One less slip-up to fret over … Oh, wait a second
Bananas have been on the minds of the organisers of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon a lot these past few weeks. But the cold snap means they no longer have to worry about the 110,000 bananas that will fuel runners during tomorrow's races.
"I remember a few years ago when most of the bananas had turned rotten because of the hot weather," chief organiser William Ko Wai-lam said. "When we unpacked them, we found that we had to throw most of them away. Thankfully, the weather has been cool these past few days and we won't have that problem."
Work to prepare for the record 73,000 runners taking part in tomorrow's showpiece in the three race categories - marathon, half-marathon and 10-kilometre race - has led to one of the single biggest imports of bananas from the mainland.
The fruit has arrived in Hong Kong and will be packed into finishing-line food bags for each runner, as well as being distributed at water stops along the marathon and half-marathon routes.
"We have been getting the bananas every year from a regular supplier in China and I believe we must be one of the biggest importers of the fruit for a single day. I don't think even the supermarkets import so many bananas for just one day," Ko said.
"Not only will the runners get bananas, but our officials need them, too.
"Just imagine standing for almost 10 hours at one stop. Most of our officials will start at around 3am on Sunday and be on the road until 1pm or more. They, too, need the energy," Ko added.
Apart from bananas, each food bag handed out at the end of the race will also contain chocolates and a bottle of water.
"There is a lot of work that goes into organising a marathon. Thankfully, this time we won't have to worry about the state of our bananas," Ko said.