Ultra delight for long-distance runners in Hong Kong
Hong Kong junior half-marathon record holder Nestor Wong Wai-chung romped away with both the senior and overall title in the inaugural 50km Rotary HK Ultramarathon in Central on Sunday.
About 1,000 runners took part in the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association-endorsed event, lapping a 1km stretch of Lung Wo Road.
The route came in for criticism in the build-up to the race, but runners appeared happy with the course.
"I like the route and I don't find it boring," said Wong, who clocked three hours, 24 minutes and 20 seconds. His girlfriend, Amber Wong Mei-yan, scooped the women's senior title in four hours, 53 minutes and 27 seconds.
"Another thing I like is that I can see my girlfriend very often. She was very supportive and we have never experienced that before," said Wong.
Women's overall and master 1 category winner Julie Beatty, 39, was also complimentary about the route.
"I know there were people saying it would be boring to go back and forth," said Beatty, a New Yorker based in Hong Kong since August. "But I like it. When I was struggling I looked up and saw the amazing buildings. "
She completed her debut in the ultramarathon in four hours, two minutes and three seconds.
The Fire Services Department team A won the relay race in two hours, 55 minutes 34 seconds.
One of the organisers, Belinda Yeung Bik-yiu, said Rotary and the HKAAA had already committed to organising the race together for at least two more years.
"We will keep expanding. Next year we hope to extend the distance to 60km, with longer laps and overseas runners," said Yeung.