenfelder, 2:07:40; 3) Mathias Hausseler, 2:09:42
MV: 1) Andrew Thomson, 1:58:02; 2) Tim McCosker, 2:02:09; 3) Wong Kwok Leung, 2:09:58
MVX: 1) Peter Hopper, 1:52:31; 2) Derek Irwin, 2:01:59; 3) Leung Ping, 2:02:10
MS: 1) Chris Wardlaw, 1:53:53; 2) Wong Peter Chun Tung, 2:14:40; 3) Cho Yan Kwong, 2:23:12
FO: 1) Grace Balintong, 2:10:22; 2) Jeanette Holmes-Thomson, 2:15:59; 3) Melissa Lo, 2:20:27
FV: 1) Ma Edwana Estolatan, 2:36:21; 2) Anne Knecht-Boyer, 2:38:48; 3) Lynne Poelman, 2:46:44
Full Marathon Results:
MO: 1) Tsang Siu Keung, 3:06:18; 2) Adrian King, 3:10:13; 3) Peter Lee, 3:14:44
MV: 1) Michael Maddess, 3:21:37; 2) Peter Faarbaek 3:34:52; 3) Olivier Streun, 3:54:06
MVX: 1) Mak Ping Yin, 3:38:40; 2) Li Cheuk Ming, 3:40:43; 3) Ng Chau Yan, 3:49:12
MS: 1) Bob Whitehead, 3:58:50; 2) Lam Ngok Kam, 4:43:40; 3) Wong Pak Kun, 4:44:53
FO: 1) Claire Price, 3:39:39; 2) Hiko Takeda, 4:07:11; 3) Chisato Kawasaki, 4:13:27
FV: 1) Chan Kwok Lin Cholly, 4:46:09; 2) Ann Miles, 4:56:46; 3) Leung Oi Yim, 5:23:55