Fevered Rebecki keeps her cool to win
Last Sunday's Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon - an annual road race for Hong Kong runners - attracted a record 70,000 entrants.
Even though elite runners in the two shorter races - 10km and half marathon (21km) - started at 5.30am, many reporters and photographers were already assembled by 5am at the media centre next to the finish line at Victoria Park. Junior athletes born between 1992 and 1995 were able to compete in the junior categories over 10km and half marathon.
Rebecki Chan Yee-ki won back the girls' junior 10km title she last claimed in 2010 despite suffering from a bad fever the day before the race.
'Last year I used up too much energy at the start and could finish only third,' Rebecki, a Form Three student at Diocesan Girls' School, says. 'This time, although I wasn't feeling well, I lowered my expectations and relaxed; it helped.'
Mary Hui, a Year Two student at Li Po Chun United World College, in Sha Tin, won the women's junior half marathon - less than two minutes ahead of Coco Choi Pui-yan.
Coco, a Form Six student at Sacred Heart Canossian College, in Pok Fu Lam, said: 'Last year I came second in women's junior 10km; this was the first time I have run the half marathon at the Standard Chartered Marathon. I have done less training recently because of my DSE exam.
'My target was to beat my time at last month's Mizuno Half Marathon,' says Coco, who plans to win next year's race.
Steven Ing, the title favourite in the men's junior 10km - who was last year's runner-up - won in a time of 33 minutes and 53seconds.
'Recently I've been doing some slower, long-distance jogging as part of my training, so I spent less time preparing for this race,' said the 18-year-old, who graduated from the Australian International School, in Kowloon Tong, last year. 'I wasn't in peak form.'
Chan Hon-man, a Form Four student at La Salle College, in Kowloon, was second in 33 min 58sec. 'I finished in a time that was nine seconds faster than last year, when I was the second runner-up,' Hon-man said. 'My target was to finish inside 34 minutes, so I reached my target.'
He will represent his school in the three-day Inter-school Athletics Championships, starting next week.
Wan Cheuk-hei, won the men's junior half marathon, with Wu Wik-hon second and Ngai Kang third.
Young athletes also competed in the senior races (for people born in 1971 to 1991). Heidi Yu Wing-hay, 21, won the women's senior 10km title in her first appearance in the race. The Year Three medical student at the University of Hong Kong had taken part only in the 10km race before.
'I knew I'd finished in the top three in my age group when they gave me a tag at the finish,' she says. 'But I was shocked to learn I'd won when my friend told me after reading my tag.'
Three leading local runners also celebrated victory. Hong Kong Team runner Gi Ka-man won his first men's overall half-marathon title at the ninth attempt.
Christy Yiu Kit-ching successfully defended her women's overall half-marathon title, while her boyfriend, Chan Ka-ho, won the men's 10km.