The AVOHK Mizuno Reservoir Series ended at Tai Tam yesterday with US-based winners in the men's and women's races.
Grace Lien Chia-hsuan stormed through the field to win the women's race in a good time of 54 minutes and 47 seconds, but she was disappointed to be missing out on Sunday's Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon.
"I planned a two-week holiday over the Lunar New Year split between Hong Kong and Taiwan, and had two races pencilled in [including yesterday's race]. I didn't consider the marathon until the entries had already closed," said the San Francisco-based 24-year-old.
"I won the junior age group in the half marathon event in 2006 and placed second in 2007, so I would have loved to run the full marathon [this week]."
Lien took the women's title by almost two minutes from Fan Siu-ping, who sensibly chose not to make a race of things as she will run this week's full marathon as one of the three Hong Kong female representatives in the Asian Marathon Championships.
Yesterday's men's race winner, Anthony Chan Gar-jun, felt that his reservoir race victory should bode well for Sunday.
Chan led the men's race from start to finish and clocked 47:20 for victory. Second-placed Chris Wharton was the only other runner in the field to break 50 minutes, clocking 48:38.
"I really didn't expect to win today so I'm happy that my first race of the new year produced a victory," said Chan, who divides his time between studying for an MBA in New York and his family home in Pok Fu Lam.
"My personal best marathon time is three hours and two minutes, but I won't be going for a time [this week] as I'll be pacing my dad," added Chan, 22. "My dad ran his first marathon in New York exactly 20 years ago so I encouraged him to get out and do another one, and we decided it would be Hong Kong."