Kwun Tong-based lifeguard Lai Kat claimed a narrow victory in the inaugural Sha Tin Mixed-Terrain Race yesterday on a course that featured road, trail and lots of steps. A storm hit the descending trail section of the 9km course just 10 minutes before the 8.30am start, making parts of the section very slippery. However, Lai got such a break through this sector that he held an unassailable lead for the road section to the finish. His time of 38 minutes, 8 seconds, was four seconds better than second-placed Choi Tat-ming. 'This type of course suits me very well,' said Lai, who won the Southern District cross-country race at Aberdeen last August, and also the Reunification Cup at Wan Chai Gap in July. 'I like running the technical trail sections, so today I was able to build a healthy lead to take to the final 5km on the road.' Newcomer Sam Westhead held second place through the demanding trail section but was unable to match Choi's speed on the road, finishing third (39:08) from the 600 starters, and easily winning the men's veteran-one category. Former mountain runner Rachel Sproston was an easy winner of the women's race, completing the 9km in 45:58 for a win over Cheung Sze-lam (48:14). Veteran Gillian Castka was third overall in 48:39.