Wedded bliss: Australian couple Brendan Hunt and Jade Ross win Hong Kong Sprint Spartan Race

Pair claim elite men’s and women’s races in the opening leg of the Asia-Pacific Championship Series at Kam Tin Country Club in Yuen Long on Saturday ahead of August wedding

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 April, 2017, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 April, 2017, 10:08pm

Australian duo Brendan Hunt and Jade Ross added HK$35,000 to their wedding fund for their upcoming nuptials by winning the elite men’s and women’s races in the opening leg of the Asia-Pacific Championship Series Spartan Race in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Firefighter Hunt clocked 34 minutes, 51 seconds over the 5km sprint course at Kam Tin Country Club in Yuen Long to beat Hong Kong’s Iain Veitch by 30 seconds, with Roy Ng stopping the clock at 35:35 in third.

Physical education teacher Ross, who will tie the knot with fiancé Hunt in August, completed the course which included more than 20 obstacles in 40:52 to claim a dominant victory with Magdalena Cvetkovic a distant second in 45:19 and Colleen Augustin third in 51:39.

“It was good. I really enjoyed the race. There were a few of us tussling up at the front and it was quite a good race,” said Hunt after landing the HK$17,500 first prize.

“I went the wrong way a few times as it has been so windy some of the tape had been blown away and ripped, so I didn’t know where to go and I had to double back a few times, but I really liked it. It is a flatter course than I am used to back in Australia. There were some really good obstacles, I really enjoyed the obstacles, and I was lucky enough to come away with the win.

“I don’t mind the longer distance as I come from a running background. I would say I like the short better as I like that sort of fast-pace, high-intensity race, but I don’t mind the longer distance either.”

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The event was the first of the inaugural Spartan Race Asia-Pacific Championships Series, which also includes three other qualifiers in Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia leading up to the grand final in Australia at the end of November.

Hong Kong is the shortest of the four qualifying events, with the others taking place over 13km and containing more than 22 obstacles ahead of the 21km finale in Australia.

While prize money is up for grabs for the top finishers in the first four qualifying events, the winners will also receive a guaranteed spot in the final event in Australia.

Elite racers will be awarded points based on their rankings from any of the five events of the series, with the top 10 male and female participants – as well as the top three male and female elite masters racers – with the most points winning money and prizes from a pool of over US$50,000.

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“I loved it. I only failed the spear throw which I was a bit annoyed about because I wanted to go burpee free. There were a couple of heavy carries out there,” said Ross, with competitors forced to complete 30 burpees if they fail to complete an obstacle before being able to continue.

“It is not as steep as we are used to in Australia, so it was nice to have some flat out fast running which I prefer.

“We will need to coordinate work and finances, but the plan is to race in the rest of the series.”

The elite racers were the first to take to the course on Saturday, followed by some 5,000 other competitors competing in competitive and open categories, with the event also featuring a junior category with 1,500 racers aged four to 13 competing over a specially designed course of between 500m and 2km.