LUCAS HO HOI-TO Aged 25 Third HK Marathon Finished in 2:51:20 A slow pace killed off any hopes Ho had of breaking his personal best time. 'It was so hot out there and so humid that I felt exhausted at the halfway mark. Luckily I didn't think of giving up,' said Ho, who finished more than 15 minutes adrift of his best effort at the 2001 event. 'That year I ran 2:36 and I was hoping I could better it this time. But the conditions were very harsh today. This has been the most difficult marathon I have run. I like running. I have been running distance races since I was 12 years old,' added Ho, a teaching assistant at a secondary school in Tai Po. My teacher told me to take up running and ever since I have been hooked on it. I trained a lot for this year's race, running close to 120 kilometres a week along the Shing Mun river in Sha Tin. I will be back next year and hopefully with a better time.' JOHN MYATT Aged 43 Seventh HK Marathon Finished in 2:52:05 Nine years ago Myatt woke up in a hotel bed in Kuala Lumpur and decided that he would run every day for the rest of his life. 'I have been running around 12 kilometres every day, rain or shine, and even in sickness, for the past nine years,' he revealed. 'I run marathons for the competitive nature of the event. Today is my 50th marathon. I have taken part in all of the Hong Kong races and finished all barring one year when the race ended in Shamshuipo and I got so fed up running up and down the freeway.' Myatt, a West Island School science teacher and devout Manchester United fan who has lived in Hong Kong for the past 12 years, finished seven minutes adrift of his personal best set 15 years ago in Shenzhen. 'Running every day is good for you. I have not been ill for the past three years.' He says the habit is now ingrained. 'It is like having a shower every day. I have not missed one day yet. Myatt's next goal is the Rotterdam Marathon in eight weeks' time. VIVIAN TANG YOKE-PIN Aged 32 Second HK Marathon Finished 3:12:46 Single woman Tang is so caught up with her work and her running that she does not have time to pursue a steady relationship. 'I have no time to marry. Most of the time I'm running away from the guys,' laughed the 32-year-old stockbroker from Singapore. 'It was a very challenging route. It was quite a hilly course and it was not easy out there. But I'm pleased with my time. When I took part for the first time in 2000, I ran 3:40 so this was a huge improvement. I have put in a lot of mileage preparing for this race. I'm getting better,' added Tang, whose personal best is 3:11:05 set last October in Venice. Even the Italian men failed to catch her. HO KUI-SING Aged 40 Seventh HK Marathon Finished 2:56:30 Devoted runner Ho does not think twice about missing his lunch every day. The Kowloon Bay clerk uses his lunch hour to train for marathons. 'I get an hour off for lunch and I run 15 kilometres every day. Then late at night, I run for another hour or so in Kowloon City,' he said. Ho was eight minutes outside his personal best set in 1998 in Portugal but was is not overly concerned - his focus is on April's London Marathon which he will be running for the first time. 'This race was a stepping stone towards the London Marathon. All my training and sacrifices during my lunch hour and are aimed with this in mind.' Like everyone else, Ho found the conditions hard. 'It was very hot and humid. I think I will do better in London as it will be cooler.' JOHN FRENCH Aged 39 Second HK Marathon Finished in 3:22:17 Late bloomer French lopped one hour off his time from last year. But the accountant has done his sums and found out he is still two minutes adrift of his goal - the qualifying time for 40-year-olds at the Boston Marathon. 'This is only my second marathon and I finished one hour faster than last year. My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon next year which has a qualifying time of 3:20 for 40-year-olds,' said French, a recent convert to distance running. 'I wanted to do a marathon before I was too old. Maybe it is my mid-life crisis! Last year I took part with little preparation, but this time I ran a lot of miles. I ran 10 kilometres two or three times a week and then every weekend I did a half marathon in the country parks. It is nice to run in the country parks of Hong Kong,' added the Scot, a father of two. WENDY FUNG MAN-YI Aged 34 Second HK Marathon Finished in 3:28:29 Since she took up running marathons two years ago, Fung says she has become a better person, emotionally as well as physically. 'I took up running because I wanted to become fitter. Now I find that not only have I lost weight and am much more fit, but I'm also more stable emotionally and have a positive outlook on life,' she said after finishing runner-up in the women's veteran category. A PE teacher at Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, Fung - whose personal best was 3:23 in last year's race - says she would recommend running to everyone. 'Last year I ran alone but this time three of my colleagues joined me. Maybe next year more will join in. What about you?' she asked.