Seyon Asia Limited
Lantau Mountain Marathon Report - 4th January, 2004

Report | Results | Splits

KOTH Lantau Mountain Marathon Kicks Off Despite Hill Fire

Lantau, Hong Kong - 4th January, 2004 - The morning after a big hill fire on Sunset Peak, relieved runners heard that the all clear sign was given to contest the annual K.O.T.H Lantau Mountain Marathon, one of the toughest races around.

Full Marathon

Fireman Choi Kau recovered from an early mistake to pour water on Alex Morgan's hopes of a birthday victory. The decisive moment came on the steep steps up Lantau Peak with Choi, Alex, Daniel Brown and Rob Parks all within one minute of each other. Choi put on a sudden burst of speed to open up a 3 minute lead that he would hold for the remainder of the race. Alex, Daniel and Rob followed in that order. Chan Kwok Keung was next in v-40 record time, just over a minute ahead of fellow veteran Lo Chi Wai.

However, the race of the day was run by Bob Whitehead who's 4:32:32 set a new v-55+ course record, while managing to come in 13th place overall. The previous record holder, Lam Ngok Yam, could only shake his head in admiration. John Fowler was third for the second race in a row.

Chiaki Fjelddahl accomplished 50% of her objective for the day. She managed to win the women's marathon, but still came up well short of breaking Barbara Stockman's inspired course record. Ho Kit Ying came in second, just ahead of Carolyn Kng who is doing very well in a lot of different races this year. Old friend Fung Yuk-ling returned to the hills and managed to see of the new vets on the block, Jenny Tang and Chan Kwok Lin, who had come in second and first in the previous two races.

At the back of the pack were three game lady first timers, Hui Wai Ling, Poon Ting Chi, and Sin Yuk Lin, and the ever-smiling Ngam Kwok Wah. Their sense of accomplishment and smiles when they cracked their celebratory beers easily matched the satisfaction of any participant in the race. There can few rougher and hillier races than this one so every one who finished should share that sense of accomplishment.

Half Marathon

The Lantau Half Marathon may be the easiest of the halves in the series, but it is still no walk in the park given that the start is straight up Sunset Peak and the final 7.5 km contour trail feels much longer than that following the pounding downhill to Pak Kong Au. Neil Tait managed to tie is own course record with his usual impressive display of power running. After no one dared to pursue him up Sunset Peak, he simply continued to pull away the rest of the race. Triathlete Lau Ching Yin was a distant second, followed by the uneven Mike Gault who had an excellent day.

Fourth in was 52-year old Kwok Wah Kun in an age-group record time. Those who know their running history will remember that for years and years before a knee injury sidelined him, Kwok was the undisputed hill running champion of Hong Kong. It is good to see him back in good health and running well. Peter Hopper was a further 2 minutes behind, which was still good enough for a v-40 age record in his first go at the course. John Tanner snuck back over from Taiwan for a visit to claim honors in the v-55+ category.

Meanwhile, the ladies race turned into a real battle between Grace Balintong and Maureen Olsson. Grace was less than one minute ahead at Sunset Peak and only 2 seconds ahead at Pak Kong Au, but managed to pull out a 1:20 victory after a tough battle along the contour path. Proud boyfriend, Mike Cooke, was all smiles at the finish. Lam Lai Po was third. Marie-Helene Arnauld had an easier time winning the ladies vets competition, holding off Marcy Long and Kate Young.

Many thanks to all the participants who made this race our biggest turnout to date and to the fabulous supporters who looked after everyone. The next race in the series takes place on 25th January on Hong Kong Island from Repulse Bay. See for more details. - Keith Noyes

Full Marathon Placings

Male Open:
1st Alex Morgan (3:44:32); 2nd Daniel Brown (3:48:58); 3rd Rob Parks (3:53:54)

Male Veteran 40-44:
1st Chan Kwok Keung (4:06:28); 2nd Lo Chi Wai (4:07:56); 3rd Chung Man Sing (4:33:50)

Male Veteran 45-54:
1st Choi Kau (3:41:42); 2nd Mak Ping Yin (4:15:54); 3rd Ho Hon Ming (4:24:47)

Male Veteran 55 or above:
1st Bob Whitehead (4:32:32); 2nd Lam Ngok Yam (4:50:24); 3rd John Fowler (6:10:48)

Female Open:
1st Chiaki Fjelddahl (4:47:35); 2nd Ho Kit Ying (5:10:36); 3rd Carolyn Kng (5:11:40)

Female Veteran:
1st Fung Yuk Ling (5:40:00); 2nd Jenny Tang (5:50:50); 3rd Chan Kwok Lin (6:06:27)

Half Marathon Placings

Male Open:
1st Neil Tait (1:17:01); 2nd Lau Ching Yin, Lemuel (1:28:05); 3rd Mike Gault (1:28:32)

Male Veteran 40-44:
1st Peter Hopper (1:30:17); 2nd Babs Bukunola (1:35:28); 3rd Wong Ip Chor (1:52:36)

Male Veteran 45-54:
1st Kwok Wah Kun (1:28:53); 2nd Hui Yee Man (1:32:28); 3rd Guillo Philipe (1:37:33)

Male Veteran 55 or above:
1st John Tanner (1:50:14); 2nd Mike Barker (1:56:50); 3rd Robert Pardoe (1:57:27)

Female Open:
1st Grace Balintong (1:40:36); 2nd Maureen Olsson (1:41:56); 3rd Lam Lai Po (1:47:45)

Female Veteran:
1st Marie-Helene Arnauld (1:44:58); 2nd Marcy Long (2:02:40); 3rd Kate Young (2:10:00)