Oxfam Trailwalker will not hold a lottery for places this year as around 80 per cent of the 2019 teams deferred their spots. Last year, the event was cancelled as anti-government protests disrupted transport. It was deemed unsafe to have thousands of runners, and perhaps double that amount again in the form of supporters, travelling back and forth from the New Territories.
The famous four-person team race, which runs the length of the 100km MacLehose trail and takes place in November, is one of the most popular events in the running calendar. Even with 5,000 places up for grabs, the organisers are oversubscribed each year and allocate entries via a random lottery, but not this year.
“Since over 80 per cent of the Open Team slots this year have been filled by teams that have carried their team slot over from 2019, we will not be drawing ballots for this category this year. We’ll announce further details in June after all of these teams have confirmed their spots,” the organisers wrote on Facebook.
The organisers are now contacting the 2019 teams and waiting for them to confirm their places.
Hong Kong was rocked by months of anti-government protests, sparked by opposition to an extradition bill that would see fugitives deported to a number of countries, including mainland China. The protests have abated since the coronavirus began to spread. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the trail running calendar.
“We’re also monitoring and assessing the latest Covid-19 developments and will make adjustments where necessary,” the organisers wrote.
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