UTMB Training No 26 – Mr Bump on Lantau

I ventured to Lantau after few weeks to join one these infamous Vince’s insane summer runs. Plan was to to do Lantau Trail from Mui Wo to Tai O and then the coastal trail to Tung Chung.

The weather hot and sunny so the heat was always going to be a challenge. I had some stomach issues the night before. Lack of sleep and some dehydration meant that I was not starting this run in the sharpest shape.

We were quite big group but after short break in Nam Shan we split into several smaller groups. Soon I was all on my own climbing up Sunset Peak. It was brutally hot at first but as I climbed higher I made it into the clouds. That made Sunset Peak section rather pleasant (or as pleasant as one can hope on 30+C day).

The rather pleasant weather continued also on the way up to Lantau Peak (thanks to the cloud covering both peaks). I was going in steady pace – strong enough to feel some effort but easy enough to keep some energy for later on.

The descent from Lantau Peak was a nightmare… I have done this so many times but this time for some reason I just kept slipping and falling. Sure the steps were wet and slippery but I had navigated them in this condition before without any troubles. This time I just could not avoid slips and few falls. One fall resulted in nice bruise on right ankle. Another one was full on landing on my left side. While falling my main thought was not to land on my ribs – I could not face another cracker… So I landed on my arm and my hip and thigh. Everything was sore but overall OK. I could continue. Later on when I had chance to inspect that thigh I could see large bruise in many colours…

After few more slips and stumbles I finally made it down to the sticks. From there I opted for the proper Lantau Trail option – the longer way to Ngong Ping 7/11. Here there was no cloud cover to cool me down. This was serious suffer fest in the heat. I walked most of this loop…

When I reached the 7/11 I saw Vic and Paul (they took shortcut) and a bit later also Vince (another one taking the shortcut). After refuelling and refilling our drink reservoirs we continued. Vic went a bit ahead, me and Vince followed him. We ran the road section. But then when we started the trail climb Vince started to complain about overheating. I also started to have doubts I would be able to push through those exposed section that were ahead in my weakened condition. We took a short break considering our options. After a while (after seeing few runners running some illegal race in opposite direction) we decided to turn back and take the road to Shek Pik.

This still was a solid 20+km outing with good hill training but I did miss that extra distance that was originally planned. But turning around was probably the smart option under the circumstances.

Link to Strava here

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