Cloudy Hill, Pat Sing Leng and a SUPER HOT Plover Cove
One of the hardest 37km courses in Hong Kong has to be Tai Wo MTR to Tai Mei Tuk via Cloudy Hill, Pat Sin Leng and Plover Cove. And when it is HOT, I promise you – you ain’t gonna love this course! It’s a true acid test of a trail runner’s ability to withstand heat!
As the whole world already knows, I own the last part of the course, i.e. Plover Cove. I can make a legitimate claim to Pat Sin Leng as well but in order to give “other people” (read: Hannes Niggli) a chance to own something, I am doing the noble thing and not contesting ownership of Pat Sin Leng. However, despite resolving the Plover Cove ownership dispute successfully and in a true gentlemanly fashion, it looked to me like Hannes wasn’t treating me like an equal partner as he unilaterally declared the following on the event page: “i have opened both properties for ‘common people’s access’ but please observe opening hours as i will close pat sin leng at 1030 and plover cove at 1300”.
8 of us showed up at Tai Wo MTR station to take on the heat and this course. Except for my teammate Vic, who was much slower than usual because of a highly intensive gym workout the previous day, we were mostly running as a group until the first hill of Pat Sin Leng.
As I was by the side of the trail on top of Pat Sin Leng, I saw Romain pass me without noticing me. I waited for the rest of the group to catch up with us and once they did, I chased after Romain. He thought I was in front of him and was running at a fast pace to “catch up” with me! That’s like the Coyote running after Road Runner! This little unintentional chase took us too far ahead of the group! By the time we reached the end of Pat Sin Leng, we were roughly 30+ minutes ahead of the group. The sun was also shining strongly and we were out of water; so, we decided to wait for the rest of the group at Wu Kau Tang. For immediate relief from the strong sun, we decided to take a much-needed dip in the Bridespool pools.
This relief from the sun was short-lived as we started our climb on Plover Cove. To give you a taste of what it was like, I am going to ask you to imagine that you are in a HOT yoga session (no, no, no, no, I mean WITHOUT the hot girls!) Now, imagine being trapped right under the source of the hot air with no escape. Next, substitute the hot yoga exercise with 17kms of trail running that includes some killer ups and downs. That is what it was like! As Romain soon discovered, that’s not a very pleasant experience! The heat takes away all the energy from the body. The views were indeed ever so beautiful, but it’s hard to appreciate beauty when you are in a beat up state!
Unwilling to succumb to the scorching heat, we soldiered on slowly, yet steadily. Soon, we were almost out of water! I realized that the two most precious commodities under hot weather are shade and water! Then came a big surprise from Vic in the form of a text message. He was walking towards us from the other direction carrying a cargo of 5 bottles of cold water! It reminded me of my teammate Dominic’s gesture when we attempted this course under similar weather in 2010! When someone brings you cold water when you most need it, you never forget it! Thank you Vic!
And there’s only one way to aptly conclude the 37km run for the day under scorching heat. And that is to take a dip in the Plover Cove reservoir!
Oh and before I forget, the icing on the cake was a special video we shot for Hannes at MY reservoir.
Special message for Hannes