Hong Kong Trail on Buddha’s birthday

Here’s a million dollar question.

If you were to leave Hong Kong for good, which of the following would you *NOT* do before you leave?
(a) Eat at many fancy restaurants
(b) Go shopping
(c) Say ‘bye’ to friends
(d) Run over 250km on trails as a “farewell tour”

If you chose (d), well, I’m sorry, you just lost your million dollars! Teammate Steven’s leaving-Hong Kong routine involves exactly that! And, as part of that routine, we decided to run the 45km Hong Kong Trail today, on Buddha’s birthday. What can be a better way to celebrate a public holiday and Buddha’s birthday other than to run 45kms in hot and humid weather?

I missed the minibus to The Peak (start of the HK Trail) this morning and was a whole 30 minutes late. Sunny and Tina had a head start while Steven waited for me. We started the run at about 7.30am. We caught upto Tina during Stage 3 (I didn’t realize it was her and I think I startled her as I ran past her) and to Sunny during Stage 4. I also saw an injured Guido on the way. He seemed to walking instead of running due to a knee issue.

2 hours 20 minutes later, we reached Park View for some much need air-conditioning and refueling. I was a little ahead of Steven on Stage 5. About 30 minutes into the Mount Butler climb, I got a text message from him saying that he felt nauseous and was unwell. So, we decided to head back to Park View and concluded the run there. Besides, Stage 7 of the Hong Kong Trail involves running about 8km on concrete, right beside a boring water catchment. I was glad to have given that a miss! On our way back, we saw Sunny who told us that he’d be quitting too! We later learnt that Tina left after Stage 3 as well. She underestimated the heat.

Overall though, I would recommend Hong Kong Trail highly, especially if you want to prepare for a marathon and don’t want to run a course that is too technical. And, don’t get me wrong, the trail can be very, very beautiful too! There’s a lot of greenery, some majestic views and formidable hills en route! Just watch out for the heat and humidity on a hot summer day!


Distance: 27.84 km
Time: 4:02:37
Avg Pace: 8:43 min/km

Before I finish, today being Buddha’s birthday, I will leave you with one of Buddha’s teachings. He might not have advocated trail running but as you will see from the below, he does know how to deal with abuse!

Buddha was well known for his ability to respond to evil with good. And there was a man that knew about this reputation and he traveled miles and miles to test Buddha.

When he got in Buddha’s presence he verbally abused him, he insulted and offended him.

Buddha was unmoved.

He simply turned to the man and said: ‘May I ask you a question?’
The man agreed and said: ‘Well what?’

Buddha: ‘When someone offers you a gift and you decline to accept it, to whom then does it belong?’
Man: ‘Well then it belongs to the person who offered it.’
Buddha smiled: ‘That is correct.’

Buddha: So if I decline to accept your abuse, does it not then still belong to you?
The man was speechless and left.