King of the Hills – Sham Tseng – Full Marathon

What a start to the KOTH series! First of all, I had to meet Jogger Joel at Tsuen Wan West station at 0800. For whatever reason, I thought it was Tsuen Wan (they are different stations) and I reached at 0750. Joel was running a little late… but he was under the impression that I would be seeing him in Tsuen Wan West. So, at 0815, we realized that we were in different stations and I had to take a cab to Tsuen Wan West! The cabbie didn’t know where to go and largely by luck, we met at around 0835!

Next, we had to reach Tsing Lung Tao (near Sham Tseng reservoir) by 0850 (that’s when registration closes) and neither I nor Joel knew how to get there! Two other guys who were supposed to join, didn’t! Again, largely by a stroke of luck, we met someone who knew and offered him a ride to the starting point. Time was 0857!! Rushed to the registration, registered by 0859 and that was it! Race started at 0900. I was half convinced that we wouldn’t make it to this one but somehow, we did!

So, lesson learned – Tsuen Wan West ain’t Tsuen Wan. And it’s good to have a printout of where to go before the start of the race!

Now.. the actual race. I hadn’t done this before and had no idea where to go! I noticed that a lot of other guys were on the same boat but their sense of spotting those yellow KOTH ribbons and signs were better! So, for the first 2 hours, I was trying to find the right dude to follow and eventually, I target locked some thin Chinese dude who was more or less cruising at the same speed as me. I just followed him blindly and even copied the few mistakes he made (better than using my brains).

Towards the last 10Km, that dude and I got separated. I stopped for water and lost him! That’s when I made my first big mistake for the day. Went uphill at some point instead of downhill. Lost about 7-9 minutes and had to retrace steps.

Well, overall, it was alright considering this was supposed to be more of a practice trail running test that I was unprepared for.

37.16Km + about 2-3km (Garmin wasn’t started on time as I barely had enough time to put the phone and wallet away). Race is suppose to be 37km long, I probably did a little more than that as I made mistakes like a lot of other people.

7th in my category (MO) and 16th place overall.

Time: 4 hours 57 minutes.