The final race of the Athletic Veterans of Hong Kong (AVOHK) Adidas 5km Series was held at South Bay last Saturday. The route led to Repulse Bay, and then U-turned back to the starting point.
Before this final leg of the series, most participants had competed in the first three races at Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir, Bowen Road and Wanchai Gap Playground.
This year's event added several junior categories to attract more young runners. Up-and-coming triathletes Jeffrey Tang Ho-fai and Vanessa Ng claimed the Junior 17 Boys and Junior 15 Girls titles, and also the overall championship of their respective categories.
Jeffrey has put in strong performances in long-distance road and cross-country races recently. He won the past three races of this series and completed a 'perfect four' at South Bay. The 16-year-old has quit his studies after completing Form Three at Lam Tai Fai College.
'I am now training with my club, Titan Triathlon, full-time and train alone during my leisure time. I can see improvement and I hope to do better at the next time trial,' said Jeffrey.
Though he chose not to train with the Hong Kong team, he has reached the local Squad B standard and this gives him the chance to represent Hong Kong in some international competitions. He hopes to reach Squad A standard at next Saturday's time trial.
As the Hong Kong National Triathlon Championships were to be held the next day, Jeffrey and Vanessa had to save some energy for the most important local tournament. Their teammate Michael Lam also came to South Bay but didn't run in this final leg of the series. 'I calculated that my points from the previous race are already enough for me to win the overall championship, so instead I watched my friends running today,' he said.
Besides the triathletes, other junior runners also achieved their goals. Cheryl Cheung Wai-yin, 19, came second in the Ladies Open category, and the points helped her win the overall champion trophy. Cheryl jokingly said she was running with the aim of buying a new pair of shoes.
'Before the race I knew I would be overall champion if I finished with a podium place,' said Cheryl. 'I was eager to win the title as I could use the prize [cash coupons] to buy a pair of new trainers for the new season. Running shoes wear out easily.' She added that the beach section of the race was the most difficult part.
Friends Li Chun-yin and Lai Wing-chi ran together and finished second and third in Junior 17 Boys. Chun-yin was happy to see that he has been regaining his form recently.
'This race has helped me get back some confidence,' he said.
For full results, visit www.avohk.org