King of the Hills – Sham Tseng (2013)

Author: ltcommander  //  Category: Hiking in Hong Kong, King of the Hills - Sham Tseng, THE RACES



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King of the Hills – Sham Tseng (2013)

Rewind time to two years back: I completed the KOTH Sham Tseng marathon in 4 hours 57 minutes and came 16th overall. I also got lost in two different places.

This is what I wrote about that race two years back:


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.

And, two years later, i.e. today, I followed the SAME Chinese dude (Alger Chan!) and, towards the end, both of us wrongly went up the same hill! Moral of the story: this is deep, so take note: “History repeats itself for those who don’t learn the lessons the first time around!” And, that’s a genuine quote btw! (picture me gloating and pulling up my own collar).

My result two years later was this: got lost two times (no change from two years back), came 28th overall. The time was 4 hours and 35 minutes (22 minutes better compared to 2010). But, despite being 22 minutes quicker, I came 10 places behind compared to two years back! And, here’s another genuine quote to summarize that: “Competition is like inflation. For the same amount of power, you get less and less as each year goes by”. Ok, this one is not as great as the previous quote, but anyway…

I reached the start in Tsing Lung Tao at about 8am in the morning. (Btw, ladies and gents, Tsing Lung Tao, is not Tsing Tao — the beer! I thought it was the first time I heard the name but the “Lung” in between kind of changes the meaning altogether!) All the trail running celebs were there at the start on this cold morning. Rachel, Jinhwa, Rom, Martijn, Rupert, etc, etc.

Continue reading about Sham Tseng 2013



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KOTH Sham Tseng Mountain Marathon Recce

Author: ltcommander  //  Category: Hiking in Hong Kong, King of the Hills - Sham Tseng, THE RACES



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King of the Hills (Sham Tseng) is not only the longest race in the series but also, arguably, the hardest one to navigate. The starting point is itself a bit of a hassle to get to. I remember almost missing the race two years back because we couldn’t find the starting point. However, I have come a long way since then. (Yes, I am giving myself a pat on the back). Today, I made history by parking my motorbike right at the starting point of the course and didn’t even make a single mistake anywhere during the ride. (The world needs to prepare for a new navigating genius). And through this truly remarkable achievement, like a true leader, I also gave myself no option but to finish the whole 38km course as I had to ride the motorbike back! How’s that for motivation to finish?

The start of the trail – near Mac 9

Anyway, there are plenty of great things about me, but going back to the Sham Tseng Mountain Marathon recce, 7 trail runners showed up at 8.20am in the morning for the run.

Continue reading about the supernatural forces on the Sham Tseng recce



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King of the Hills – Sham Tseng – Full Marathon

Author: ltcommander  //  Category: Hiking walk reports, King of the Hills - Sham Tseng, THE RACES



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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.

Stats:
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.

Garmin.

Elevation Profile
Speed Profile
GPX.



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