Seyon Asia Limited
Sai Kung Mountain Marathon Report

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Sai Kung Mountain Marathon Run in Steam Bath Conditions
Sunday, October 22, 2000

In conditions that approximated running on a mud floor in a steam bath, one hundred and six hardy souls set off from Pak Tam Chung. Aware of the conditions, savvy veterans paced themselves accordingly, while many young turks sprinted off and suffered some inglorious blow ups. In general the women and veterans ran well and had some interesting battles while many pre-race favorites in the male open category failed to adapt to the conditions.

In the fast, first half of the course, Andy Pickles set a new V-40 course record of 1:59:39 and won the half marathon, followed by Jimmy Thompson and another veteran, Philippe Guillo.

In perhaps the most impressive performance of the day, Annabelle Bond came in 4th overall and set a new women's half marathon record of 2:07:24. Last year's Queen of the Hills, Chiaki Fjelddahl came in second.

Chiaki in turn finished only one second ahead of super senior Mike Cooke who won the V-55 category yet again. Peter Widmer and John Tanner rounded out a talent-laden top 3 that pushed Frank Pilkington into 4th place. A still fresh looking Caryl Hartwright won the ladies vet half marathon ahead of Patricia Belin and Evelyn Lim.

In the full marathon, Alex Morgan looked well on his way to a dominating victory after getting through the notorious Mosquito Hill section 27 minutes ahead of the field (he was going so fast that he would have won the half marathon outright had he stopped at the halfway point). However, the weather took its toll and Alex paid the price for not bringing enough salt tablets and dropped out with cramping problems.

In the end, Justin Searle and Sam Ribet fought a titanic battle that ended in a photo-finish tie for first place. During the entire race they were never separated by more than one hundred meters and in a great display of sportsmanship, took turns helping each other up as each in turn tumbled on the slippery final descent from Koi Tam Choi. Tony Tse, running a come-from-behind tactical race, had the legs to see off John Martin and Paul Miller on the second half of the course and finish third.

Wong Pak Kun ran steadily to capture the V-40 title while John Fowler was a textbook of consistency in winning the V-55 category. John had to be good Chow Wo Kwan was only a couple of minutes behind. Alice Rosen held off veteran Angelita Hui to win the women's full marathon, with veteran Virginia Unkefer third.

Many thanks to Miwa and the Kin Hang Hiking Club for all the checkpoint support.