Hong Kong trail runner Kwok Yuen-hung is still missing after failing to return from the Cam2 Sport race in the New Territories on Sunday. He did not appear at the second checkpoint and by 10pm on Monday had not contacted his family. The search has been paused over Monday night but will resume on Tuesday morning.
The 23.1km race started near the Shing Mun Reservoir and headed into the hills. The temperature was in the mid-30 degrees Celsius and conditions were very humid.
The second checkpoint was near just after Kwai Tei New Village. The stretch leading up to the checkpoint was very hard to navigate, said one participant. She described it as “bush whacking” and said she had gone off course a few times before realising and returning to the trail.
But those searching think Kwok may have taken a wrong turn near Kwai Tei New Village. Apparently, at least three runners went in the wrong direction at a turning and only one turned back onto the correct course. It is suspected that Kwok was one of the pair who continued. Hong Kong runner and fireman Wong Ho-chung detailed in a Facebook post that the two other runners, the one who went on and the one who turned around, have been identified and are helping the search teams on site, from the wrong turning.
A search and rescue team conducted an all-night search operation for the 32-year-old to no avail. Social media posts suggest dogs have been used in the search effort.
Reportedly, Kwok does not have a mobile phone with him as one, believed to be his, was found in his kitbag along with his money.
A spokesperson for the race organisers said that the race finished at 3:30pm on Sunday, and they immediately knew they were a runner short, so they called the police and the fire department. They confirmed that Kwok at least made it to Kwai Tei New Village as there was a photographer there, who took his picture.
“The fire department have a special team for the trails,” the spokesperson said. “So they already have about 20 people out there, from the trail team, searching.”
A Facebook post by Chung said Kwok was last pictured at 10:49am during the race. The post also indicated that Kwok’s family had contacted local hospitals to check if he had been admitted.
Authorities urged people not to go and look for Kwok on their own. The Mountain Search and Rescue confirmed via Facebook that they are assisting with the operation to locate the runner.
More to follow ...