Gi Ka-man's plan to set a new course record in the New Balance Gold Coast 15K race will have to wait one more year as strong winds and a lack competition saw yesterday's attempt fall more than a minute short of the mark.
Record-holder Stefano Passarello was absent, as was Thomas Kiprotich, the winner here for the past three years, so Gi was less than confident about his record challenge even before the race had begun.
However, two late entries, Rudy Gilnaw and Pavel Toropov, in town for this weekend's 100km Trailwalker event, looked like they might just push Gi to the fast time he needed, but by the seven-kilometre mark the Hong Kong 15km record holder had left them in his wake.
"I didn't expect it to be so windy today," said Gi, 28, who timed 51 minutes and 25 seconds, well off Passarello's 2008 mark of 50:17.
"It would have been much better had Stefano and Thomas been here to push me today. However, I'm pleased to finally win this race as I've placed second several times in the past."
Gilnaw finished second in 52:12 and Yip Tung-hoi was third. Toropov finished 12th in 55:42.
"We both enjoyed the race but it was a bit too short for us," said Toropov, 36, who is from UK but lives in Kunming with Gilnaw where they train for trail and adventure races.
"We thought it would be a competitive tune-up for the Trailwalker so it was worth taking part," added American Gilnaw, 27.
Fan Sui-ping won the women's race in 1:03:42, with Lam Ka-yan and Chong Miu-ying taking second and third in 1:05:11 and 1:05:47, respectively.