Think fast: What do you think of when we say “Hong Kong”? A bustling and dense city? Cantonese dramas and movies? Dim sum? Shopping till you drop?
How about a landscape ranging from sandy beaches and rocky foreshores rising to woodlands and undulating mountain ranges? Out of 1,108 square kilometres of land, about three-quarters of Hong Kong are hilly countryside, perfect for trail running.
Happening on the first day of 2016, the Ultra-Trail Ⓡ Tai Mo Shan (UTMT) will kick off at Hong Kong’s highest peak, Tai Mo Shan. The ultra run event will feature three distances: UTMT 162.3 km, TTF 115 km and YTF 50 km.
Once the first starting pistol fires at 5:00 a.m. 500 UTMT runners gathered at Shan Mei Street Playground will wind around the entire circumference of Tai Mo Shan. It’s no walk in the park though—the 162.3 km course stretches across a cumulative altitude gain of 9,032 m, qualifying finishers for the 2017 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.
Later the same day, another 500 trail runners will set off at 4:00 p.m. for the TTF (Tsuen Wan, Ta Shek Wu, Fo Tan) category. Starting from Tsuen King Circuit Playground, these ultra-runners will cover 115 km and conquer 5,382 m in altitude.
A third YTF (Yuen Long, Ta Shek Wu) category will also be open on 2 January 2016, where 500 participants will run 50 km over 3,650 m of elevation. Whatever the distance runners have opted for, they’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Tai Mo Shan’s foothills.
Though the area is the coldest place in the territory, these trail runners will surely have their hearts warmed and adrenaline pumping en route. Passing through connecting local footpaths, forest and country trails, reservoir family walks and ancient tracks, all ultra runners will finish their trail races at the UTMT starting point.
The TFF 115K and YTF 50K finishers will receive trophies while the UTMT runners who finish within specific time limits will receive special trophies. The top three male and female finishers in each course will be awarded prizes too.
Visit the Ultra-TrailⓇ Tai Mo Shan website for more information.
Have you been to Tai Mo Shan in Hong Kong or plan to add that to your bucket list? You don’t have to be an ultra trail runner to enjoy this beautiful place!