Sham Tseng Mountain Marathon Report, Feb 13, 2005
King of the Roost
As usual at the tail end of Chinese New Year, the clean air and cool(ish) weather made for ideal running conditions. Tai Mo Shan was actually shrouded in fog early in the morning before a weak sun burned through. The beginning of the year of the rooster proved conducive to many PBs and course records, though a few blamed the holiday festivities for their weight handicap.
The Full Marathon - No cock ups from Tait
Needing outright victory to clinch the King of the Hills title, Neil Tait took no chances. Leading from start to finish, Neil effortlessly knocked 17 minutes off Rob Parks' previous course record set in 2002. Neil thus completes a remarkable season in which he set 3 full marathon and one half marathon course record. His 3:34 time on this course has definitely raised the bar for future kings of the hill.
Daniel Brown ran a strong second and managed to become only the third person ever to finish the course in under 4 hours. Daniel held a slim lead over Ho Hoi To and Peter Bachmann at the Tai Mo Shan fire lookout. 2 hours later, that lead was still less than 2 minutes, but it was enough with Peter overtaking Ho for third.
Michael Maddess set a new v-40 course record on the way to 5th place overall. After a slow start in the series, Michael has come on to capture the age group title. Li Cheuk Ming improved 13 minutes on his 2004 time to capture second with Franz Nel third. Franz edged out Li for second place in the series by virtue of better results and point totals earlier in the series.
Mak Ping Yin became the first person to win all the races in his age category in a single season with his 5th consecutive mv-45 victory and yet another age group course record. Ho Hon Ming was close behind with Ng Chau Yan third. Yip Ching was a surprise 4th place having planned to run the half marathon. However he felt inspired to go the longer route on such a perfect day. Fellow Kin Hang club members Choi Chi Keung and Chan Chi Hung followed close behind.
Bob Whitehead and Lam Ngok Kam renewed their mv-55+ rivalry with Bob reversing the previous race's outcome and securing first place for the series. After trailing Lam up Tai Mo Shan, Bob made his move in the high pastures and held on through the steep downhill confident that he would be faster on the subsequent catchwater. Third place went to David Lo Chun Kin who was delighted just to finish after having to drop out in the two previous races.
Jennifer Ho So Han led a strong Kin Hang ladies' contingent, missing the course record by only 6 minutes. Lam Lai Po was second with Maggie Yeung Mei Yiu third. All three of these Kin Hang ladies were basically sprinting at the finish so we'll have to ask Kin Hang what secret training methods they are employing.
Keeping it in the Kin Hang family, Carolyn Kng celebrated becoming a vet with a new L-40 course record. In doing so, she nudged yet another Kin Hang rep, Chan Kwok Lin, down to second place. Chau Siu Ching finished with her ever- present smile intact in third place.
Half Marathon - Records Galore
Adrian King ran a dominant race from beginning to end to win his first KOTH race outright. The only other runner he saw on the day was Neil Tait who was running the full marathon. Since the 2 weren't competing against each other, they chatted amiably while they put the rest of the field in the rearview mirror in the first section along the bamboo contour trail. After the full/half split, Adrian ran solo the rest of the way and fell an agonizing 20 seconds short of Neil's half marathon course record set the previous year. Adrian was at least able to console himself with wrapping up the season title in the men's open division.
Tim McCosker, recovering from a sprained ankle and taking advantage of Bob Shorrock's absence, claimed an mv-40 course record, skimming 5 minutes off Wong Ip Chor's previous benchmark. Open and veteran category runners continued to battle it out with Rob James (open) 3rd overall, followed by Peter Northam (mv-40), Wong Wai Kin (open) and Peter Faarbaek (mv-40) and Lee Yu Ming (open). Rob was making his final run in the open category and recorded his best performance in 3 years of KOTH running. Afterwards he lamented having to grow up and face the vets next year.
JoeJoe Fan Sui Ping broke up the male open/vet/open/vet pattern with 8th place overall and first ladies. This was JoeJoe's first half marathon (she usually runs the fulls but is tapering for Standard Chartered) and she continued her dominant form (which included first on the recent China Coast Marathon) with a new ladies course record. Janet Quigley made her KOTH debut in style. She not only won the ladies' vets, but was also second woman across the line, falling only 2 minutes short of legendary Marie-Helene Arnauld's course record. Rosanna Wan and Sean Ho were second and third respectively in the open category while Edwanna Joanna Estolatan and Wu Wai Yee took the other ladies vet podium positions.
Paul Keeler made a last minute decision to run the half marathon instead of the full and garnered an mv-45 victory for his efforts. Gary Campbell was second with old friend Clive Saffery third.
Wong Peter Chun Tung won the mv-55+ category again, this time finally breaking one of Mike Cooke's records along the way and immediately declared Sham Tseng his favorite course in the series. Following his recent Cable TV interview, Peter is now a bit of a KOTH poster boy so he obviously felt the pressure to perform…Jim White finished second to claim third overall in a division that has proven very competitive this season. Gordon Robinson ran a very solid race to finish third on the day.
This wraps up another season of the King of the Hills Mountain Marathon Series. Those who participate know that one of Hong Kong's great attractions is that we have the best trail running of any major city in the world. The annual awards dinner will be held on Thursday, March 3rd. See www.seyonasia.com for further details.
Results - Full Marathon
Male Open: 1) Neil Tait, 3:34:45; 2) Daniel Brown, 3:59:38; 3) Peter Bachmann, 4:01:19
Male V-40: 1) Michael Maddess, 4:05:21; 2) Li Cheuk Mng, 4:09:48; 3) Franz Nel, 4:25:45
Male V-45: 1) Mak Ping Yin, 4:25:49; 2) Ho Hon Ming, 4:35:01; 3) Ng Chau Yan, 4:47:04
Male V-55: 1) Bob Whitehead, 4:44:56; 2) Lam Ngok Kan, 4:57:30; 3) Lo Chun Kin, 7:08:28
Ladies Open: 1) Ho So Han, 4:40:27; 2) Lam Lai Po, 5:01:17; 3) Yeung Mei Yiu, 5:36:51
Ladies Veteran: 1) Carolyn Kng, 5:19:57; 2) Chan Kwok Lin, 5:35:27; 3) Chau Siu Ching, 6:58:25
Results - Half Marathon
Male Open: 1) Adrian King, 2:04:47; 2) Rob James, 2:17:56; 3) Wong Wai Kin, 2:19:40
Male V-40: 1) Tim McCosker, 2:13:37; 2) Peter Northam, 2:18:47; 3) Peter Faarbaek, 2:23:10
Male V-45: 1) Paul Keeler, 2:27:57; 2) Gary Campbell, 2:31:14; 3) Clive Saffery, 2:37:52
Male V-55: 1) Wong Peter Chun Tung, 2:35:02; 2) Jim White, 2:53:12; 3) Gordon Robinson, 3:01:00
Ladies Open: 1) Fan Sui Ping, 2:26:31; 2) Rosanna Wan, 2:46:09; 3) Sean Ho, 2:58:55
Ladies Veteran: 1) Janet Quigley, 2:41:05; 2) Edwana Estolatan, 2:59:27; 3) Wu Wai Yee, 3:06:34