More than 450 runners lined up on the harbourfront for a gruelling road race. They were set to travel through Hong Kong’s dense urban centre 11km up to The Peak as part of the Victoria to Peak Challenge.

The race is usually 10km, but celebrated its 11th year by adding an additional kilometre. The course snaked through the skyscrapers, along Bowen Road, through the Botanical Gardens and Conduit Road. The final climb was up the Morning Trail and the finish line was at Mount Austin playground.

The race took place on Tuesday, which was National Day, celebrating China’s 70th year as the People’s Republic. The day was filled with anti-government protests. One runner decided to mark the occasion by playing the anthem Glory to Hong Kong on repeat. Throughout the course he would shout slogans and get replies from his fellow runners.

The tough but beautiful course rewarded runners with increasingly stunning views as they slogged their way 500m up from sea level to summit.