Last year I failed at this one. I managed to complete the first day 50 miler but a shin injury meant DNS the next day. So there was some unfinished business… This year I was determined to finish. I was very well aware that I am nowhere near this sort of race ready. Completing this event and doing so without any injury was the only goal. Plan was to take it rather easy on the first day to keep the legs as fresh as possible for the second. I guess I was not the only one coming up with this strategy.
Day 2 on Tai To Yan – Photo by @the.drone.runner
The weather at the start (midnight between Fri and Sat) was rather fine although it was drizzling a bit. I started in relaxed comfortable pace. It did not take too long before the field spread out and found myself running on my own. This remained the case for most of the 50 mile race. Here and there I caught someone ahead or someone passed me but I had a pretty lonely day overall .
I must say I was really looking forward to this one. Group run following the first half of HK100 route was a great plan for Saturday. I however knew that the whole 51km would very likely not be possible in the hot weather that was to be. I set myself target to make it at least to Wong Shek Pier (about 30km) and then see.
It all started well. The initial road section was easy, the following winding trail section shaded with many streams so sun and heat were non issue. I tried to run economically at the beginning knowing that energy will be needed later on.
This was a short but very special race for me. Firstly our company was one of partners of the race – we supplied the race tees for the runners and volunteers. And I ran this race with my soon to be 9 years old son – as a team – in the family edition. My racing season was officially over after Translantau but I thought that 8km with my junior running buddy would be fun.
My son was taking this race seriously and obviously hoped we can finish good somewhere near the top of the order. I tried to keep his expectations down – after all there would surely be much older kids than him. My other concern was the weather. After our recce run I was sure that he can handle the course without too much trouble but late April heat and humidity could be a factor…
I was waiting till after the Hong Kong Marathon with the decision whether to do this one or not. At the end I decided that it would be nice to end the season with a 50km ultra. And so I signed up for 50km version of MSIG Saikung 50.
I was vaguely familiar with most of the route. I did a recce of the final 12km loop on Mac3 and the first 4-5km a week ago. Sharp Peak I tried during summer. The majority of the rest of the course I have run before although usually in the opposite direction. The only bit unknown to me was the approximately 3.5km trail diversion from the road section of Mac Lehose Trail section 1. I was not really sure what time to expect but comparing the time sheets of Lantau50 and Saikung50 a year ago I guessed sub 8 hours would be satisfactory result for me, especially at this stage of the season.
MSIG Saikung 50km Start