I came to Hong Kong very early, six hours before start. Two options – wait for shuttle bus, or take public to start. Petr chose third go walk across Lantau Island to the start. I didn’t expect so much from the Vertical race which started 5pm, but didn’t want be bored and I walked slowly six kilometres on the road and then four on the trail with part of the race direction to the starting beach.
Really no rush, I sit, read book, did some self-leg massage and waste time. I came to Tong Fuk beach two hours before start and still nobody there. But at five pm was everything ready to run up to Lantau peak 鳳凰山, from zero up to 934 m.
I met Vlad and some international runners, but I was not nervous so much, because know that cannot compete with them. Start – I was 4th on the top just few step before Vlad, and long six minutes after champion Joseph Gray. How to describe the 43 minutes to up?
It was hard, but kept easier on start (don’t measure HR, but maybe only around 185 bpm, 🙂 ) I could walk stone stairs by two, I didn’t run steep parts, and then I change position with Vlad on flat part. Increased distance and was wondering what’s happened. Around three hundred vertical meters before peak had around one minute gap and believed I can do it, but the last ascent was really the steepest and Vlad found his best and push and nearly touch my heels, just few meter before the top – I had to run last steps, pain.
So cool and also so cool and cold view from the top of Lantau Peak. Take rest and run down with Daved Simpat from Malaysia, he was surprisingly behind us (2nd in Kinabalu). Ceremony, some hot food and I was happy, even got some cash for my 4th place in my first Vertical Kilometer. This is finish of first part HK journey.
What next? Where to sleep? Hmm, I decide, because weather begun better and was full moon, stay in hills and sleep outside, even was quite cold. It was amazing, I chose walk around Sunset peak (I slept on the top last time) on South Lantau Trail.
So nice, use headlamp only in forest parts, but rest walked with moon light on the trail. I really enjoy walking over two hours, how easy trail in Hong Kong. And I wanted sleep in some bbq site close Nam Shan. Everything smooth, just three dog push me jump to the garbage box, their owner came two minutes later and were wondering why I am shaking up. Choose sleep on the table close South Lantau Road.
No bad night, just little cold morning and dream about snakes bites (why?). Did two hours hike to Mui Wo ferry, together 28km of hike + VK. There had the most disgusting breakfast which I remember, in MCdoNoEat. Then took ferry to HK Island. How lucky, met yesterday champion of VK – Joseph Gray and chat with him lot, about running in US and Taiwa, etc.
Real adventure was coming – find my hostel in Kowloon. Walked on street and got few offers buy Hashish, suit and shirts (probably nick names for different drugs) and then finally found Garden Hostel. In 3rd floor of old building, I registered via hostels.com; I didn’t expect they will know about me. But they had record of my name – printed by hand in guess book, for male dorms of four (160 HKD). Hey no bad = two bunk beds in 6 cubic meters. Frankly, I was happy for hot shower and looked forward take nap.
I hate cities, I felt much better in the forest of Lantau, but this was probably not bad. Later went out, “Hashish my friend? “, for briefing for next vertical race SHKP – Vertical Run to ICC.
Met the icons of towering – Mark Bourne (champion of 101 in Taipei), Piotr Lobodzinski, Darren Wilson, Suzy Walsham and others crazy runners which compete in the most painful running races.
Check course, you have to run three times around building in intermediate floor, on 364 m of ascent, in 92 floor and 2120 steps. See you tomorrow. Btw, It was so difficult to find some no-meat food in HK, ate some ugly oily noodles. Came to room, read book, did massage of legs, and went sleep early – roommates came very late, but I didn’t heard them across ear plugs.
Ok, wake up and pack stuff and walk to tower. Heat up on the sea side. Nervous, not much, but really felt VK on Friday. Start was fast, first guys were faster. Can you imagine 2120 steps under my 15 minutes (2.4 steps/second = 9.8 s/floor include three flats parts), no? Champion, Darren Wilson, broken record under 12 minutes (7.8 s/floor), amazing. Followed Mark Bourne and Piotr Lobodzinski. I got 8th position, no bad, but more cool.
It was hard, but so great experience. The runners around were so nice and I had nice talk with Eirik Haugsnes from Norway (ambassador of Inov8 and 3rd from VK on Friday) and others. I enjoy the view from 100th floor of ICC, but also enjoy chocolate cake, four or five pieces, in banquet there.
I received very nice glass souvenir. I didn’t take pictures there, but I sit with Piotr Lobodzinski in ceremony, and he was champion of VWC for 2014, OK I took photo with him. Finished one of the coolest weekend. Then I was wondering how to take metal trophy and glass block to the boar of China Airlines, scanning was without questions. No hashish.
Loooked forward for my honey Eva and our big puppy Aqua = I call them Equa. And your weekend?
some picture from VK was tooken, without permition, from Lloyd Belche – Visuals. Great outdoor photographer, I thank him for freeze there.
more pictures in album: Vertical weekend in Hong Kong – MSIG Lantau Vertical Kilometer and SHKP Vertical run to ICC