Lantau Mountain Marathon Report, Jan 8, 2006
KOTH Lantau Mountain Marathon '06 - Hot Running on a Cold Day
(Lantau, HK 8 January 2006. Overcast with temperatures between 10-15 and 50% humidity)
Tsang Siu Keung Stone ran away from the field in a dominating display of power and technical running. His 3:26:576 was the second fastest time run in the 21-year history of the event. Probably more importantly to Stone, he now has bragging rights in the Fire Services Dept. after eclipsing Choi Kau's 2003 time. Stone led from the beginning and then just pulled away on the downhill to Tung Chung and that was that.
Daniel Brown placed second in a personal best time of 3:42. However, it took a surge on the final contour trail for him to pass MV-40+ Michael Maddess who had held second place the entire race until that point. Michael had the consolation of claiming another terrific veteran's record winning time.
Newcomer To Chi Sing finished 4th followed by John Mckinven (second MV-40) and Tada Ryusuke.
Next across the line in 7th overall position was Claire Price in a fabulous female record time of 4:05:17. Her strength uphill and her speed downhill were the talk of the race afterwards. Claire hinted at her potential when she finished only 1 minute behind JoeJoe Fan in Sai Kung and she proved her mountain goat lineage today in Lantau by beating JoeJoe's previous course record by 4 minutes. The Japanese contingent of Hiko Takeda and Chisato Kawasaki also put in credible performances, finishing second and third among the ladies respectively.
Mak Ping Yin again won the MV-45+ category, followed by Ho Hon Ming and newcomer Wong Wai Ling. All seemed to have quite comfortable races and probably would have liked to have seen hotter and tougher conditions which would make their competitors suffer more.
Peter Faarbaek had one of the more interesting motivations for running quickly as he needed to be at work at the airport by 15:30 and needed to catch the 14:30 bus to make it on time. Luckily for him, he finished in 4:20 and made the bus with a few minutes to spare.
Long-time Kin Hang stalwarts Lam Ngok Kam and Wong Pak Kun placed first and second respectively in the 55+ category. Lam appeared to have a relaxed race without longtime rival Bob Whitehead in the field, while Wong suffered severe cramps toward the end of the race and had to grit out the last section.
Ann Miles decided to take the race today seriously and stayed in the previous night. She still won the female vets category, but failed to set a course record for the first time all series and was quite disappointed in herself. Our only advice to her is to remind her that one should not deviate too far from normal routine for a race - clearly she is not used to running on Sunday's without a night on the town the previous evening and if that works for her, perhaps she shouldn't change it.
This one had the makings of a very competitive race from the get go. Triathletes Daniel Lee Chi Wo and Gary Mandy started as the favorites with Pedro Ribeiro, Adrian King and several other members of the HK Triathlon Team all in with a shot.
As it was, Gary and Daniel were neck and neck nearing the top of Sunset Peak. At this point Gary's adventure race cross training paid off and he pulled away from Daniel on the downhill and won going away in course record time of 1:13:01. Gary's time was a full 4 minutes faster than Neil Tait's previous record and another one that we think could last a while.
Pedro Ribeiro also caught Daniel on the downhill and eventually crossed the line second with Daniel finishing third. Afterwards, Daniel was overheard saying with some degree of admiration that he couldn't believe the speed with which Gary and Pedro went downhill.
Adrian King was 4th across the line, followed by Lau Ching Yim Lemuel (another member of the triathlon squad) and Ryan Blair.
Rob James continued to take advantage of his new age category with another MV-40 victory and a round of handshakes with the people around him who pushed him during the race. Peter Northam was the second MV-40 for the second race in a row, followed by Andrew Thompson.
In the meantime, Peter Hopper was making his first appearance in the series this season and announced his presence by breaking Kwok Wa Kun's MV-45 course record. Peter complained afterwards that his legs weren't in shape for the hills at the moment, but no one running against him seemed to notice.
A strong downhill section and lots of mountain bike cross training gave Mark Leeper the edge over Paul Keeler in the battle for second and third in the category behind Peter.
Wong Peter Chun Tung enjoyed his first MV-55 victory of the season, but fell 2 minutes shy of the record. Bob Nipperess ran strongly for second while competition from his daughter's spurred Peter Clarke to third.
Grace Balintong eked out a new female course record by the narrowest of margins - just 2 seconds faster than Chiaki Fjelddahl ran in 2003, but a record is a record. More impressively, Grace improved by about 5 minutes from her previous year's time.
Grace was never really challenged in this dominating performance, though Jeannette Holmes-Thompson finished second and served notice that her recovery from childbirth continues apace. Newlywed Melissa Lo finished third.
Edwana Estolatan won the women's veterans race again and seems to have recovered the form that allowed her to dominate this age group last season. Marking the 7th anniversary of her first KOTH race, Brigitte Zeltner-Widmer showed she still has what it takes. In that race in 1999, she ran 2:02:07 while today she ran 2:04:53. How many of us wouldn't be happy to only slow down by 2 minutes every 7 years! Wu Wai Yee finished 3rd for the third race in a row.
263 runners started today, making it the biggest KOTH race to date and a sure signal of the growing popularity of trail running in HK. For this we give thanks to Sunhing Millenium, ADM Capital, Power Bar, Protrek and Bonaqua for sponsoring this event and allowing us to feed our passions.
Also pleasing was the report from our sweepers, that despite the biggest turnout, they picked up less rubbish on the trail than in any previous race. While even one piece of rubbish is too much, I take this news as the hopeful harbinger of a new environmental consciousness among those of us who enjoy running in the outdoors and hope that just as we as athletes push ourselves to race faster, that we as a community of like-minded trail runners will push ourselves to leave behind a cleaner and cleaner trail.
The next race in the series takes place after Chinese New Year in Repulse Bay on 5th February. If you are considering trying one full marathon this season, this is the easiest of the fulls. See www.seyonasia.com for details.
8 January 2006
Half Marathon Results:
MO: 1) Gary Mandy, 1:13:01; 2) Pedro Ribeiro, 1:18:00; 3) Lee Chi Wo, Daniel, 1:21:41
MV: 1) Rob James, 1:25:55; 2) Peter Northam, 1:28:02; 3) Andrew Thomson, 1:28:31
MVX: 1) Peter Hopper, 1:27:14; 2) Mark Leeper, 1:36:03; 3) Paul Keeler, 1:37:14
MS: 1) Wong Peter Chun Tung, 1:41:05; 2) Bob Nipperess, 2:01:12; 3) P Clarke, 2:04:58
FO: 1) Grace Balintong, 1:35:00; 2) Jeanette Holmes-Thomson, 1:43:14; 3) Melissa Lo, 1:45:03
FV: 1) Ma Edwana Estolatan, 1:54:46; 2) Brigitte Zeltner-Widmer, 2:04:53; 3) Wu Wai Yee, 2:11:44
Full Marathon Results:
MO: 1) Tsang Siu Keung, 3:26:57; 2) Daniel Brown, 3:42:45; 3) To Chi Sing, 4:00:53
MV: 1) Michael Maddess, 3:43:56; 2) John McKinven, 4:01:10; 3) Peter Faarbaek 4:20:29
MVX: 1) Mak Ping Yin, 4:08:06; 2) Ho Hon Ming, 4:17:52; 3) Wong Wai Ling, 4:35:21
MS: 1) Lam Ngok Kam, 5:03:52; 2) Wong Pak Kun, 5:37:22
FO: 1) Claire Price, 4:05:17; 2) Hiko Takeda, 4:26:47; 3) Chisato Kawasaki, 4:39:49
FV: 1) Ann Miles, 5:27:28