Australia's Vlad Ixel and UK's Zein Williams sprint to victory in Hong Kong Action series

Australian cruises to victory in the men’s race while UK runner wins her eighth straight women’s event

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 March, 2016, 11:31pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 March, 2016, 9:11am

Australian national and Hong Kong resident Vlad Ixel, running for The North Face Team, stood out from over 300 participants by leading all the way in winning the Bonaqua Lifeproof Action Sprint on Sunday.

He won the overall men’s race in one hour, 18 minutes 42 minutes. “It was great. Good distance,” he said. “There was enough uphill for me to make some time on those behind me and a little technical downhill that I was happy with and finished off with running in the sea which was quite good fun.

“I’ll do this race and another run tonight so a good workout for me as you have to go hard on your cardio so I do prefer the uphills.

“You get to see quite a lot of Discovery Bay the whole way,” added Ixel.

There was enough uphill for me to make some time on those behind me and a little technical downhill that I was happy with and finished off with running in the sea which was quite good fun
Vlad Ixel

Next to cross the line was the Italian runner Stefano Passarello from the Italian Running Club, who clocked 1:23:24.

Passarello was excited about his first trail race in a long time and said: “My usual specialty is road running, and it is nice to try the trail running, which is a little bit different, in Discovery Bay, also where I live.

“I am glad to place among the top position. This experience can be the stepping-stone for my future trail races so that I can progress and become stronger and stronger.”

David Woo, from the United States, placed the third place in 1:24:47.

Popular UK national and Hong Kong resident runner Zein Williams cruised to victory in the women’s race in 1:39:04 for her eighth straight Action Sprint victory.

She also won the opening Repulse Bay Bonaqua Lifeproof Action Sprint.

Williams said: “I’ve been struggling this week as I was a bit sick but had to do this race. It was a really good race, missed the reservoir swim, but made up near the end for a little bit of a dip in the sea when the course took us along the coastline.

The most difficult part for me is crossing the peak of Lo Fu Tau, because it was hot and there was no wind which made it more challenging
Zein Williams, women’s winner

“The most difficult part for me is crossing the peak of Lo Fu Tau, because it was hot and there was no wind which made it more challenging. It was a good distance, good format, and good variety.”

Canadian Joyce Edmondson was second in 1:44:19. It was her first Sprint and, as a nurse, Joyce said she tries to balance family, work and the trails.

“It is the third year in my trail running because I enjoy being outside and the scenery in the mountain. I try to get myself out for training at 5am and go swimming and or cycling in the evening. But I always make sure my family comes first while doing all the training.”

Overall Top 5 Men

1. Vlad Ixel (Australia, The North Face) 1:18:42

2. Stefano Passarello (Italy, Italian Running Club) 1:23:24

3. David Woo (United States, Xempower) 1:24:47

4. Seth Fischer (Germany) 1:27:32

5. Michal Francke (Czech Republic, Zizkovsky tygri) 1:27:35

Overall Top 5 Women

1. Zein Williams (United Kingdom, Raidlight) 1:39:04

2. Joyce Edmondson (Canada) 1:44:19

3. Kristin Eagan (Canada) 1:58:03

4. Jinko Takeshige (Japan) 1:59:03

5. Manson Peters (Netherlands) 2:01:55