On a very hot and sunny day, Alex Morgan showed a clean pair of heels
to a strong field of top trailwalkers, orienteers and triathletes to finish
first in 3:52:40. Runner up Daniel Brown and 3rd place KK Chan could only
shake their heads at Morgan's endurance and power over the roughest and
most hilly course a sadistic race director could conceive. After taking
the lead at the top of the first major downhill, Morgan gradually pulled
away to win by a comfortable 12 minutes and stated that he had never felt
fresher at the end of a mountain marathon. (Editor's note: Then try to
break the course record next time Alex. You only need to shave off 8 minutes.)
Alex has now won 2 races in the King of the Hills series outright and
can lock up the title with one more win.
The most amazing performance of the day, however, was reserved for Barbara
Stockman. Despite being 18 weeks pregnant (18 WEEKS!), she received an
okay from her doctor to participate and proceeded to set a new women's
full marathon course record of 4:26:09. This time was more than 3 minutes
faster than the 1998 record held by Rachel Walker, which at the time was
considered to be a record that would last for a while. It appears that
Barbara's strategy for the race was to let Geoff Peck pace her as far
as the top of Lantau Peak and then turn on the jets for the last 12 km.
Many of the men who struggled through the race are now wondering if being
18 weeks pregnant would improve their PB's. Jenny Roper, Patricia Clapacs,
Amelia Rendall, Kin Keibun and Virginia Unkefer also completed the grueling
full marathon in that order.
Also of note in the full marathon was John Fowler's record shattering
run of 5:42:17 in the V-55 category. John has 2 victories in the series
and only needs one more to wrap up the v-55 title.
In the half marathon, Jimmy Thompson locked up the open series title
with a 5 minute thumping of the rest of the field, finishing in 1:30:27.
Having won all 3 open category races in the series so far, he is rumored
to be considering the longer distance for the next race.
Andy Pickles won his second v-40 half marathon and can wrap up the series
title next race. Dean Lewis and Benny Hagberg were his closest chasers.
John Tanner captured the v-55 win ahead of Frank Pilkington.
Veteran and first time participant, Marie-Helene Arnauld, ran a superb
1:46:04 to be the first female to cross the line, ahead of Rachel Sprotson
and Caryl Hartwright.