Sham Tseng Mountain Marathon Report, Feb 26, 2006
KOTH Sham Tseng Mountain Marathon
(Sham Tseng, Hong Kong 26 February 2006. 17-21 degrees, overcast at the start with a strong sun later in the race.)
Full Marathon - Long Live Queen Fan
Leaving no doubt who is the Queen of the Hills, JoeJoe Fan Sui Ping blitzed to victory in a course record time of 4:12:16. Amazingly, she was also the second runner across the finish line overall. Claire Price had to settle for second, 15 minutes behind. Both JoeJoe and Claire were unusually serious before the race start and both had prepared intently just for this race - JoeJoe by uncharacteristically skipping other races to rest up in preparation and Claire by practicing the entire course the previous week. At the end of the day, the Sham Tseng course is one of the faster courses in the KOTH series and it was JoeJoe's greater foot speed that proved the difference. JoeJoe also broke Chiaki Fjeldahhl's last remaining full marathon course record time by a whopping 22 minutes!
Adrian King was the overall victor on the day, and only the 4th person to ever finish the route in less than 4 hours - an exclusive club to say the least. Adrian has finally translated his road running talent into KOTH success this year, and finished second only toTsang Siu Keung in the King of the Hills battle.
MV-45 Li Cheuk Ming was third across the line in an age category record time. Li is another accomplished roadrunner, who has finally translated this talent into success on the trails. Just behind Li came Rupert Chamberlain who seems to have finally shaken off the flu and asthma problems that plagued him earlier in the season. Next in were To Chi Shing, Peter Lee and then Claire Price. Peter Lee's performance had to be considered disappointing based upon his results earlier this season, but he did just enough to ensure 3rd place overall in the series.
Also notable on the day was Bob Whitehead lowering his own MV-55 course record by another 4 minutes with Kin Hang regulars Lam Ngok Kam and Wong Pak Kun following Bob and locking up second and third in this category in the series.
John McKinven was the MV-40 winner on the day, well ahead of Olivier Streun and Peter Faarbaek. MV-45's Ng Chau Yan and Wong Wan Ling were second and third respectively in their age category.
Carolyn Kng was the first female veteran home, but was disappointed in her performance and complained of burnout. She later admitted that perhaps the cause was too much road running. Leung Oi Yim was the second female veteran in and didn't appear burned out at all. After a quick rest, she turned around and hiked back out to find her husband who was still on the course.
Half Marathon - Another Record for Mr. Mandy
Gary Mandy completely dominated the half marathon from beginning to end. Gary was so far ahead by the second checkpoint that his only remaining battle was against Neil Tait's 2004 course record time. The course record finally relented as well and Gary had himself his third course record this season and overall victory in the half marathon series. He fell just 2 minutes shy of being the first person to ever crack 2 hours on this course and that will perhaps be his motivation next season.
Wong Wai Kin made a successful return to KOTH running with a strong second place performance. Wai Kin has struggled on this course in the past so it was good to see him have such a strong result.
With the MV-40 title on the line, Tim McCosker and Peter Northam fought a tooth and nail battle before Tim finally gained a decisive advantage on the second half. Both looked absolutely exhausted at the end, befitting the intensity of the battle. Tim's victory gave him the series title ahead of Peter and Andy Thomson who was absent on the day.
Ben Blain (male open) was next in and locked up open 2nd in the series at the same time. Following Ben were Nick Chappell and MV-45 winner Leung Ping who had a terrific race. Leung was chased by newcomer Peter Nilsson (MV-40 third) and the sensational Grace Balintong.
Grace capped off an amazing season by winning all 5 of the KOTH half marathons. Perhaps it is time for Grace to move up to the full marathons and challenge for Queen of the Hills next season!
Jeannette Holmes-Thomson was second to Grace for the third race in a row with Cissy Chan easing past Melissa Lo for third place. Cissy was quite please after finishing just behind Melissa the past several races. For the series, the final ranking was Grace then Jeannette then Melissa then Cissy.
Gary Campbell (MV-45 second) was next in, followed by Paul Keeler (MV-45 third). Paul secured just enough points to capture the series title as the pre-race favoirte, Peter Hopper, struggled home in 5th with blisters and a sprained ankle (but still captured second in the series ahead of Mark Leeper.)
Mike Barker stepped down from the full to the half marathons and found the distance to his liking. Mike was the first MV-55 runner home, ahead of Bob Nipperess and Rex Whittle.
Wu Wai Yee was the first female veteran across the line as her long time rival Edwanna Estolatan was sitting out the day. Jane Ford was second.
Nearly 700 runners took part in KOTH races this season making it our most successful to date. We are grateful to all of you for your participation and to our sponsors Sunhing Millenium, ADM Capital, Swire Coca-cola, Power Bar and Protrek for making it all possible.
The finale of the season is the annual awards dinner, which will take place on Thursday evening 16 March in Delaneys in Wanchai. This is your chance to swap stories with fellow trail runners, collect pictures of yourself from the series and salute all of the category winners and the King and Queen of the Hills. Registration forms are available on www.seyonasia.com.
KOTH Sham Tseng Full Marathon Results
1) Adrian King, 3:58:34; 2) Rupert Chamberlain, 4:17:54; 3) To Chi Shing, 4:21:42
1) Li Cheuk Ming, 4:16:30; 2) Ng Chau Yan, 4:50:50; 3) Wong Wan Ling, 5:01:56
1) John McKinven, 4:39:14; 2) Olivier Streun, 5:05:03; 3) Peter Faarbaek, 5:26:11
1) Bob Whitehead, 4:39:23; 2) Lam Ngok Kam, 5:48:27; 3) Wong Pak Kun, 6:08:48
1) JoeJoe Fan Sui Ping, 4:12:16; 2) Claire Price, 4:27:42; 3) So Kit Sum, 6:56:09
1) Kng Poey Lyn Carolyn, 5:53:53; 2) Leung Oi Yim, 6:44:47
KOTH Sham Tseng Half Marathon Results
1) Gary Mandy, 2:02:09; 2) Wong Wai Kin, 2:14:35; 3) Benjamin Blain, 2:22:30
1) Leung Ping, 2:29:06; 2) Gary Campbell, 2:31:08; 3) Paul Keeler, 2:31:45
1) Tim McCosker, 2:17:00; 2) Peter Northam, 2:19:56; 3) Peter Nilsson, 2:29:29
1) Mike Barker, 3:05:11; 2) Bob Nipperess, 3:14:34; 3) Rex Whittle, 3:38:16
1) Grace Balintong, 2:29:52; 2) Jeanette Holmes-Thomson, 2:38:30; 3) Cissy Chan, 2:42:23
1) Wu Wai Yee, 3:15:29; 2) Jane Ford, 3:36:30; 3) Rene Twardzik, 3:42:59