Sai Kung Mountain Marathon Report, Jan 4, 2009
4 January 2009
(Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, partly clouds with temperatures between 16-22C and 50-70% relative humidity)
Habitat Property King of the Hills Sai Kung Mountain Marathon – A Great Start to 2009
Nearly 300 runners turned out on a beautiful Sunday for the first KOTH race of 2009. With such fine weather, times were predictably fast and there were some good individual battles on the trails.
Full Marathon – It’s a Cosmo Affair
Regular top half marathon finisher Jeremy Ritchey stepped up to the full marathon and led at the halfway point, but Cosmo Boy teammates William Davies and Law Chor Kin were not far behind. Eventually better pacing paid off with first William and then Chor Kin passing Jeremy to make it an all Cosmo affair. Chor Kin eventually caught William on a technical downhill section and claimed his second consecutive KOTH victory with William and Jeremy following.
Benjamin Blain turned 40 this past year and decided that he was now old enough to run his first KOTH full marathon. Ben not only won his category, but set a new age group record at the same time while coming in 4th overall. Following a couple more open finishers, Peter Lee was the next M40 across the line, some distance clear of his TW teammate, Rob James, who rounded out podium finishers for this age group.
Patrick Ford made a valiant stab at the M45+ course record, but was one minute off. He did, however, beat the age group record holder, Chan Kwok Keung, into second place. Chan See Kau, finished in third, his exact same position the previous time this course was run.
Ng Chau Yan decimated the M50+ course record and managed to come in the top 10 overall. Chan Hoi Nam turned 55 over the holidays, but was disappointed to learn that his race category for the season was fixed as of the date of the first race. For that reason he came in second in the M50+ category rather than winning the M55+ category. Tso Chun Bong was third in the category.
Instead, it was Chan Kiu Heep, recording his second consecutive course record, who won the M55+ category. Law Kwong Chau finished second and Paul Tsang third.
The ladies race proved to be a fine battle as well. Fresh off winning the KOTH Taipo race, Hiko Holmes passed through the halfway point in first place, but police training instructor Chow Pui Yan was only a few seconds behind. Eventually, Pui Yan passed on the long uphill to Koi Tam Choi and cruised to victory. Hiko finished second, just ahead of a fast closing Lee Bik Sai.
Leung Siu Kuen won the F40+ race quite comfortably, with Cheng Yuk second and Leung Siu Fung third.
Half Marathon – Stone Cold Victory
Tsang Siu Keung Stone polished off a second consecutive half marathon victory in the 5th fastest time in the history of the race. Stone’s closest competition came from a visiting Japanese runner, Miyachi Fujio, who remained within striking distance before missing a turn after Hoi Ha and falling out of contention. Instead, Ben Campbell finished a gratifying second, ahead of MV45+ Peter Northam. Anthony Davies finished 4th overall and first in the M40+ age category. Meanwhile, Robin Pitt celebrated turning 21 by finishing 5th overall and third in the open category.
Derek Irwin was next across the line, second in the M45+ category, just ahead of regular rival, Leung Ping, who finished first in his category and is enjoying life as a fifty year old. Wayward Japanese visitor Miyachi Fujio finished next, before John McKinven claimed the second M40+ prize. Choi Fu Loi claimed second in the M50+, followed by Stuart Leonard, who enjoyed home course advantage. A surprised Ross Dawson snuck in to grab the last of the M40+ prizes.
Wong Peter Chun Tong won the M55+ race with almost exactly the same finishing time as the previous year. Tsang Sing You was just over one minute behind in quite a competitive battle and Lee Man Wai finished third, only slightly off the pace.
Catherine Leonard also took advantage of local course knowledge on her way to a new female veteran's course record and first place overall. Catherine built up a sizeable lead over the long coastal stretch after Yung Shue O and then held on during the technical bits after Hoi Ha to record this fine performance. Catherine's closest competitor was ladies' open winner Rosanna Wan. Linda Russell (open) was next in, followed by Marcy Trent Long (veteran), Luk Yuen Yee (veteran) and Tam Kar Bik (open).
All in all, this was an excellent start to the new year and we were gratified to see so many enthusiasts out taking advantage of the glorious weather. We are also very grateful to Habitat Property for their sponsorship during this economic downturn, as well as Protrek, Swire Coca-cola, and Snowy Mountain Engineering. Special thanks also to the Kin Hang Hiking Club and Friends of Sai Kung for fantastic race support.
The next race takes place in Hong Kong Island on Sunday, 1st February. The 18.5 km half is a lovely jaunt through Tai Tam Country Park, while the 30 km full features 2 gut busting hills, but is probably the easiest full marathon course in the series. All in all, either is a great way to work off the Chinese New Year excesses. See www.seyonasia.com/koth for further details.
Habitat Property KOTH Sai Kung Mountain Marathon Results, 4 January 2009
Half Marathon Results:
MO: 1) Tsang Siu Keung, 1:34:14; 2) Ben Campbell, 1:42;16; 3) Robin Pitt,1:45:43
MV-40: 1) Anthony Davies, 1:44:53; 2)John McKinven, 1:50:25; 3) Lee Yu Ming, 1:56:45
MV-45: 1) Peter Northam,1:43:15; 2) Derek Irwin, 1:46:14; 3) Ross Dawson, 1:55:52
MV-50: 1) Leung Ping, 1:46:28; 2) Choi Fu Loi, 1:50:52; 3)Stuart Leonard, 1:52:38
MV-55: 1) Wong Peter Chun Tung, 1:58:07; 2) Tsang Sing You; 1:59:29; 3) Lee man Wai, 2:04:54
FO: 1) Rosanna Wan,2:08:53; 2) Linda Russell,2:16:23; 3)Tam Kar Bik, 2:23:28
FV-40: 1) Catherine Leonard, 2:03:40; 2)Marcy Trent Long, 2:21:18; 3) Luk Yuen Yee, 2:23:25
Full Marathon Results:
MO: 1) Law Chor Kin, 3:42:552) William Davies;, 3:44:48; 3) Jeremy Ritchey, 3:52:54
MV-40: 1) Benjamin Blain, 4:05:12; 2) Peter Lee, 4:11:26; 3) Rob James, 4:34:32
MV-45: 1) Patrick Ford, 4:15:39; 2) Chan Kwok Keung, 4:23:33; 3) Chan See Kau, 4:33:05
MV_50: 1) Ng Chau Yan, 4:18:29; 2) Chan Hoi Nam, 4:43:373) Tso Chun Bong, 4:46:03
MV-55: 1) Chan Kiu Heep, 4:52:00; 2) Law Kwong Chow, 5:01:40; 3) Paul Tsang, 5:41:31
FO: 1) Chow Pui Yan, 4:44:55; 2) Hiko Holmes, 4:56:00; 3) Lee Bik Sai, 4:59:59
FV-40: 1) Leung Siu Kuen, 5:28:01; 2) Cheng Yuk, 5:53:22; 3) Leung Siu Fung, 5:58:04