SAUCONY took overall line honours as 19 teams braved yesterday's wet and chilly weather and a 5.30 am start to contest the NIKE Endurothon team competition at the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin.
The event was held over the full Ironman triathlon distance comprising a 3.8 kilometres swim, 180 kilometres stationary cycle and a marathon run of 42.195 kilometres with teams split into several categories and all team members sharing the three disciplines.
Saucony grabbed the honours in the men's open category, which allowed for five team members, in seven hours, 42:44 - the competition's first ever sub-eight hour effort.
The quintet comprised top Hong Kong cyclists Hui Chak-bor and Chan Lung, runners Cheng Hin and Wong Kin-on and swimmer Wong Chiu-hei. A marathon time of 2:33:27 was recorded by the running pair.
Second place overall went to the first men's Elite four-man team, Lawman, led by triathlete Mike Law with plenty of help from Jim Stuart, Kevin Mackenzie and Robert Eadie, in a time of 8:08:33.
Another four-man Elite outfit, the KGV'ers, were third overall in 8:08:43.
But the real Ironman performance came from the three-man Top Gear team comprising Hong Kong's leading distance runner Roberto De Vido, former top middle distance track runner Adrian Halkes and cyclist Rob Van Leen.
The trio took on nearly twice the workload of winners Team Saucony and with much shorter recovery periods to finish a very creditable fourth overall and third in the men's Elite category with a time of 8:16:07.
Watson's Athletic Club Elite female quartet comprising Cheng Yuen-ting, Kim Isherwood, Ruth Hunt and Fung Wai-man won the Elite womens' event in 9:16:20.
The Hong Kong Sports Institute's squad won the five-man junior men's title in 8:24:36 to finish fifth overall in the mens' senior competition.