Hong Kong Island run

Today my Trailwalker team went for a run on Hong Kong Island to train for the big event on November 7. Just over 1 month to go, so the training becomes a bit more intensive now. Over the past weeks I did not really train in the mountains, because there are no real ones in either Shanghai or Holland, and that did not make it easier for me today. Likely the trainings this weekend will also be the last mountain runs that I will do before the actual trailwalker, so they are quite important to me.

I was a bit afraid that typhoon Higo would ruin the weekend, but luckily the hurricane hit land on Hainan and now reduced to a tropical depression. Because of it we had a bit of (heavy) rain, but most of the run the weather was sunny, hot and humid. I did not bring a hat nor sun creme (you don’t need that in a hurricane, do you?) so as usual I managed to get nicely sun burned 🙁

The run itself was great. Even Hong Kong Island, although home to one of the biggest metropoles on this planet, has a beautiful nature. We started off in Central, the middle of Hong Kong’s CBD and ran through Hong Kong Park to Bowen Road. From there it was up-up-up to the top of the mountain, from where we had a great view over the city and Happy Valley. Shortly afterward we could see the other side of the island and from there we ran on to Violet Hill. This all went quite easy, despite the heat.

After Violet Hill we hit the Twins, two mountains connected by a small saddle, high above Repulse Bay. That’s where I suddenly hit a wall (figuratively speaking): from one moment to the other I could not put my feet up the steps anymore. I did not know what happened to me, but I felt intensely tired and could only think about sitting down. Dolphin was right behind me and stopped as well. She quickly analyzed the situation with me and we concluded that I had not eaten enough. For breakfast I only had a cup of tea and a piece of cake from 7-11, not enough for a mountain run. So after two hours my energy level had gone down to zero and my body did not want to go anymore. The solution: a power bar and some raisins. Within minutes I felt fine again and we continued the 1200 steps to the first top of the Twins. There I ate and drank a bit more and I had no further problems during the remaining 3 hours.

After the Twins we went partly down the mountain to Repulse Bay to buy some more water and sports drink (locally produced Pocari Sweat, not sure who came up with that ‘tasty’ name). Because of the heat I drank over 3 liters during the first 3 hours, and wanted to bring another 3-4 liters to be on the safe side. And I drank most of it during the remaining 2 hours through the peaceful Tai Tam Country Park (beautiful reservoirs) and over Mount Butler. We ended at Quarry Bay from where I took the MTR back to Central and did a final run up to the Mid-Levels. A nice run with an approximate 1800 meter vertical ascent.

Tomorrow Marcel Ekkel and I will do another run, 33.5 kilometer on the MacLehose Trail (Sections 3,4 and 5). These include the two most difficult sections of the trail, so hopefully I won’t feel my muscles too much from today’s run. But even if I do I still have to run, it’s the only way to get in shape on time. But now I am first going to eat lots and lots of pasta to fill up on carbohydrates!

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