The 9 Dragons Ultra is the 1st SuperTrail in 2019
SuperTrail races are important in the context of the Asia Trail Master Championship as they provide 50 bonus points to all finishers, and that can make a difference down the line. SuperTrails of course also tend to have a very strong field of participants, so scoring a top placing is by no means a given. Also in the upcoming 2019 ATM season, we will have 6 SuperTrail races in 6 different countries. The first one will be Hong Kong and the only stage-race in the championship, the 9 Dragons Ultra on 1-3 February 2019.
RaceBase Asia has scored a hit with the 9 Dragons Ultra in the very competitive world of trail running in Hong Kong. While it is relatively easy to set up ‘the toughest race’ in the territory, it is much harder to also add meaning to such a project. The event is built upon a popular Chinese legend featuring boy emperor Bing of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 13th century. As the event website describes:
“Legend goes that Kowloon was named in the year 1278 by the boy Emperor Bing, of the Southern Song Dynasty. Noticing the eight hills of Kowloon (Kowloon Peak, Tung Shan, Tate's Cairn, Temple Hill, Unicorn Ridge, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Crow's Nest), the emperor was pleased to name them the “Eight Dragons”—but a quick-witted courtier pointed out that the emperor was a dragon himself, making it nine dragons.”
The 9 Dragons Ultra covers the 8 hills and is looking for the 9th dragon, the winner of the 50/50 stage race in particular.
The 50/50 concept makes the event very special, as it is rarely done in the world. 50 miles on Saturday, 50 km on Sunday. This is also the main event, although people can also opt to run either the 50 miles or the 50 km as a single race. For the ATM Championship, the 50/50 stage race and the 50 miles single stage are recognised as SuperTrail races.
At midnight on 1 February, the 50 Mile course starts at the Po Leung Kuk Jockey Club Tai Tong Holiday Camp near Yuen Long, and finishes at Tai Po Tau Playground, an 8 minute walk to/from Tai Wo MTR (East Rail line). It crosses Kowloon and the New Territories in Hong Kong from West to East. This course is serious business with more than 5000m of elevation gain! The cut-off time is 7 pm, which implies you have 19 hours to complete the 87 km trail course.
The 50km course starts at the same Tai Po Tau Playground, and finishes at Shing Fung Studios in Kowloon, running from North to South. This is not a cooling down run at all with more than 3100m of vertical gain as well. You have 12 hours and 30 minutes of time to complete the distance.
Registration for the event is going well and places are limited. Secure your spot as soon as possible via the online registration system. All details about the event can be checked on the informative event website.