Endurance test for runners

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 November, 2003, 12:00am

Top runners from 12 boys' and 11 girls' secondary schools face a unique test of endurance in the Division One Inter-School Cross-Country Championships at the lush Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling today.

The race, held annually on the club's Old Course, pits top sports schools from Kowloon and Hong Kong.

The Grade A and Grade B boys face a particularly tough 6.5-kilometre race which diverts onto a horse trail, including a gruelling, stamina-sapping 1km stretch over sand.

'We've designed another challenging set of races,' said competition convenor Kwan Kee.

'I'm sure the students will find their abilities tested,' he added.

The Grade C boys will compete over 5.5km, and girls over 4km.

'It's been very humid in the past few years and we will remind the students not to force themselves beyond their limits, especially if they haven't trained enough. We'll tell them to drink lots of water, and there will be medical services available if needed. But these are Division One athletes and most of them are very capable,' Kwan said. One danger out of the students' control is the threat of being hit by a small, round, white missile from above.

'With golf being played on the two adjacent courses, they need to be aware,' Kwan said.

Kwan hopes the races will be exciting, but encourages students to keep their cool.

'It's going to be a competitive atmosphere as usual, but we hope the cheering students won't interfere with the runners as they race the last 100 metres - it's not fair, and is against the rules. We will make that clear.'