My fastest ever Mac 3, 4 and 5

I violated the unwritten golden rule of Trail Running — “thou shall not get up late!” As a result, I couldn’t make it to Repulse Bay in time to join the gang who were going to do a recci of the King of the Hills Hong Kong route. But, I still wanted to run. So, I ended up going to Pak Tam Au. The idea was that I’d start the run at Mac 3 and would stop whenever I got tired and/or bored.

Start of the run: 10.16am
Time taken to run Mac 3: 1 hour and 16 minutes
Time spent at the vending machine to refuel: 1 minute 55 seconds
Time taken from end of Mac 3 to Gilwell Camp: 1 hour 43 minutes
Time taken from Gilwell Camp to Sha Tin Pass: 21 minutes 24 seconds
(for the first time, I didn’t stop at Sha Tin pass for refueling, I just continued)
Time taken from Sha Tin Pass to end of Mac 5: 56 minutes 53 seconds

Total distance: 31.62km
Elevation gain: 2,343m
Total time: 4 hours 20 minutes

I was then torn between continuing to run vs stopping at the end of Mac 5. I still felt relatively fresh and fit but continuing would have meant a 7 hour 45 minute+ Double Au which would have put me at the end of Mac 8 at 6pm. I visualized experiencing the runners’ high on Grassy Hill and almost made up my mind to continue but then I remembered that continuing would have also meant a horrible MTR ride out of Tsuen Wan. That was a deal breaker. I really didn’t want to take the MTR, so I stopped.

I was thinking to myself that, strangely, a couple of years back Mac 3-5 in itself would have been a hard run that would have most definitely ended at Mac 5! These days finishing at Mac 5 simply leaves me feeling lazy and guilty. That I-should-have-continued guilty feeling lingers on for several hours post the run. By the way, I read a quote somewhere — “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. I’ve realized that in the world of running, ironically, if the result you are after is to get faster, you *have* to do the same thing over and over again, i.e., to run and keep the mileage up! That isn’t insane, on the contrary, that’s the main requirement!

So, after several years of mindless running covering 1000s of kilometers, I think today has been my best ever Mac 3-5 time!