Fishwick, Lowry make victorious start to new year
Colin Fishwick and Michelle Lowry celebrated the start of the new year with victories in the Mizuno Hong Kong Half Marathon championship at Tai Mei Tuk yesterday.
Although the weather was close to ideal for the 21.1km race, times were generally on the slow side for the 2,300 starters. However, the two Americans emerged comfortable winners in their respective gender categories.
Fishwick was not totally prepared for the race as he spent last week on holiday in Chennai, India, where he was caught in a cyclone that flooded large parts of the country.
'The infrastructure was not exactly top quality over there so I found myself wading calf deep through sewage water,' the 35-year-old said. 'As my recent training has been geared towards next month's Hong Kong Marathon, I ran about 160km the week before I left for India but managed only about 4km per day while I was on holiday.'
Fishwick found himself in the company of defending champion Chan Ka-ho and the in-form Gi Ka-man for the undulating first half of yesterday's race on Bride's Pool Road but stepped up the pace at the 14km mark where the course heads on to the pan-flat Plover Cove dam.
'Both Chan and Gi have a great sense of pace, so I just had to hope I hadn't made my bid for the lead too early,' he said.
Fishwick ran one hour, 11 minutes and 24 seconds for his seventh distance race victory of the season. Chan and Gi finished in 1:11:50 and 1:13:18, respectively.
Lowry competed in Hong Kong for the first time since October last year after an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the US Olympic marathon trials in November.
'I ran the Yokohama marathon but it was a ladies only race and with very few runners,' she said. 'The super elite runners were well ahead of me and the club runners were well behind me, so I found myself running alone for much of the race.
'Today's race was much better as I was able to run alongside the men, and that allowed me to set a better pace. However, I could have done with a few more flat sections because there are lots of hills on this course.'
Lowry won in 1:22:55. She will now focus on the half marathon in next month's race in Hong Kong before leaving to compete in Milan, Italy, in April.
Yiu Kit-ching finished second in the women's race in 1:23:49.