Stefano Passarello eyes Hong Kong marathon record in Berlin
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.
"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.