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ATHLETICS

Stefano Passarello eyes Hong Kong marathon record in Berlin

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 11:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 9:47am
 

After finishing as the top local runner at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday, Stefano Passarello is out to beat the 30-year-old all-time Hong Kong record - "if my wife doesn't divorce me".

"I'm just kidding. She has been very supportive of me, waking me up at weird times in the morning so that I could go for a training run," said the 34-year-old, who finished 30th overall (26th man) with a time of 2:36:50.

His next goal is the Berlin Marathon in September, a runner-friendly course unlike Hong Kong which he believes would give him the best chance of lowering Paul Spowage's record of 2:21:10, set in 1984.

You don't have to run the Hong Kong Marathon to set the all-time record. Paul did it in London so my target is Berlin.
Stefano Passarello

"I know my time this year was way off, but that was because I have had a crazy time in the run-up due to work pressures, and stress related to trying to close balance sheets. I have also been travelling a lot which meant I have to do my training at all sorts of odd hours in hotel gyms which wasn't the best preparation," said Passarello, the head of P&P accountancy firm.

A resident of Hong Kong for nine years, the Italian believes Berlin, with its flat course and pleasant weather, will give him a good shot at rewriting the local record books.

"You don't have to run the Hong Kong Marathon to set the all-time record. Paul did it in London so my target is Berlin. I will try to take a month off work so I can prepare properly," he said.

Passarello, who runs for the Italia Running Club in Hong Kong, is looking at his time of 2:28 that he set on his debut Hong Kong Marathon in 2009 as a source of inspiration.

"Last Sunday was really windy and very challenging. I'm happy to finish as the top Hong Kong runner, but I believe I could have gone faster if not for the conditions and the fact I hadn't had the best preparation," he said.

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