Flying the flag at Country of Origin
IN CONTRAST TO THE menacing grey skies, a plethora of national flags and colours were on display around the humid trails of Lantau on Saturday April 23 for the second annual 30km ‘Country of Origin' trail run. Running together in t heir national squads of three, many in costumes with props and others in country colours, all the different teams battled each other around a course that took them over several mountains on Lantau. The Japanese sailormoon bunch captured hearts and attention while everybody waited for the race to begin, while over-enthused Taiwanese runners yelled at the top of their lungs to encourage their team members. Maintaining their lead, John Ellis who ran in his Speedos and a surf rescue cap along with his teammates Vlad Ixel and Darren B e n s o n , t h e Auss i e s c l a i med v i c tor y i n t hre e hours and 31 minutes. In the women's race, the Kin Hang Ladies of Hong Kong surged ahead from the start to leave their closest competition s t u c k i n t h e mud, f i n i s h i n g in four hours and 51 minutes and securing a hometown win. This year, there were also two teams that participated from Free To Run, an organisation that supports refugee women from conflict areas through track training and hiking. Both teams successfully completed the race in less than nine hours.