Benson scores hat-trick on tough mountain run

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2012, 12:00am


Darren Benson claimed his third straight victory in the 36th staging of the Skechers Mount Butler (Heritage)Race at Wong Nai Chung Gap yesterday after a clinical display of front running saw him decimate the 1,100-strong field.

The 37-year-old Australian athlete took command of the 15-kilometre race soon after negotiating the first soul-destroying hill to Parkview and then coasted to victory on the scenic, but demanding, course in 55 minutes and nine seconds.

'This is a lovely course with stunning views so I've come to really enjoy it,' said Benson, who works in the commercial property sector. 'I didn't really train for today's race as I've been doing a lot of road biking, but having won it for the past two years I wanted to go for the hat- trick.'

Yeung Shiu-lun crossed the line in third place more than a minute behind Benson, but was awarded the runner-up spot as the second runner home was competing in the team event.

Lau Yu-ming was awarded third place in the individual race on the same basis. Canadian runner Tracy Tory won the women's race in convincing fashion in an unofficial time of 1:08:25.

Tory, who finished a creditable 62nd from the 1,100 starters, came to Hong Kong with her family 18 months ago and has recorded two victories in the Reservoir Series during that time, however this was her first major win.

'My family lived in London for 16 years before moving to Hong Kong, and most of my training runs were around Kensington Gardens,' Tory, 45, said. 'Although that was a pleasant place to run, competing on a course like we had today was like running in paradise!'