A devastating finish saw Jeremy Ritcey win the Sham Tseng Mountain Marathon yesterday, in the second-quickest time recorded in the event. The victory also ensured Ritcey clinched the King of the Hills series after he clocked three hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. William Davies was second in 3:46.25 and Peter Lee third in 3:56.19. In humid conditions, a fast time looked out of the question but no one told that to Ritcey, 33, who took the lead in the latter stages of the race and flew home. A teacher at the French International School in Happy Valley, Ritcey was delighted with his performance. 'It's very special for me because this is my first marathon victory,' he said. 'Early on the pace was very fast and I just tried to stay in contact. I was able to conserve some energy during the middle part of the race and that's why I was able to finish so well. 'It's the first time I ran over the full course and it was amazing. It's a day I'll not forget.' The highlight of the race was a 750m climb up Tai Mo Shan and it was there that Ritcey made his move. 'It was a tough climb but I took the lead on the way down. It's a 20- to 30-degree gradient so I was going pretty much flat out. 'This kind of a race really makes a change from just slugging it out in a road race,' he said. The women's marathon was won by Hiko Takeda Holmes in 4:58.53, with Chow Pui-yan second in 5:12.46 and Lee Bik-sai third in 5:16.25. It turned out to be a double celebration for the Japanese runner as her win also meant she won the Queen of the Hills series. Meanwhile, Stone Tsang Siu-keung broke the course record in the men's half marathon in a time of 2:01.53. Japan's Fujio Miyachi (2:11.03) was second and Piers Touzel (2:11.45) third. Tsang, part of the Fire Service team who won the 2007 Trailwalker, said: 'I had a tendon injury in the build-up to the race. I never thought I'd break the record so I am surprised.' In the women's half marathon, Catherine Leonard grabbed first spot in 2:50.52 with Lise Harrow (2:55.38) second and Tam Kar-bik (3:16.06) third.