Clinching a Greenpower victory by 12 seconds
It was Hong Kong Trail Runners’ first ever sponsored event. Lafuma was the sponsor and some simply awesome French-designed backpacks were at stake. (Well, the other “usual” things were at stake too, like sense of glory and achievement, etc, etc but the backpacks, I tell ya, were alone worth that 50km run!) But, in order to truly earn them, the objectives were twofold:
1) To break the current prevailing record of 4 hours and 45 minutes on the 50km Hong Kong trail
2) To win the Corporate Category under the Lafuma HKTR name
Vic, Vivien and I were going to represent HKTR as runners and we had at least a total of 15 people supporting the 3 of us! That’s 5 supporters per runner. We even had a motorbike crew which was available “on demand”. That’s not 1, not 2 but 3 BMW motorbikes supporting us — Hannes, Olivier and Romain. We neither depended on the organizer’s food stops not did we stop anywhere during the race. It was like a military operation planned by Generals Romain and Martijn. The army of 15 included Martijn, Michael, Jonathan, Gilles who were our pacers/mules (more about that later), then we had Hannes, Phoebe, Olivier who were our “mobile” support team and finally, we had Alice, Sunny, Janice, Maria, Philip, Billy and Nick who formed our “fixed” support team. Now, if this isn’t being pampered, I don’t know what is! The effort that went into coordinating the fixed/mobile and pacer teams was just mindboggling. Excel spreadsheets, whatsapp chat-rooms, briefing meetings, etc, etc. All done by Romain and Martijn to whom we owe a lot of gratitude. The three of us, Vic, Vivien and I, had the easiest job — to just run!
Speeches and races
We got to the start by 7.40am and found Romain and Phoebe already waiting for us! Romain began helping us from the get-go. Phoebe was testing her photography skills by using her new Canon camera on me. (She should have picked a better looking target). About 20 minutes before the start of the race, the three of us, Vic, Vivien and I, hit the toilets for that mandatory pre-race pee and gathered at the starting point by 8.20am. Then we had to bear listening to a long and boring speech by some special guest. I thought to myself that they should have been playing some live rock music instead. I told Vic to take it easy in the beginning and he repeated the same advice to me. Then I relayed that onto Vivien. We are all in agreement. Finally and thankfully, that boring speech was done and we were awoken by the countdown, 10, 9 .. 3, 2, 1 and off we went at 8.30am. Within a blink of an eye, Vic zoomed off and put us in the #1 position in our category by 8.31am. I reminded him of our “take it easy policy” and reigned him in.
Tags: Green Power, Green Power, Hiking in Hong Kong, HKTR, Lafuma, THE RACES