I first heard about this run when looking at the races available in Hong Kong during my visit there for the last week of December 2008. There were two more races happening on the same day but this one seemed to be the more accessible out of all three (and only one which had an English application form).
Through a series of emails to the organizers, they were able to register me for the 10km race. Good thing I brought my running gear with me as was only able to confirm my registration a day before the actual race. This race also had a 30km event, which is set up in preparation for the Hong Kong Marathon two months later. The 10km event started at 9:30AM while the 30km one started at 9:00AM.
I had no idea how to go to the race venue but good thing the organizers provide transportation for runners looking for a way to go there via bus pick-up points in three different areas in Hong Kong for a fee of HK$30.
My hotel was located in Causeway Bay, a mere 10-minute walk through Victoria Park to get to Tin Hau MTR Station, one of the bus' pick up points (at 6:45AM).
This will be my first time to join a race in Hong Kong and second time to run in a foreign country so quite excited by how they organized it. This will be a fun run as will focus on the sights here in Hong Kong. Too bad I didn't join the 30km race but I know that I am ill prepared for it since farthest I have ever ran is just 25km. Besides, I don't want anything bad happening to me while I am alone here and in another country!
Woke up early at 5:10AM and by 6:15AM, I was heading my way to Tin Hau MTR station where I saw... no one! No runners, no early joggers though there were some people coming from late night partying. It was also a very chilly morning. I saw the MTR station but nobody was there. So decided to go around it where I saw another MTR Exit point but still empty of runners. Oh man! I hope I do not miss the bus because of the many Exit Points here. Finally, I saw some people in running shorts heading to a small street and followed them there where I saw a lot of people lining up already. Talking to two men in Kappa jackets confirmed that that was the line for the Kappa race. Yehey!
At 6:45AM, the bus arrived promptly and we went in. Said bus was filled up immediately with a lot of people still lining up outside. They don't allow standing inside the bus so the other runners had to wait for the second bus. I count 60 seats inside this bus, all filled up with runners, mostly local residents but had some foreigners too (although they could also be local residents for all I know).
The bus ride was long so I was happy that they provide transportations. Pretty soon, we were out of the city and going into the mountains. Not what I expected but it was a nice surprise.
Before 8:00AM, we arrived at our destination where there was a sign that race start is just 800 meter walk on the small road. Cars couldn't go beyond our drop off point so this was the final stop for all vehicles. At the starting area, there were a lot of runners by the time I got there. Seeing as I was still quite early (make that very very early), I decided to sit somewhere and read the magazine I bought with me. Runners keep coming in and did their stretches and warm ups in preparation for their 30km race.
I still haven't gotten my race bib yet as was having second thoughts on doing the 30km! I really wanted to do it but in the end, I had to stop my urge given the following conditions:
1. Water stations will be only be placed at every 5km of the race. I'm used to drinking water at every 2km so afraid that I can't survive the race on this alone.
2. No power gel with me nor did I carbo load the night before. No long runs in preparation for a 30km race!
3. Very hilly course which made running it more difficult
4. Cut off time of 4 hours. I think this I can do but I remember I need to go back early to meet my friend for lunch.
5. I'm all alone here so quite frightening too if something bad happens.
6. No finisher medal for 30km. The 30km runners get the same thing as 10km runners which is a shirt, so no added incentive for me to run.
So, against my wishes, I ended up paying for the 10km race (HK$130), the Timing Chip deposit (HK$100), and the bus ticket (HK$30) to the organizers. And just waited it out.... (more to follow)