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Runners push to ‘beat the sun’ by finishing before it rises, but this year’s MoonTrekker is cancelled. Photo: Handout

MoonTrekker cancelled as coronavirus continues to create uncertainty in race calendar

  • One of the most popular races of the trail running calendar, due to take place in October, has been held every year since it started 12 years ago

The Barclays MoonTrekker has been cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cast a long shadow over the sporting calendar. The event is one of the most popular races of the year, with avid trail runners, teams and novices all scrambling for places as the spots disappear within minutes of the entry process going live.

“Due to the current uncertainty with the Covid-19 situation, it is with great regret that we have taken the decision to cancel this year’s Barclays MoonTrekker,” the organiser posted on Facebook.

“We delayed taking the decision as long as possible. However, given the current situation we are not confident we are able to go ahead in October in a safe and responsible manner, as well as maintaining our trademark event experience.”

The MoonTrekker has three distances – 30km, 40km and 50km – and was to start at 8:10pm on October 23. The night race takes runners around Lantau and over Lantau Peak, challenging the participants to “beat the sun” by arriving at Cheung Sha beach before it rises. This is the first time since MoonTrekker’s inception 12 years ago that it has been cancelled.

Hong Kong is experiencing another spike in coronavirus. The city seemingly had it under control and relaxed its social distancing measures, but the return of cases has prompted the most severe rules yet, including the requirement to wear masks on public transport and indoors, shutting restaurants after 6pm and restricting group sizes to four or less.

MoonTrekker is the latest in a host of sporting events to be cancelled, including the Hong Kong Sevens and other trail races.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: MoonTrekker cancelled as virus tightens its grip