Nine-year-old girl upstages the adults at 14km Hong Kong trail running race

Sofie Salgado steals the limelight as C3fit Bonaqua Action SPRINT Trail Series gets under way at Repulse Bay

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 April, 2017, 5:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 April, 2017, 9:40am

The C3fit Bonaqua Action SPRINT Trail Series got underway at Repulse Bay on Friday morning – and it was a nine-year-old girl who stole the limelight.

Hong Kong-based Sofie Salgado finished the 14 kilometre mixed terrain course around Tai Tam Country Park in two hours, 29 minutes and six seconds.

“What I’ve learned from trail running is that you have to have a strong mind and you should never give up, or else you would not achieve a lot,” she said.

Originally from Brazil, Salgado began trail running with the encouragement of her parents, both of whom are passionate about the sport.

“The longest distance I have run is 20km and my goal is to finish a 100km race in the future like my daddy,” she said.

“Trail running keeps me fit and healthy and I also love enjoying nature.”

While Salgado may have upstaged the adults, the race was won by Hong Kong-based Australian Vlad Ixel, who claimed his 50th career trail running title.

Ixel, of the North Face team, achieved the milestone by a 35-second margin of victory in 1:13:27.

“I have never run part of the course before; it’s really nice,” he said after his first time competing in the race. “Beautiful course, great finish line, perfect start line and good weather, I really enjoyed it.”

Irishman Brian Mcflynn finished second in 1:14:02, while Hong Kong’s Gump Wong was third overall in 1:24:07.

“I love trail running because it is a nice way to get some nice fresh air and especially great for people like me who work in the city,” said Wong.

Hong Kong resident Magdalena Cvetkovic of Switzerland finished first among the women in 1:45:29 in her debut Series race.

“For me trail running means happiness and freedom,” she said. “It also means being with nature, loving nature and getting an endorphin kick.”

Briton Jessica Williams was the second woman to cross the finish line, in 1:47:56.

The main race got underway at 8am, before the start of a 9km course which was added to the event this year to encourage greater participation.

Hong Kong’s Pak To Lai won the 9km men’s race in 55 minutes, while German yoga instructor Silke Bender won the women’s title in 1:17:03.