This race wasn't part of my plans. It was Tokyo Marathon, but since I didn't get in that race (via lottery method too! And third time trying!), this race became a secondary option. What luck that I got in. And so did Per for her Half Marathon.
The one hard thing about this race aside from its infamous hilly route was the strict cut off time it imposes for Half Marathon and Full Marathon runners. For Half Marathon, it had a 3 hour official time (gun start) cut off with 1.5 hour cut off at 10km mark. For Full Marathon, aside from the 6 hour course cut off, there were 4-5 other cut offs in the course, with the first cut off at 19km mark (2:50 time). This was a race so strict that marshals will put up a net to block runners from continuing the race! Runners will then be boarded to the sweeper bus and taken to the finish line. Those who refuse will be barred from joining future Hong Kong marathon events! Wow, strictness!
So there were a lot of pressure for me and also for Per, who hasn't done any running in almost two years. She has to cover the distance and the right pace to be able to be a finisher. And she had 7 weeks to train for it, with zero mileage prior to it. Gulp!
For Per, our initial plan was for her to still do the race and do her best. If she couldn't get the pace done, then she could enjoy the sights of Hong Kong city and at worst case scenario she will still be able to run 10km (and get shuttle bus to finish line). But she was still
committed to train and do her best for it. So will see how that goes.
For me hopefully a 5:30 finish time, and try to beat my Milo Marathon 2017 of 5:46. With this target, less pressure as well for the cut off time.
We paid for our fees and booked our plane tickets (via Cathay Pacific promo) and hotel room (direct booking at Hotel Benito as cheaper than through booking.com).
This would be my second time for me
to run the Hong Kong race so wanted to book at the same hotel as we did before (5 years ago!!). Hotel was super near the race start at around 200m distance only so that was helpful. Got bigger room this time for us!
I didn't mind doing this race again as organizers changed the route last year for its 20th Anniversary so at least it would be different from the one i ran in 2012. This also marks the first international marathon that I would do more than once. A new milestone!
We arrived in Hong Kong thursday afternoon and took airport bus to hotel. Some shopping and eating and Day 01 in Hong Kong was done!
Three days left before the actual race!
To be continued..