Disabilities no barrier to Trailwalker ambitions
'Fearless Dragons' to test their perseverance and challenge physical limitations
One of the most popular events in the Hong Kong sporting calendar this year will for the first time feature teams composed entirely of visually and hearing-impaired athletes.
Oxfam Trailwalker - a gruelling 100-kilometre race along the MacLehose Trail - will be held from November 15 to 17. The 4,800 participants will take part in teams of four.
The teams this year will include eight visually and hearing-impaired athletes who have come together to form two teams, collectively known as the "Fearless Dragon".
Team member Galant Ng said yesterday they hoped to finish the challenge within 30 hours.
By joining the race, the teams hoped to demonstrate their strength and perseverance, as well as challenge their physical limitations, Ng said.
The event is a fundraiser for Oxfam, which is dedicated to fighting world poverty.
"We should try our best not only to finish the trail but also to raise as much as possible for Oxfam," said Chan Kwok-keung, who has participated in Trailwalker 17 times.
Since 1996, more than 77,000 hikers have raised HK$393 million to help Oxfam's work.
The international charity hopes to raise HK$30 million from this year's event.
The Trailwalker began in 1981 as a Gurkha-led training exercise for soldiers, but was opened to the public in 1986.
In recent years, the race has been dominated by soldiers from the People's Liberation Army.
PLA teams were victorious in 2009, 2010 and 2011, before stepping aside last year due to "work circumstances".
In 2009, the PLA team faced complaints that it had too many support runners.
A spokesman for the PLA yesterday said it had no plans to field a team in this year's race.