You have to be a little bit bananas to consider running hundreds of kilometres through the mountains fun. From the outside, trail and ultra runners look like a group of nuts. But in reality each runner is berry different from the next but the differences make them the apple of each others’ eyes. But what fruit describes you as a runner:

The slow-burner: Banana

Don’t underestimate this runner. They’re low key and blend into the pack, and may even sit a fair ways back at the beginning of races as they take a conservative pacing approach. But they’ve got a big store of energy that can sustain them for hours at a consistent pace, and when push comes to shove they’ll find that oomph to finish with a bang. The non-bananas might think they’ve left the bananas in the dust, but when they tap into that last reserve, they’ll come up from behind and give you the slip.

(From left) Jeff Campbell, Brian McFlynn and Kevin Scallan on the podium at the 2017 Moontrekker. McFlynn, like any good banana, came from way down the pack to take the lead when it mattered.

The speed demon: Grapes

Life can be unfair. While most trail runners, after years of plodding along for miles and miles on end, have not much speed left to speak of, the grapes among us somehow manage to effortlessly switch gears and transform themselves into speedsters, à la road and middle-distance runners. Their stride is long and smooth, at once bounding and gliding. They can whip out a sub four-minute kilometre easily and hold it steadily – after many kilometres of running up and down mountains. Like grapes, they pack a punch.

Vlad Ixel came second in a road marathon three years after his last marathon, and in between has podiumed at everything from 12km trail runs to ultra-marathons. Photo: North Face

The quiet force: Apple – Gala apple, to be exact.

Unassuming and versatile, you'll find this runner in a wide range of races, spanning shorter distances to ultras, team events and solos, fun costume events and swim-and-runs. The apple is just happy to be out there with the community and will feel at home whichever race it may be.

The race addict: Blueberry

Like blueberries, these runners are all over the place. Not in a bad, untidy way, but such that you see them everywhere, at every race, every weekend. They compete week in, week out and never seem to tire of it, sometimes racing on Saturday and Sunday.

John Ellis is a race addict and is known to run multiple ultra-marathons in every month. Photo: Kirk Kenny

The selfie addict: Pineapple

At every peak, ridge and scenic overlook, this runner will inevitably whip out their phone and snap a bunch of selfies. They brim with colour and energy and are hard to miss. It may be hard to run with them if you're trying to get a good rhythm, but they'll be happy to catch up if you run ahead and leave them to their own photographic devices.

A 2019 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon runner cannot resist a selfie. Photo: Dickson Lee

The nostalgic: Star fruit

This runner's heyday has come and gone, and they're nostalgic for the days when they held blistering paces over a tempo run and executed killer workouts with perfection. Niggles and chronic injuries have caught up with them, and while still active and more-than-above-average runners, they cannot seem to put their glory days behind them. Still, they are wonderful repositories of experience and wisdom, so don't be put off by their pining. They have invaluable tips and stories to share if you ask them the right questions.

The capable whiner: Orange

This runner has a tough outer skin and may seem bitter at first, complaining about how tired they are from their week of crazy high mileage, or how sore they are from their latest strength training session. But deep down, they're actually very sweet people, and are highly accomplished runners. The whining is just their way of dealing with the pressure and expectation of performing well.

The incapable whiner: Strawberry

Easily bruised, this runner has a fragile ego. From the get-go, they’ll make sure that everyone around them will know how much their glutes are hurting, how much they’re sweating, how much fun they’re not having. The strawberry runner derives a lot of pleasure from telling everyone how much displeasure they are going through. Running is not the end goal here; whining is.

This packaging for one strawberry is excessive and bad for the environment, but perhaps the strawberry runner’s ego could do with this level of protection. Photo: SCMP

The all show and no substance: Dragon fruit

They dress to the nines in the latest limited edition of compression socks and sleeves. They have the most expensive GPS watch on the market. They have the newest series of shoes at the cutting edge of the market. Their backpacks are stuffed with the most obscure gels and bars. The trails are their fashion runways, nothing more.

The jumper: Watermelon 

Watermelon is about 92 per cent water. The big jumper on the trails might be close to that level. Their shoes will be so drenched that they squelch on every step, leaving a trail of footsteps behind on stone and concrete stairs. Unless they wear anti-chafing underwear and shorts, the watermelon will be in for a painful, salt-caked ride in the tropical climate of Hong Kong.

The stinky jumper: Durian 

No elaboration is necessary.

The durian’s smell is very distinctive. Photo: Agence France-Presse

The life of the party: Pomegranate

Boom! Pow! If you’re running with a pomegranate, you’ll definitely know it. They’re constantly cracking jokes, singing bits of songs, trying out one-liners – all the while keeping pace with the rest of the group. They hopefully know when to shut up, too, when everyone is just a bit too tired to hear another wisecrack.