MOUNTAIN RUNNING

Joseph Gray hits his peak on Lantau as he defends his MSIG title

American leaves rivals in his wake in tough race that finishes with a 934m vertical climb

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 December, 2015, 12:27am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 December, 2015, 12:27am

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American Joseph Gray of Mio Global/Spenco successfully defended his title in the third event of the MSIG HK50 series on Saturday.

Colorado Springs-based runner Gray won the 5km event in a blistering 38 minutes, 35 seconds, just 50 seconds off his own 2014 course record.

I had to run really fast to keep a distance from other runners, so that I could maintain the lead in the last 500 metres before reaching the peak
Joseph Gray

The run involved a vertical km climb starting at Tung Fuk beach and finishing at the 934m tip of Lantau Peak.

Norwegian Eirik Haugsnes was second in 38:47 and Bed Bahadur Sunuwar of Nepal was third in 40:36.

Gray is using this weekend’s race to prepare for his 2016 Olympic marathon trials.

“I had to run really fast to keep a distance from other runners, so that I could maintain the lead in the last 500 metres before reaching the peak, but it was a great race today as love Hong Kong,” Gray said.

Nepali Bishnu Maya Budha was the fastest woman in 51:50, ahead of France’s Maud Gobert (52:30) and Charlotte Henry (54:05).

“I was very excited about this race and very happy that I won,” said Maya, “I enjoyed every bit of the race and the brand new experience in Hong Kong. I am used to hills and would say that it wasn’t too difficult," she added.