A decision by Hong Kong marathon organisers to shorten the section along the Tsing Ma Bridge has disappointed runners who enjoy taking in the spectacular views during the race. In a Facebook post, the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association said it was modifying the route to “reduce the traffic disturbance” towards town from Tung Chung and Hong Kong International Airport. The route for the full marathon would be lengthened along other sections, but the organiser was unable to provide details at the moment. The route for the half marathon does not include the bridge. Road to Rio: I cried many times but I made the Olympics in the end, says Hong Kong marathon star Christy Yiu It also clarified that the lower deck of the bridge would not be used as part of the route, contrary to reports in some media outlets. Alice Zhao Man Feng, an avid marathon runner, said it was a pity the bridge section would be shortened. “Previously, I only took part in half marathons, but I purposely trained for the full marathon in 2015 and 2016 so that I could run on such an iconic spot,” she said. Zhao said she enjoyed the scenery when running along the bridge and that people, herself included, used the marathon as a rare opportunity to take photographs along the bridge. The Tsing Ma Bridge, which spans 1,377 metres and links Hong Kong Island to Lantau, has been part of the route for the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon since 1998, a year after it opened. Anders Lau, who competed in the last two races, said the change did not bother him much as by the time he reached that stretch it was usually quite crowded with runners and race helpers, which blocked the sea views. Lau said he was more concerned about his time and did not focus on the scenery. In fact, he hoped that by shortening the bridge stretch, the sections in city areas, which he enjoyed running along the most, would be lengthened. “There are a lot more people providing support in city areas, which can be encouraging. Many stretches of the marathon are along highways, where there are fewer supporters, which can make you feel quite lonely,” he said. The marathon will be held on February 12 next year, unlike the previous two years, in which the race was brought forward to January. That is because the beginning of the Lunar New Year falls in the second half of January, when there would be festivities and the Hong Kong Brands & Products Expo in Victoria Park, which was the finishing line for the marathon, the association said. As was the case this year, runners next year will head to Argyle and Cherry Streets in Kowloon, then Ling Cheung Road before going to the West Kowloon Highway. The move was intended to eliminate a bottleneck in Canton Road and helped organisers to squeeze in an extra 1,000 runners for this year’s race, taking the total to 74,000.