If you’re keen to get active but could use a touch more motivation, joining a sports club is a great option. In our feature on sports clubs in Hong Kong, we chat with representatives from three clubs. Here, we chat to Peter Hopper of The Gone Runners Club to find out more about the club’s running activities in Hong Kong.
The Gone Runners Running Club
Name: Peter Hopper
Time in HK: 22 years
How long have you been a runner? What do you enjoy most about it?
I have run all my life but never more so than in Hong Kong. The community is the massive attraction, along with the means of keeping fit and hopefully healthy.
Tell us about The Gone Runners Running Club.
We started The Gone Runners about three years ago as a way to put some structure around what was already a wonderful running community associated with our running shop, Gone Running. Having been involved with other running clubs in Hong Kong, we felt there was a need for something which offered more on the social side and in providing support and advice in how to enjoy, develop and improve our members’ running experience.
Our package includes everything from organised training runs throughout the week, formal training both online and in person, loads of benefits on gear and shoe discounts from Gone Running, and repair help from our partners at Joint Dynamics. We have a dedicated women’s group (45 percent of our club are women, and we want it to be over 50 percent) and social activities including monthly social gatherings, social runs with beers and food at the end, and a great partnership with Scottie Callaghan’s Fineprint and Bravera to provide our members a free coffee or glass of wine for every 20km they run.
Who is a typical club member?
The overriding characteristic would be someone who is simply keen to get involved and meet people.
Can beginners join?
Absolutely, we have a “Getting into Running” session on Monday evenings and a 5km version of our Saturday run, with loads of support to help people get over that difficult first hurdle of starting to run.
What are some of the club’s activities and events?
Monday, Getting into Running; Tuesday, three track sessions in Kowloon Bay, Happy Valley and Aberdeen Track; Wednesday, “Sneaky Peaky” Run to the Peak; Thursday, Tempos on Bowen Road; Friday, Laps of Happy Valley; Saturday, Trail Run (5km and 10km); Sunday, Long Run (usually to the beach).
We have a monthly social at Fineprint, and a monthly Wednesday Evening Social Run, plus monthly Dedicated Women’s Runs. There’s also an online training platform with training plans for Trail, Half and Full Marathons and a training staff of around 10 coaches to help.
What are your three favourite runs in Hong Kong?
Our Sneaky Peaky run on Wednesdays to the top of Victoria Peak; our 15km Sunday run along Sir Cecil’s Ride and down through Tai Tam Park to Repulse Bay for a dip and breakfast; and, for something a bit tougher, the run from Tung Chung up over Lantau Peak, Sunset Peak and down to Mui Wo. We are so spoilt for choice.
What’s an essential piece of kit for runners in Hong Kong?
Shoes are the key piece of kit for me – getting them right is important, so you can enjoy your run in comfort and have enough grip for confidence and yet feel light enough so you can fly when you want to!
What’s the biggest challenge about running in Hong Kong?
… Of course, the climate in summer is a challenge: 35 degrees and 85 percent humidity are tough conditions that should be respected. However, it’s possible to run through the entire summer with the right preparations – and, boy, do you feel fit when the temperature cools!
Like this? Read more on sports clubs in HK in our Living in Hong Kong section.
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