Race organisers have released a heartfelt tribute to Kwok Yuen-hung, the Hong Kong trail runner who died during the 23.1km race and was discovered on Tuesday.

A search mission was launched when the 32-year-old failed to appear at the second checkpoint of the race on Sunday.

Kwok’s body was discovered at 1.20am on Tuesday morning near Kau To Shan.

“We say goodbye to our participant, in a heavy mood,” Cam2 Sport, the organisers, posted on their Facebook page.

Cam2 Sport changed their profile picture to black and white, to reflect the sombre mood.

The organisers said on Monday that as soon as the race had finished at around 3.30pm, they called the police, fire department and mountain rescue.

Missing Hong Kong trail runner found dead after almost two days of searching

“We are very saddened,” they wrote. “We understand the grief of losing our loved ones, and we pledge to do our best to assist Kwok’s family in this difficult time and give the greatest support.”

Tribute messages on social media have been flooding in. Many runners were following Wong Ho-chung, firefighter and Hong Kong’s top trail runner, who was involved in the search operation, on social media for updates. He posted a message simply saying “RIP”. The community reacted with an outpouring of condolences.

Another runner said: “[Kwok] was recovered and returned peacefully to the sky”.

Running shop Lantau Base Camp posted on their social media, lamenting the loss.

“So sad that our trail running community is one person less today,” Lantau Base Camp wrote. “Condolences to his family, appreciation to all who searched. Take good care out there. Hug your close ones tight.”

Race company RaceBase echoed the sentiment.

“Truly horrible news – our community is missing a friend and fellow runner,” it said. “Best wishes and thoughts to his family. Be safe out there everyone.”

Kwok was pictured in Kwai Tei New Village at 10.49am on Sunday soon before the second checkpoint. He apparently took a wrong turn along with two other runners. One of those runners returned to the correct path, and both of them were enlisted to help in the search after they were contacted by Wong.