Dogged to the end
ONLY TWO RUNNERS MANAGED TO finish the 2018 Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (February 16-18) within the 60-hour cut-off, with five others staying the course by completing within 75 hours. Ringing in the Chinese New Year of the Dog, this was the seventh edition of the annual 298-km ultra. The distance is made up of four long-distance trails: the Maclehose (100km), Wilson (78km), Hong Kong (50km) and Lantau (70km) trails, to be run in a single, unsupported, non-stop effort. Starting in Tuen Mun, participants complete their journey by kissing the green post box at the Mui Wo ferry pier. This year, unseasonally warm weather saw the field of 28 reduced by half within the first 24 hours. Switzerland’s Salomon Wettstein and Thailand’s Phairat Varasin made it under the cut-off though, with the other five to complete all from Asia Pacific, including Hong Kong’s Wong Ho Fai and Lu Ming Chu from Taiwan. “The HK4TUC is a low-key, extremely difficult event that requires an elevated level of hardship and endurance. Self-reliance, determination, navigation skills and dealing with sleep deprivation are the focus of the Challenge. The essence of the HK4TUC is about you and you alone in your battle with the trails over a very long, sustained period,” said the event founder, Andre Blumberg. The eighth edition will once again take place at Chinese New Year in 2019, on February 6-8.