Running wild

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 July, 2012, 12:00am


While some Hongkongers think summer is the perfect time to chill indoors with a fine wine, others prefer the adrenaline rush from exercising outdoors. The sun and other elements, however, require preparation and a lot of gear.

The latest outdoor sports gear is lighter and has more functions than before, according to Wong Ho-fai, sport marketing executive at The Overlander.

'Manufacturers use hi-tech materials, such as Gore-Tex and ballistic materials, so that gear becomes lighter and more durable,' he says.

According to Wong, trail running is among the most popular outdoor sports in Hong Kong. 'It is a variant on running that differs markedly from road running and track running,' he says. 'Trail running generally takes place on hiking trails, most commonly single-track trails.'

Sports brand Salomon has a trail running line, which is sold in The Overlander and features items from caps to clothing to sneakers.

The Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 Set bag is a stretch-fit hydration pack that wraps around the body, allowing one to run freely. Designed with Spanish multi sportsman Kilian Jornet Burgada, the S-Lab Sense shoe is a race shoe that enables natural foot motion and forefoot running. The Exo S-Lab twin-skin shorts deliver muscle support with a lightweight stretch woven outer shell and single layer between the thighs to reduce chafing.

Ryan Cheng, director of outdoor products chain RC Outfitters, says popular outdoor products include light backpacks with good air ventilation, ultraviolet-proof hats, sunglasses with changeable lenses and odour-resistant T-shirts with ultraviolet protection.

Other items include the metro compass from Silva, which features a simple north pointer that shows the way when hiking or mountain biking. The compass comes with durable rubber housing and a carabiner for attachment to clothing or rucksacks. The one-litre, BPA-free bottle from Triton features a funky design and quenches thirst.

The XTRWU -Trail Running - Ultralight socks from Lorpen, available at RC Outfitters, are light and non-padded, designed for female trail runners. The socks are made of Coolmax and Tencel yarns to keep the feet dry and cool. The Adventure Hat from Sunday Afternoons has a sun protection of UPF 50+, customisable sizing, strategic mesh ventilation, a 19.05cm neck flap and a 10.16cm-wide front brim.

For those who like to camp or kayak, the Ultra-Sil View Dry Sack from Sea to Summit, available at Protrek Outdoor One-Stop Shop, comes with a window allowing the user to view the contents, making packing easier. It uses siliconised fabric for durability and is waterproofed, thanks to its polyurethane coating. Reinforced stitching is used on all stress points. Sea to Summit also has a Dry Lite Towel that is 70 per cent polyester and 30 per cent nylon microfiber with an ultra-suede finish.

Protrek also stocks the Jibo T-shirt from Haglofs, which uses high-wicking performance fabric that allows good ventilation. The UPF 15 tee uses polygiene natural silver salt technology to control odour and features offset shoulder and side seams to minimise chafing. Ultraviolet-proof gear can only do so much, though. Nathan Sports' Catalyst electrolyte drink mix can help the body absorb water to increase the energy of the user, keeping dehydration at bay. It comes in three flavours: lemon-lime, orange and pomegranate-blueberry.

Adventure racing

October 7

Salomon Lantau 2 Peaks trail running race over 15km and 21km courses. See

October 13-14

Raleigh Challenge - Wilson Trail, day and night team race over 78km or 156km. See

October 27

MSIG HK50 - HK Island trail running race with 23km and 50km courses. See

November 16-18

Oxfam Trailwalker - a 100km charity team challenge along the scenic MacLehose Trail. See