Posts tagged hong kong
9D: Kazufumi Ose & Julien Chorier put up great show!
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Japan’s Kazufumi Ose really loves the 9 Dragons and he proved it in the best possible way by fighting tooth and nail to beat France’s Julien Chorier and take the overall victory. After losing nearly 9 minutes to Chorier on the 50 miles on Saturday, Ose attacked halfway through Sunday’s 50k race and reached the finish line with an advantage of 12 minutes. Magdalena Boulot lived up to her status as pre-race favourite and won the women’s 50/50, although local runner Jcy Ho gave her some stress during the 50 miles race. The 9 Dragons Ultra, with its quite unique 50/50 format, has grown into a showcase ultra trail event for Hong Kong and a genuine test for even the international elite runners who traveled to take part in it.

Running conditions were generally smooth, although perhaps more warm and humid than usual this time of year, particularly on Sunday. The two courses are in a sense typical Hong Kong with a very high dose of stairs and steps. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, as one Ruth Theresia found out. The Indonesian ATM Champion was never in her element and struggled her way to the finish on both days, well down the leaderboards. Still, it was another example of her determination to finish what she starts and learn from the experience.. Many elites, such as UTMB winner Francesca Canepa, threw in the towel quite early.

Julien Chorier and Kazufumi Ose produced a fantastic battle for the overall 50/50 win

Julien Chorier and Kazufumi Ose produced a fantastic battle for the overall 50/50 win

Julien Chorier was one international star who did have the knife between his teeth and go full gas for the win. Kazufumi Ose, winner of the 50 miles race in 2017 and second behind John Ellis on the 50/50 last season, pushed him forward all day on Saturday. Sabah’s Milton Amat, a typical fast starter, tried to keep up in third place. Amat, who had been unable to fight for the ATM Championship at the end of last year due to a malaria attack, was clearly back at his best level. His experience of doing the 9 Dragons in 2018 - 4th on 50/50 - of course helped him to prevent a meltdown, even though local hero John Ellis did catch up with him in the later stages of Saturday’s 50 miles. The Hong Kong-based Australian struggled all weekend with a calf injury sustained a week ago. His grit brought him a well-earned third place, which he then defended successfully on Sunday’s 50k against Amat, Hisashi Kitamura and Salomon Wettstein. Ellis has ATM Championship ambitions this season, yet may need some recovery time first. Kitamura, 4th in the ATM Championship 2018, celebrated one year of ultra trail running by improving from 19th to 5th on the 50/50! On Sunday he was one of the fastest finishers by catching Milton Amat at the end and putting enough distance between him and Wettstein, who had beaten him a day earlier.

There was competition between runners everywhere, but the biggest battle of course took place all the way up front between Chorier and Ose. The Frenchman seemed surprised when Ose returned to him just over halfway on Saturday, he then made a blitz pit-stop at CP5 that caught Ose a bit off-guard. The Japanese runner was again forced to chase and that cost him energy in the final two sections. Chorier crossed the finish line with a bonus of 8’54”. As soon as the 50k began on Sunday, Chorier looked totally in control. He shadowed Ose for approx 25 km until the Japanese began to put on the pressure and accelerate. The high humidity perhaps not in his favour, Chorier cracked and had to let Ose go. The beginning of a cat-and-mouse race till the end. However, bit by bit Ose pulled further away from his rival. Thanks to Dot Track Asia and its GPS tracking platform, it was an exciting finale to follow for everyone tuning in, and after Ose had arrived the countdown began. Over 12 minutes later, Julien Chorier appeared, conceding defeat to Ose by just 3’51” after 17-and-a-half hours of running in two days…

Milton Amat returned from a malaria attack to once again finish 4th in the 50/50 category

Milton Amat returned from a malaria attack to once again finish 4th in the 50/50 category

Magdalena Boulot as expected won the women’s 50/50 category

Magdalena Boulot as expected won the women’s 50/50 category

Hisashi Kitamura caught Milton Amat just before the finish and grabbed 5th place overall in doing so!

Hisashi Kitamura caught Milton Amat just before the finish and grabbed 5th place overall in doing so!

Jcy Ho was surprisingly strong on the 50 miles, running virtually together with top favourite Magdalena Boulot until CP4. There, just before sunrise, the Hong Kong runner took (too much?) time and lost sight of the American for good. Boulot was in charge from then on, including on Sunday where she was unchallenged by other 50/50 athletes. Jcy Ho held on to second place, and in third on both days came Malaysia’s Christine Loh. Nicknamed ‘the Pocket Rocket’ by some, Christine Loh is the 2017 winner of Penang Eco 100 miles and a runner with ATM championship ambitions this season. Including last weekend’s 9 Dragons, she also has all four ultra trail points races in Thailand on her agenda.

Chengdu-based American Justin Andrews dominated the 50 miles single stage on Saturday. An upset stomach threatened to spoil the party for him, but he fought his way to the finish. Philippines’ Koi Grey ran a smart race. Contrary to his usual style, he started out conservatively and then began to move up the leaderboard until he had second place in sight. Twisting his ankle at km 71 ruined his chances. Kurt Evans, Ander Iza Rekakoetxea and Takefumi Yamamoto preceeded him at the finish. The women’s 50 miles was won by Edith Fung, who beat Fredlyn Alberto from Philippines by over an hour. The podium was completed by Mokwan Chan.

The single stage 50k was not a points race for the ATM Championship, but saw some excellent runs by regional top performers. Deng Guomin from Shenzhen beat the course record to win the 50k in 6:09:21 ahead of Yuta Suda and Blake Turner. In the women’s Charlotte Tacquet was strongest in a fantastic battle between several women, including Sandi Menchi - strongest finisher - and 2017 ATM Champion Kim Matthews, who returned to the ultra scene after more than a year of hip injury problems that at one point even threatened her competitive running ‘career’.

Philippines-based Spaniard Ander Iza Rekakoetxea scored a solid 3th place on the 50 miles distance

Philippines-based Spaniard Ander Iza Rekakoetxea scored a solid 3th place on the 50 miles distance

Koi Grey continued his comeback and almost scored 2nd place on the 50 miles.

Koi Grey continued his comeback and almost scored 2nd place on the 50 miles.

ATM Champion Ruth Theresia had two very difficult days but still managed to finish

ATM Champion Ruth Theresia had two very difficult days but still managed to finish

Thumbie Remigio and Patricia Ann Morota completed the 50 miles

Thumbie Remigio and Patricia Ann Morota completed the 50 miles

Bruneian Grandmasters Ibrahim Matnarudin and Ali Ajis Rasil

Bruneian Grandmasters Ibrahim Matnarudin and Ali Ajis Rasil

2017 ATM Champion Kim Matthews made a great return to the ultra scene with 3rd place on the 50km

2017 ATM Champion Kim Matthews made a great return to the ultra scene with 3rd place on the 50km

9 Dragons: John Ellis opens his ambitious ATM campaign
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The 9 Dragons Ultra in Hong Kong is the first SuperTrail of the 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship taking place across the New Territories this weekend. The 50/50 stage race and 50 miles (in actual fact 89 km this year) are both A-races, which means a lot of ATM points are up for grabs. But this being a SuperTrail, and in Hong Kong, the competition is dense. The 9 Dragons traditionally attracts international trail running stars and this season is no different with the likes of Francesca Canepa (women’s UTMB winner 2018), Magdalena Boulet and Julien Chorier. However, just how motivated are they for suffering in this gruelling stage race in Hong Kong? Because even if they say to ‘just want to enjoy’ or ‘it’s just another race’, the 9 Dragons stage race is considered the toughest ultra in the territory and the hyped-up local and regional challengers are for real! Saturday’s 50 miles has an elevation gain of over 5000 hm, and the 50k has a whopping 3500 hm. A lot of stairs, obviously, are included.

To begin with, the top 2 from last year is back: Hong Kong-based Australian John Ellis and Japan’s Kazufume Ose. From an ATM perspective, John Ellis will be one to watch in particular as he has announced to give our championship a shot this season. This “winter” in Hong Kong, not everything has been going to his liking and he seems to have become more injury-prone, but Ellis’ stamina and determination is the stuff of legends and it would be unwise to bet against him this weekend - at least for a podium finish on the 50/50. Ellis has been planning to travel to several races in the ATM Championship this year, which remains unusual for a top star in Hong Kong. A local challenger for the victory at the 9 Dragons will certainly be Law Chor Kin. This Hong Kong ultra specialist won the Penang Eco 100 miles a year ago in very impressive style indeed. Ben Duffus, Jacky Leung and Jeremy Ritcey are local podium candidates as well.

We will be very interested to see the progress of Hisashi Kitamura from Japan, now based in Kuala Lumpur, and fourth in the 2018 ATM Championship. Kitamura - a newbie in trail running - just kept on getting better last year, let’s see how he starts his 2019 campaign. There’s also quite a crowd from the Philippines in the men’s races. Carlo Chiong came to the fore of the ATM scene at the end of 2018 with a third place in CM 50 and a second spot in Fifty Mapawa. Especially the latter was interesting, as he was over an hour faster than Japan’s Tomohiro Mizukoshi. Carlo Chiong is certainly a dark horse this weekend.

And so is Malaysia’s Milton Amat. The sympathetic Sabahan ended 4th in the 9 Dragons Ultra last year and returns to get on the podium - also because he likes to have a shot at the ATM title this year. Amat, who began competitive trail running only in 2017, ended last year as seventh in the ATM Championship and - importantly - won the Bandung Ultra 100: a very technical race in Indonesia in which he distanced local hero Arief Wismoyono and Spain’s Salva Rambla. With the experience from last year in the bag, Milton Amat can cause the upset in Hong Kong this weekend. One caveat: has his body recovered well enough from a malaria attack three months ago. Another 2018 ATM top 10 performer, Michael McLean from Canada - but based in Brunei - is opening his new season here this weekend. McLean is a proper ultra runner, remember Borneo TMBT Ultra last season in which he caught six guys in the final 10 km! He should find 9 Dragons to his liking, although he can also have bad days (e.g. DNF in Ultra Trail Chiang Rai 230 in October). India’s Shashwat Rao is another runner who kicks on the type of challenge 9D poses. His performance kept improving during the 2018 season, let’s see where he is at the beginning of 2019. Singapore-based Vietnamese Trung Nguyen was 2nd in the Vietnam Jungle Marathon 70 and 4th in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon 100 last season: another one to watch out for.

In the women’s, the obvious favourite is Italy’s Canepa and it will be interesting to see how our own 2018 ATM Champion Ruth Theresia fares against her. Theresia is looking forward to her first big race of the new ATM season, yet emphasises that everything is currently based on doing well in France come late August. Other regular ATM competitors will challenge her this weekend. For instance, Carrie Jane Stander, winner of Ijen Trail 70 last September, and also Christine Loh from Malaysia. She won Penang Eco 100 miles ahead of Ruth Theresia in 2017 and has a focus on the ATM Championship this season with, amongst others, all Thailand points races on her programme.

On the single stage 50 miles race this Saturday, we will see several established ATM runners in action. From Philippines we have Mark Koi Grey, who has relaunched his running career recently, Thumbie Remigio and Patricia Ann Morota (female). Spain’s Ander Iza Rekakoetxea will also be right up there, as will Dutchman Peter van der Zon.

We will be reporting from the 9 Dragons throughout the weekend via our facebook and instagram channels.

The 50 miles of the 9 Dragons Ultra starts at midnight

The 50 miles of the 9 Dragons Ultra starts at midnight

Back to slay the dragon again: John Ellis

Back to slay the dragon again: John Ellis

The 2018 ATM Champion and Runner of the Year will test herself this weekend on the HK stairs

The 2018 ATM Champion and Runner of the Year will test herself this weekend on the HK stairs

Koi Grey returns to the ATM points scene on Saturday during the 50 miles

Koi Grey returns to the ATM points scene on Saturday during the 50 miles

HK168: Kitamura trying to get into the top 3!
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The last 100 miler of the season takes place in Hong Kong this year with HK 168. A big run through the New Territories with start and finish in Tai Mei Tuk. This one is very tough as it has almost 12.000 meters of elevation gain. The cut-off time is 46 hours and the race starts already on Friday at 6 pm.

One of the runners to watch out for is Japan’s Hisashi Kitamura, currently sixth in the Asia Trail Master Championship. Kitamura has been improving steadily throughout the year to the extent he has become a podium candidate in every race he starts. For Kitamura there’s more on the line this weekend as well. Should he win HK 168, he would jump ahead of his compatriot Tomohiro Mizukoshi in the Asia Trail Master ranking and become the first Japanese.

HK 168 typically features a strong field of mainland Chinese runners as well, along with some of Hong Kong’s best ultrarunners. Thanks to Race Timing Solutions and Dot track Asia, it will be possible to follow the race live online. Several runners, including Kitamura, have a GPS tracking device on them to follow their positions.

Trackers by Dottrack Asia:

http://live.dottrack.asia/xtehk168/

Leaderboard RTS

http://results.racetimingsolutions.com/live.aspx?CId=16387&RId=6298

Hisashi Kitamura was on the podium already three times this season. Can he score a win this weekend?

Hisashi Kitamura was on the podium already three times this season. Can he score a win this weekend?

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The 9 Dragons Ultra is the 1st SuperTrail in 2019
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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.

The 50 miles race starts at midnight, so there’s quite a bit of nighttime running for everyone in this HK race

The 50 miles race starts at midnight, so there’s quite a bit of nighttime running for everyone in this HK race

John Ellis crowned himself as the 9th Dragon this year, winning the 50/50 stage race

John Ellis crowned himself as the 9th Dragon this year, winning the 50/50 stage race

Top runners on the 50 miles single stage with Harry Jones as the great winner

Top runners on the 50 miles single stage with Harry Jones as the great winner

HK 168 - Tom Robertshaw leaves others no chance
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Hong Kong-based Briton Tom Robertshaw was a class of his own last weekend in the 100 miles race of HK 168. While he initially still somewhat tolerated the nearby presence of Fan Yang and Yanzhong Qin, he gradually began to pull away from the field and finished the race in an astonishing 24 hours and 15 minutes. Remember this was 100 miles. Robertshaw is one those Hong Kong runners who has the potential to grow into a major Asian trail running star, and we certainly hope to see him more often on the Asia Trail Master circuit in 2018. 

Last year's HK 168 winner and third in the current ATM points ranking, Isaac Yuen Wan Ho, did not have the speed to keep up with the front leaders from the beginning, but he did move up during the race and hauled himself onto the podium in third place behind Fan Yang. For Isaac it means no gains in ranking position, but a higher points total that could cement his top five placing in the 2017 championship. In fact, he is scheduled to race Izu Trail Journey this weekend as well still. To note was the great fourth place, not far behind Isaac, of George Major and fifth place of veteran runner Tze Wan Wong. 

The women's race was a battle between Habiba Benahmed and Lv Siqing, decided in favour of the former in a great time of 31:47:55. Yuen Kit Shan, who in the past won UTHK twice for women, had third place in sight, but saw fellow Hong Kong runner Charis Chan return and grab the podium place instead. 

The last weekend of the 2017 Asia Trail Master championship is coming up next and will decide who will be the champions. In the men's four runners are still in the game, while in the women's it's just two and - unfortunately perhaps - if rumours are to be believed the new champion is already a certainly. Stay tuned!

Tom Robertshaw unbeatable in HK 168 last weekend (photo: archive)

Tom Robertshaw unbeatable in HK 168 last weekend (photo: archive)

Isaac Yuen Wan Ho had to settle for third place this year (photo: archive)

Isaac Yuen Wan Ho had to settle for third place this year (photo: archive)

After a good run at Echigo Country Trail in Japan last June, Hong Kong's Charis Chan scored a great third place in the women's 100 miles race!

After a good run at Echigo Country Trail in Japan last June, Hong Kong's Charis Chan scored a great third place in the women's 100 miles race!

HK 168 - Isaac aiming to boost his total
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The penultimate weekend of the 2017 Asia Trail Master Championship takes place in Hong Kong, considered by many still the centre of trail running in Asia. HK 168 is in the mean time also one of the classic races in the New Territories, especially popular among the Chinese running communities. Isaac Yuen Wan Ho will be aiming to repeat last year's victory on the 100 miles and in so doing strengthen his current top placing in the ATM championship. 

The Hong Kong home runner is third at present, but feels Sefli Ahar and Steven Ong breathing down his neck. Contrary to those two, Isaac has already done five races this season and so for him it's about eliminating his worst result (10th in Mesastila Peaks Challenge) by a better one this weekend. He can expect some tough competition, however, as Britain's Tom Robertshaw and Raymond Ching feature on the start list as well. 

The women's race seems quite open with a lot of names who can score podium and the race win. Yuen Kit Shan is a relatively safe bet for a strong result, and also Xiao Jing and Indonesia' Grandmaster Lily Suryani can never be discounted. Charis Chan is another podium candidate. 

Isaac Yuen Wan Ho is third in the ATM Championship ranking at the moment

Isaac Yuen Wan Ho is third in the ATM Championship ranking at the moment

After a tremendous season, Lily Suryani still has energy for another 100 miles this weekend

After a tremendous season, Lily Suryani still has energy for another 100 miles this weekend

Race round-up: Nilsen & Budiyarni new Grandmasters; Yuen Wan Ho scores first ATM race win

While BTS Ultra 100 in Indonesia lived up to its reputation as one of the hardest trail runs in Asia, HK 168 raised its profile once again as one of Hong Kong's traditional events. Both races saw fantastic winners: Jan Nilsen was dominant on the volcanoes, as expected, and Isaac Yuen Wan Ho relied on his amazing stamina to collect a first proper race victory after several podium finishes in the Asia Trail Master series. As such, both Nilsen and Yuen Wan Ho increase the pressure on Philippines' Manolito Divina to win this year's ATM points championship. It will be a great man-to-man battle soon in Clark, location of CM 50 Ultra and the last SuperTrail race of the year with bonus points on offer! 

The women's races in Indonesia and Hong Kong had it in them as well. BTS 100k had a superb line-up at the start, including Ina Budiyarni, who aimed to complete her Grandmaster Quest and become the first female Grandmaster ever. After a fall in the early part of the race that injured her hip, it cost Ina blood, sweat and tears but she crossed the finish line just inside the official cut off time. While she won the Grandmaster honorary title, a podium finish was not possible given her injury. Therefore, the battle for the race victory was between Shindy Patricia, Ruth Theresia and Mila Mirlani. It was tight at the end, but Ruth Theresia nicked it by less than ten minutes ahead of Shindy Patricia.

 At HK 168, pre-race favourite Yuen Kit Shan, double winner of UTHK, surprisingly did not feature at the top of the leader board at any time during the race. It was Yi Hua Wu who was the outstanding athlete on the weekend, finishing over 3 hours ahead of Habiba Benahmed and Xiao Jing. Yuen Kit Shan did finish the race in fourth place. 

Yuen Wan Ho and Yuen Kit Shan at HK 168 this weekend

The second major ultra race on the Asia Trail Master scene this weekend takes place in the New Territories in Hong Kong. HK 168 has become one of the traditional events in Asia's trail running centre and the increase in race registrations reflect the growing relevance of the event, which has joined the Asia Trail Master series and points championship for the first time this year.  Many international participants and some key ATM-ranked athletes are competing here, too. Isaac Yuen Wan Ho, third in the current points ranking behind Jan Nilsen and Manolito Divina, will be trying to improve on his best-three points total and as such edge closer to the Pinoy runner ahead of him. In fact, Yuen Wan Ho can win HK 168 all together. 

HK 168 is actually a bit longer this year and starts at Shin Mun Reservoir. In total, more than 8000 metres of elevation gain need to be conquered, which is of course a significant amount. Also the 93km and 66km races are no walks in the park. 

In the women's race we will see Yuen Kit Shan, winner of UTHK earlier this year, compete in her second race of the year. Another victory, not unlikely, can boost her way up the women's ranking. In theory, she is the only runner who can still catch up in points with Tahira Najmunisaa, provided she wins HK 168 and CM 50. This weekend, Yuen Kit Shan will compete against other regulars in the Hong Kong/China area like Xiao Jing. 

You can follow the action at Hk 168 live this weekend via the Race Timings Solutions portal - partner of Asia Trail Master. Also on our social media pages, our representatives will keep you updated. 

Live Results HK 168

Race Timing Solutions

Yuen Kit Shan is aiming for her second victory of the season this weekend

Yuen Kit Shan is aiming for her second victory of the season this weekend

Isaac Yuen Wan Ho is Talking Trail Running

Isaac Yuen Wan Ho has been running in the Asia Trail Master spotlights since the first race of the year, and he is a well-deserving points ranking leader halfway through the season. A true Hong Konger, Yuen Wan Ho is a runner pur sang, with a marathon PB well below 3 hours. But he can also struggle his way up the hills, which makes him a strong all-rounder and competitive in every race he starts. Two weeks ago he was again in the mix in Malaysia, finishing strong to score second place in the Magnificent Merapoh Trail, equaling his performance of earlier in the season in Brunei's Beach Bunch Trail Challenge. While Philippines' trailrunning star Manolito Divina may have an additional gear in his legs, to finish first you need to finish first, and Yuen Wan Ho has put the pressure back on. Determined to also become an Asia Trail Grandmaster, he will not give up easily. Time to get to know a bit more about Hong Kong's Isaac Yuen Wan Ho.  

Q: Are you and born and raised Hong Konger?
YWH: Yes, I’m native Hong Konger.

Q: Was running something you have always done, or is it a recent hobby?
I have run for over ten years but I started running more seriously with racing since two years ago

Q: Are you member of a running club?
No, I usually train alone

Q: Do you have any sports idols, athletes you look up to?
I would think about Kobe Brian. He is a true fighter, and never gives up.

Q: When did you discover your talent as a runner?
I don’t consider myself a naturally talented runner. But I am hard working and always look for ways to improve myself.

Q: What does your training plan look like? Do you have a coach?
I run every day, sometimes twice a day. Though participating in many ultra-distance races, my routine training doesn’t have lots of long runs. I rather have some quality training for 1-2 hours.

Q: Do you pay attention to your food before a race? Are there any special products you take in preparation for your race?
Yes, I eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. I prefer having real food for the race.

Yuen Wan Ho recently finished second in the Merapoh Trail in Malaysia, reclaiming the lead in the 2016 Asia Trail Master points championship

Yuen Wan Ho recently finished second in the Merapoh Trail in Malaysia, reclaiming the lead in the 2016 Asia Trail Master points championship

Q: What is your best time on the road marathon?
My personal best time is 2:53.

Q: At the Beach Bunch Trail Challenge, you mentioned you like runnable courses more than mountainous courses. Do you feel trail running is sometimes too much hiking instead of running?
Trail Running has many elements. I started my ultra "career" with road running and speed work is an important part of my routine training. Of course,  solid power walking or hiking is critical when you come to some more technical courses.

Q: · You must have an incredible recovery system. Seven days after the gruelling UTHK 156 you already did another trail marathon in Brunei and came second there. 
Those two races have very different characteristics. There were many stairs in UTHK while Brunei was very runnable. I paid attention to active recovery after the UTHK race, proper post-race meals, enough sleeping, massage, etc. and I did not push myself too hard in the race.

Q: Do you know your hematocrit level (percentage of red blood cells in your blood)?
I have no idea

Q: Hong Kong is of course the centre of Asian trail running. How did you experience this sudden boom of events in the HK area?
I think it started with HK 100, the first sole hundred kilos ultra-distance race. Hong Kong has the advantage of the easy accessibility to country parks and variety of terrains. Many elite runners either station themselves in Hong Kong or come here for races, which also helps to improve the level of local athletes and events.

Q: If you were a race director in Hong Kong, what would you change? 
As you mentioned, Hong Kong is already the mecca of Asian trail running. I would like to see a concept of series races like the Ultra-Trail World Tour adopted in Hong Kong. Runner get most points in selected races and get awarded or ranked, like in the Asia Trail Master series.  

Q: What is your dream as a trail runner?
I want to be a race director at some point of time and introduce my favourite trails to people. 

Q: What is your favourite race?
Many. Currently I still focus on races in my hometown in Hong Kong. Vibram HK 100 is a grand stage for international elite runners. Yet, the North Face Hong Kong 100 brings you to the best scenery of the city. Races in South East Asia are still developing but the hospitality there is brilliant.  

Q: What do you think about the Asia Trail Master series?
Asia Trail Master not only focuses on bigger races but also incorporates relatively low profile races which is a good idea. It helps to promote the overall standard of trail running in the region and also bring runners to some secret places.

Q: You are again in the lead in our 2016 points ranking. However, some other good runners will catch up for sure. What is your plan to defend your first spot?
I feel some runners are in a better position than me. I completed three races and I am satisfied with my results so far (4th, 2nd and 2nd, kvdv) . Now I need to try and improve on some of those results to increase my total points tally a bit more.  It would be a good achievement if eventually I could stay in the top 3 in Asia Trail Master Championship by the end of the year.

Q: Would you like trail running to become an Olympic sport in the future?
Considering the rising popularity, I think Trail Running has the quality to become an Olympic Sport. It gives runners an ultimate target and promotes the sport to a community level.

Thank you very much for this Q&A, and good luck on your Grandmaster Quest and in defending your first spot in the 2016 Asia Trail Master championship!

HK 168 second Hong Kong ultra to join the Asia Trail Master series

We are happy to announce that HK 168 will be the second points-scoring race in Hong Kong in the 2016 Asia Trail Master series. Already a traditional ultrarunning event on the local territory's race calendar, the 4th edition of HK 168 will be organised on the weekend of 5/6 November. Three race distances qualify for points: 173km, 93km and 63km. 

Organiser Felix Shun from the company XTE is regularly hosting outdoor and trail running events, and not only in Hong Kong. His flagship event, HK 168, has been maturing over the past few years and is a great addition to the Asia Trail Master series. Centre of the event is the Shing Mun Reservoir in the New Territories, even though the long distance race starts all the way east at Pak Tam Chung. HK 168 overs ome f he ost eautiful cenery n ong ong, ncluding emote illages, ncient orests, ature rails, eservoirs nd teep ills. It is a true ultra endurance race with 8200 metres of elevation gain on the 173km. 

An interesting event for the Grandmaster Quest, as two race distances qualify for 1 point as well. 

Registration for the event is already open via this link. Key details on accommodation options can be found on our event cover page and on the event website
 

Map of the two longest race distances at HK 168

Map of the two longest race distances at HK 168