Hong Kong: A Runner's Paradise?
Hong Kong is known for a lot of things. It's Bruce Lee's hometown, boasts the lowest tax rates in Asia, has the world's highest concentration of skyscrapers and throws two rocking New Year's parties (lunar and solar) every year.
But when you think trail running, the bustling metropolis probably doesn't come to mind.
That is, until we saw this article by Rachel Jacqueline in iRunFar.com that details awesome amenities for the trail-hungry and the bourgeoning scene for pro runners and recreational athletes alike.
Routes include the Hong Kong Trail (50 kilometers, 31 miles), the 43.5-mile Lantau Trail (70 kilometers, 43.5 miles), the Wilson Trail (78 kilometers, 48.5 miles) and the MacLehose Trail (100 kilometers, 62.1 miles). Along the trails beaches, forests, scrub, creeks and reservoirs whiz past, and runners can tackle three peaks over 2,850 feet. If that doesn't sound like a reason to strap up your trail runners, how about this:
Several professional athletes call Hong Kong home. Part of the scene's rising energy was the arrival of Kami Semick in 2011, who claimed the prestigious USATF Ultrarunner of the Year title in 2009 and 2010 and helped put the Hong Kong trail running scene on the map. Other local athletes include ultrarunners Claire Price, Nora Senn, Jeremy Ritcey and Stone Tsang, who have all placed at events from the Canadian Death Race to the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji.
According to Jacqueline, the best time to log distance is in the fall, winter and spring, when temperatures are cooler and humidity is low. From October to May, there is a race between 7 and 24 miles long nearly every weekend, as well as several 50+ kilometers races.
So, next time you're headding to Hong Kong, don't forget to pack your trail shoes and FuelBelt, along with your passport. You'll need to be prepared to keep up.