Lantau Mountain Marathon Report, Jan 10 2010
10 January 2010
(Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Partly sunny with temps of 15-19 at Nam Shan, but with cold and windy microclimates on all the hills.)
KOTH Lantau – A Tale of 2 Courses
The Lantau race is always interesting because it is simultaneously the hardest of the KOTH full marathons and the easiest of KOTH half marathons. The large elevation changes also create very different and challenging weather extremes between the low areas that can be hot and still and the tops of the peaks which can be windy and envelop runners in cold mist. The race also shows out those who particularly enjoyed their end of year celebrations. The race turnout was once again tremendous with 224 completing the half course and an impressive 116 completing the full course. There were also about 15 DNFs.
KOTH Lantau Full Marathon – Stone Back in Form
After missing the first race of the series with injury, Stone Tsang returned to his accustomed position at the front of the KOTH pack. The rough KOTH Lantau course plays particularly well to his strengths so it was little wonder that he was in first place after the plunge into Tung Chung. Second place Darren Benson briefly closed the gap approaching the top of Lantau Peak, but then it was sayonara as Stone bolted down the hill and finished with a comfortable ten minute win.
Darren Benson enjoys the Lantau course quite a bit less – too bushy, too rough to really open the throttle – but still managed to finish a commendable second. Probably his biggest shock came 10 seconds after he finished when “Wrong way” William Davies came charging across the line. William managed to miss a turn early in the race (despite practicing the course a week earlier) and then had to play catch up the rest of the way and actually recorded the fastest split time from Tung Chung to the finish.
Cosmo Boy Law Chor Kin was 4th in, but was the last male open runner for a while. Michael Maddess dominated the M45 race and finished only 4 seconds after Law Chor Kin. Michael’s biggest frustration is that he still needs to go 24 minutes faster to break Choi Kau’s age group course record.
Newcomer Sverre Brunstad was next in with a nice win in the M40 category, a minute and a bit ahead of fellow age grouper Peter Lee, the category winner of the Sai Kung race. Next in was Claire Price, 8th overall, collecting yet another course record, this time female veteran’s full course record.
M50 Chan See Kau was next in and became the age grouper to finally best David Rosser’s M50 time of nearly 20 years ago. He was also a few minutes ahead of Ng Chau Yan in what is becoming a compelling age category battle for top honors.
Peter Faarbaek claimed the second M45 spot, Chan Hoi Nam was victorious again in the M55+ category and Andy Thomson claimed the third M40+ spot while being the last runner to finish in less than 4.5 hours.
Joanna Eades was the second female and the second female veteran across the line while Claire Chapman was the third female and first open female across the line. Ms. Chapman is better known for her mountain biking exploits and said with relief at the end that the Lantau course was the hardest race she had ever done.
Half Marathon – Japan Express Wins Again
Miyachi Fujio completely demoralized his competitors on the first climb up to Sunset Peak as he refused to break stride and challenged anyone else interested in winning to run the entire way with him. He was rewarded for his efforts with a great winning time of 1:16:45, the second fastest time in the 25-year history of the course. Fujio revealed at the end of the race that he is in the travel business and that this will be his last season competing in KOTH – beginning next season he hopes to organize tours that bring keen Japanese runners to experience our beautiful KOTH courses and as the tour guide won’t be able to run himself. We certainly welcome more international participants, but we (at least the organizers) will miss “Japan Express” and hope that he can find away to continue racing.
Erich Felbabel finished second for the second time in two races, comfortably ahead of overseas short-term returnee Chuck Cosman, himself a few minutes ahead of Lantau resident Daniel Brown.
Anthony Davies continues to enjoy a run of good form, besting Mark Western and Steve O-Leary for victory in the M40+ category, the three finishing 5th, 6th and 7th overall respectively.
Peter Northam made it two victories in a row in the M45+ category, finishing comfortably in front of John Gilchrist. Leung Ping won the M50+ category and squared is age-category battle with Derek Irwin at one win a piece. Derek took a tumble and managed to leave some blood on the trail, but should be ready to resume battle at the next race.
Lucy Marriott won the ladies’ race for the second straight time, while staying ahead of her male pursuers. We note that Lucy’s husband has also given up competing with Lucy and no longer attends the races.
Zein Williams was the second woman across the line, followed by winning vet Loida Daguiso and recent mom Jeanette Holmes-Thomson.
Claus Rolff finished first in the M55+ category and then scared all with a dry retch. Claus was followed by Wong Kam Ming who was all smiles as he crossed the line.
A special congratulations goes out to 11-year old Frederikke Faarbaek who completed the half marathon in 2:20:58, our youngest ever finisher. This brings up a topic on which we have received several inquiries, that of minors participating in KOTH. Our policy is very simple, while we do not offer specific age-category prizes for minors, we encourage their participation and enjoyment of HK’s trails provided that they are accompanied along the race route by a parent or guardian.
The next race takes place in Repulse Bay on Sunday, 31st January. This is usually the best- attended race of the season and offers showers and food outlets nearby for those who wish to enjoy a beach picnic following the race. See www.seyonasia.com/koth for further details.
The North Face KOTH Series 2009-2010
2010 KOTH Lantau Half Results
1) Fujio Miyachi, 1:16:45; 2) Felbabel Erich, 1:21:39; 3) Chuck Cosman, 1:25:56
1) Anthony Davies, 1:30:25; 2) Mark Western, 1:30:34; 3) Stephen O’Leary, 1:30:42
1) Peter Northam, 1:31:52; 2) Jonathan Gilchrist, 1:36:54; 3) Jay Johannesen, 1:38:25
1) Leung Ping, 1:35:02; 2) Derek Irwin, 1:38:56; 3) Geoffrey Lincoln Blyth, 1:45:29
1) Claus Rolff, 1:44:00; 2) Wong Kam Ming, 1:49:58; 3) Yu Tung Bo, 2:01:18
1) Lucy Marriott, 1:37:42; 2) Zein Williams, 1:42:23; 3) Jeanette Holmes Thomson, 1:45:03
1) Loida Daguiso, 1:43:02; 2) Mallette De la Riva, 1:56:58; 3) Wai Lai Ping, 2:03:14
2010 KOTH Lantau Full Results
1) Tsang Siu Keung, 3:35:38; 2) Darren Benson, 3:45:29; 3) William Davies, 3:45:39
1) Sverre Brunstad, 4:01:14; 2) Peter Lee, 4:02:32; 3) Andrew Thomson, 4:29:39
1) Michael Maddess, 3:53:48; 2) Peter Faarbaek, 4:28:01; 3) Wong Shu Keung, 4:46:02
1) Chan See Kau, 4:16:02; 2) Ng Chau Yan, 4:21:54; 3) Chow Lap Koon, 4:43:58
1) Chan Hoi Nam, 4:28:35; 2) Lam Ngo Kam, 4:57:31 3) Bob Whitehead, 5:05:02
1) Claire Chapman, 4:55:29; 2) Wynnie Fung, 5:05:05; 3) Emilie Gerbaud, 5:18:04
1) Claire Price, 4:10:19; 2) Joanna Eades, 4:51:56; 3) Lee Bik Sai, Ida, 5:06:59