Hong Kong Mountain Marathon - Sunday, February 3, 2002
A Great Day for Runners
While the selfless checkpoint marshals shivered, a large, competitive field took advantage of the cool conditions to set many course records and PB's.
The Full Marathon:
Rob Parks ended Alex Morgan's recent run of invincibility and likely would have set a new course record but for a wrong turn. His 3:15:36 was only 15 seconds off Morgan's 2000 course record time. The decisive moment in the race came when Parks pulled away from Morgan up the 1000 stair hell of North Twin.
Vastly improved downhiller Peter Winn and hill climber Gavin Lewis were 3rd and 4th, relegating Cosmo Boy Shih Wa Hing to 5th place. It has been a long time since a Cosmo Boy didn't finish in the top 3, though the flatter, faster Tai Tam course is not their favored terrain.
Adrian King proved that a 2:22 road marathoner can learn mountain trail running, coming in a respectable 8th place, just behind erratic, but talented James Varley and back-in-form Nicolas Gontard.
KK Chan won a heated MV-40 battle just ahead of Kin Hang vet Ho Hon Ming and fellow Cosmo Boy Mak Ping Yin. It was a good day for the Kin Hang Hiking Club with several top veteran finishes and a clean sweep of the MV-55 medals. Pushed by club mates Lui Kwok Sing and Chow Wo Kwan, Lee Kwok Kwong set a new age-category course record of 4:15:59.
One of the most anticipated battles of the day was between Chiaki Fjelddahl and Barbara Stockman in the female open division. Between them, these 2 women have dominated HK ultra running over the past few years (while each still finding time to have children.) Unfortunately, Barbara pulled up with a sprained ankle on Violett Hill, leaving the field wide open for Chiaki. Chiaki went on to finish in 3:38:55, shattering Barbara's old course record by 7 minutes (and several male egos at the same time). Chisato Kawasaki and Cosmo Girl Jojo Fan repeated their Lantau performances to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Emerging star, Patrice Clapacs, dominated the FV-40 race in category record time of 4:12:53. Kin Hang'er Yau Lan Kiu and Cosmo Girl Fung Yuk Ling were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Put several talented guys together and have them race each other into the ground and you are bound to get some fast times. In fact, 3 guys - John Power, Simon Phillips, and Chris Fjelddahl - all broke the previous course record. Unfortunately for the other 2, John Power was fastest on the day (1:50:45) and now holds 3 different course records.
Rob Appleby lowered the MV-40 benchmark by almost a minute, well ahead of Philippe Guillo and Bruce Churchill. Veteran John Cable showed extreme grace under pressure. John took a fall and suffered a head injury part way through the race, but despite being covered with blood, gamely finished the race. While waiting for the medics to arrive, he quipped that he had to come up with some excuse for his poor time, but hadn't meant to hit his head quite so hard while "manufacturing" his injury. Thankfully the medics patched John up and he left of his own accord.
John Tanner wrapped up the MV-55 series with stampeding Frank Pilkington gamely trying to catch him. They were well off the course record, however.
The woman's half marathon featured some well-known athletes, but no close finishes. Rachel Sproston held off Julia Gilkes for the victory in the open category and Grace Miranda held off Antinina Nita Kaplan in the FV-40 category. Margin Hennig (open) and Leung Oi Yim (FV-40) were the other medal winners on the day.
The last race of the season takes place at Sham Tseng on March 3rd and the annual awards dinner will be held on Thursday, March 14th. See www.seyonasia.com for further details.
Results - Full Marathon
Male Open: 1) Rob Parks, 3:15:36; 2) Alex Morgan, 3:20:33; 3) Peter Winn, 3:24:02
Male Veteran: 1) Chan Kwok Keung, 3:37:45; 2) Ho Hon Ming, 3:40:57; 3) Mak Ping Yin, 3:41:43
Male Senior: 1) Lee Kwok Kwong, 4:15:59; 2) Lui Kwok Sing, 4:25:25; 3) Chow Wo Kwan, 4:45:16
Ladies Open: 1) Chiaki Fjelddahl, 3:38:55; 2) Chisato Kawasaki, 4:08:06, 3) Fan Sui Ping, 4:15:46
Ladies Veteran: 1) Patricia Clapacs, 4:12:53; 2) Yau Lan Kiu, 4:25:20; 3) Fung Yuk Ling, 4:25:48
Results - Half Marathon
Male Open: 1) John Power, 1:50:45; 2) Simon Phillips, 1:52:58; 3) Chris Fjelddahl, 1:54:57
Male Veteran: 1) Rob Appleby, 2:05:55; 2) Philippe Guillo, 2:10:28; 3) Bruce Churchill, 2:14:00
Male Senior: 1) John Tanner, 2:28:30; 2) Frank Pilkington, 2:39:42; 3) Hau Kam Kwong, 3:53:20
Ladies Open: 1) Rachel Sproston, 2:14:54; 2) Julia Gilkes, 2:18:50; 3) Margit Hennig, 2:32:30
Ladies Veteran: 1) Grace Miranda, 2:44:10; 2) Antinina Nita Kaplan, 2:50:25; 3) Leung Oi Yim, 3:05:32