Not knowing how long my recovery from TDS would take I played it safe. Same as last year I set the Moontrekker as my first race of Hong Kong running season. At one stage (during a struggle on a long training run about 3 weeks ahead of the race) I thought about skipping it as well. But at the end I decided to give it a go. My focus of this season are four 100km races in Hong Kong. Moontrekker is was to be one of my training races.
The weather was good, a bit cooler than a year ago. What was not too good was my position at the start. I totally forgot about the bottleneck at the playground exit. By the time I got out the gate the leaders of the pack were half way to China Bear probably.
It was not easy to get back to training after UTMB CCC . It took me a week to go for a first jog and then another lazy week or so before I was both mentally and physically ready to push again. This all left me more less 2 weeks to train and 1 week to taper as a preparation for Moontrekker. And all this in the seemingly neverending hot and humid Hong Kong summer. I was really glad that my first race of Hong Kong racing season will be a night one with moon rather than sun dominating the sky.
The new finish point in Pui O meant that the race would be about 3km longer than last year. I was not really sure what target time should I set for myself on this new course. But recalling my 2013 crampfest I was sort of hoping to improve and finish the longer course somewhere close to my last year time on the shorter course. As the next few hours would show I was way too optimistic. I also hoped to score some points for the Team UCAN in my first race as a team member in the HK Trail Racing League.
With Echo and Shane before the start
I originally signed up for the shorter 27km version of Moontrekker. Then I joined overnight summer recce run covering the full 40km Sunrise route and really enjoyed the “extra” Chi Ma Wan loop. Then later in the summer I decided to sign up for HK100. Running the full length Moontrekker became part of my training plan for HK100. And so I made the switch.
Before this race I had almost no previous night running experience except that one all night Moontrekker practice during summer. Moreover I never finished a race this long. I had two full HK Trail practice runs from previous winter under my belt (44.5km). However the only 40km+ race that I previously entered (2013 Green Power) I had to abandon after half distance due to foot injury.