Double win for Americans in final trail event of Hong Kong series
"Treacherous", "technical" and "brutal" were among the descriptions muttered at the finish of the MSIG HK50 Sai Kung on Saturday - the third and final event in Hong Kong's first trail running race series recognised by the International Skyrunning Federation.
More than 1,000 runners battled rugged and muggy conditions for a taste of the city's greatest trail running prize pool, with the lion's share eventually seized by the 50-kilometre race winners, Americans Rudy Gilmore and Cassie Scallon.
From the fields, two Hong Kong nationals will be selected to represent Hong Kong at the International Skyrunning Federation's World Championships in June. Race director Mike Maddess said the names were still to be determined.
Gilmore pulled away early to lead the men's field while Hong Kong's Stone Tsang Siu-keung and Australian Brendan Davies vyed for second place.
Eventually Tsang's technical prowess trumped the international running sensation, with Tsang finishing in five hours and five minutes, ahead of Davies, who was a further 10 minutes back.
"I'm happy with the result and enjoyed the run," said second-place Tsang. "It was especially good to have a battle with [Davies], he is so strong uphill.
In the women's race it was a close fight between Scallon and Italy's Alessandra Carlini, with Scallon finishing in six hours and 59 seconds and Carlini coming in a few minutes behind her, in six hours and five minutes. Elite Hong Kong marathon runner Jo Jo Fan Siu-ping was the first local female after overtaking current series champion Olya Korzh in the final kilometres.