After a run from downtown Hong Kong up to the Peak
I got back on Sunday afternoon from a long weekend in Hong Kong. We had a couple of meetings, Grace did a lot of shopping (she managed to fill an additional empty suitcase that she brought from Shanghai), and we met up with friends for every lunch/brunch and dinner. Plus of course lots of good wines and beers during the evenings, which was a good reason to do some extra sports while there.
I always love to run when I am in Hong Kong and over the years found some nice places for an early morning work-out. My favorite is Bowen Road, a flat road without motorized traffic that runs along the hill above Central and Wanchai. The road is about 3.5 km one way, so if you go back and forth you can run for about 7 km without seeing any cars and with a great view over Hong Kong.
Bowen Road, Hong Kong
The downside is that you won’t be the only runner, unless you go very early. On weekend mornings it can actually be really busy here, as many Hong Kongers go for a hike or stroll here and many dogwalkers take the neighborhoods dogs out for a walk. It’s a mixed crowd and that makes it interesting, but because the speeds of the runners and walkers are so different you have to watch out not to hit anybody.
Bowen Road, Hong Kong
On Saturday morning I ran Bowen Road again and still liked it as much as before. The climb up to the road from Admiralty was quite difficult, esp. if you run without doing much stretching in advance (I normally just start running slowly, but that’s not a good strategy if you go uphill almost straight away). But the good thing is that at the end of your work-out you can just run downhill to cool down. I took it quite easy during the run and ran 7 km in about 42 min.
View from Bowen Road, Hong Kong
On Sunday morning before flying back to Shanghai I decided to put my alarm clock and go for a longer run. The weather was nice (about 18 degrees and sunny at 7:30 AM), so I put on my FiveFingers and decided to run to The Peak. I had walked up to The Peak before and had also jogged/walked up to section 3 and 4 of the Hong Kong Trail from Central, but I had never run to the actual Peak from downtown Hong Kong.
I also did not know what the fastest route would be, so I took my phone with me so I could follow my route on a map. I started from Admiralty again and ran up to Bowen Road. Halfway Bowen Road I took a right on the Wan Chai Gap Road, that goes almost straight up the mountain (over 20% incline at many parts of the road). The advantage is that you rise quickly, but the disadvantage is that it’s impossible to run up. It’s just too steep, so I decided to walk up to the top where the road hits the Peak Road.
View to the south side of Hong Kong Island
There I took a one minute break to check my phone’s map and then started running again in the direction of the Peak. I took the Peak Road until the top because of the nice natural scenery on the south side of Hong Kong island, but taking Barker Road (on the north side of the ridge) would have been much faster. The downside of taking the Peak Road is that there is a lot of traffic as most of the cars and buses to the Peak takes this road.
Finally, The Peak
After arriving at the Peak I decided not to go back right away but to run the 3 km loop around the mountain as well. It was not very busy yet so I could run quite fast, especially because this road is relatively flat. Views over Hong Kong are incredible from up here!
Incredible views over Hong Kong from the loop around the Peak
When I finished the loop I realized I had to hurry because we had a plane to catch, so I took Barker Road back to the Peak Road and from there the Wan Chai Gap Road back into Bowen Road. That went very fast, running downhill always means that you can make up a lot of lost time. But I felt that my muscles were hurting every step I took, which was not a good sign.
I got back in time to the hotel for a hot shower, a liter of water and a hot coffee, before taking a taxi to the Airport Express. I felt great after the 15.8 km run (in 1:45 hour) and wished I could do this every weekend. This morning my muscles reminded me, however, that I may have overdone it a bit: my legs were hurting a lot and I could hardly walk down the 2 flights of stairs to the breakfast table! But no pain no gain, right?