By: Michelle Wonderland
Have fun runs and marathons left you feeling like you’ve been running on empty lately? Roadrunners beware: long distance trail running is growing in popularity, making your average 10k look like a walk in the park. Unleash your inner trailwalker and step the right foot forward into the world of trail running and vertical races, where green scenes and going the distance make for better endorphins release than asphalt running. We bring you our guide to Hong Kong trail runs and nighttime trail walks for the remainder of 2014. Hiking Hong Kong just got real.
Raidlight Lantau – May 10, 2014, 6pm (20km)
The first of the two HK Stairmaster Series, Raidlight Lantau is 20km of trail running that follows the Lantau Trail. Beginning at the starting point at Nam Sham, runners traipse their way over Sunset Peak, Lantau Peak, Giant Buddha, and Ngong Ping, and back again to Nam Sham.
Raidlight Twins – May 24, 2014, 6pm (10km)
Although the second of the two HK Stairmaster series is half the length, it boasts over 1000 meters in elevation gain, making it a challenging trail run for participants. Picking up near Parkview at Tai Tam Reservoir Road, runners wield their way down hundreds of stairs to Stanley Gap Road, turning back again to the starting point at Tai Tam.
Dark 50 Mountain Marathon Sai Kung– May 17-18, 2014, 11:30pm (30km and 50km)
Have you had your fill of Sai Kung trails? Didn’t think so. Break out your Asics or New Balance kicks for this whopper of a trail run – available in half-course (30km) and full-course (50km) lengths to satisfy the ruddiest of warriors
Midsummer Night Races – June 28, July 19, and Aug 9, 2014, 7pm, (all are 10km)
This is Hong Kong hiking at three locations: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and New Territories set the scene for the three 10km Midsummer Night Races. Runners have 3 hours to complete these courses that make their way through Sha Tin, Tai Tam, and Shing Mun Reservoir/MacLehose Trail (respectively).
Mid-Autumn Race – Sept 6, 2014, 8pm (5km, 11km, 18km)
Explore family trail running through the forest at Mid-Autumn Race’s 5km Family category, or go the distance in the 11km Leisure category. Intrepid movers can take part in the 18km Challenge run.
Barclays MoonTrekker – October 25, 2014, 9pm and 11:20pm, (40km and 27km)
From Mui Wo to Cheung Sha Beach, Barclays MoonTrekker consists of a moonlit race (27km) and a sunshine course (40km), spanning Lantau Island’s challenging trails and gorgeous lookout points. Already in it’s sixth year, the MoonTrekker is considered Hong Kong’s most exciting overnighter!
MacLehose 45 Trail Challenge, Oct 25 & 26, 2014, 6:30pm, (45km)
If your stamina says “YES” to the thought of 18 hours of trail walking, the MacLehose 45 Trail Challenge is for you. Skimming MacLehose Trail Stage 4 to Stage 8, this two-day challenge is not for the faint hearted.
Oxfam Trailwalker – Nov 14, 2014, (100km)
The 38th Oxfam Trailwalker is the granddaddy of all trail runs. As one of the largest fundraiser sporting events in Hong Kong, teams of four are given 48-hours to span the 100km MacLehose Trail, all in the name of supporting Oxfam’s poverty and emergency relief efforts in Africa and Asia.
HK 168 – Nov 29 & 30, 2014 (168km and 84km)
Super troopers, take note: the HK168 ultra endurance race will blow your mind. Experience two days hiking in lush Hong Kong greenery, starting at Pat Sin Leng Country Park, and rising to the challenge of an elevation gain of 6700 plus meters. This uber run has a time limit of 38 hours, where participants are taken through 4 different sections featuring amazing forests, reservoirs, and remote villages set in a land back in time. Even the half race is 84km.
SHKP Vertical Run: Race to ICC – December 7, 2014
The last leg of the Vertical World Circuit, this Grand Finale will get your heart pumping with an 82-storey climb up International Commerce Centre. Yep, that’s 2,120 steps, and 484 meters. Are you game? We’ll be watching safely from below.