Monday, 4 October 2010

The Trail Half - Friday the 1st of October

As many of you know, I'm taking part in this year's Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong. It's a gruelling 100km along Hong Kong's MacLehose Trail. With our 4-person team already formed we've been going out to walk the trail in sections, so far covering 3-8.

Last Friday was a public holiday, so I took advantage of this to head out with my (new) brother-in-law, Ar-Wai, to run the last two sections (9 & 10) of the Mac trail. Sections 9 & 10 are relatively flat and about 21km long.

1/10/2010 Trail Run
At the start of the trail.

I carried a backpack the run, but had over-packed, taking along most of my "hiking" gear instead of paring it down. I had: spare clothes and a towel (I was expecting heavy rain necessitating a change afterwards), 4 slices of pizza (I didn't eat anything on the 2.5hr run), 3L of water (turned out to be about the right quantity), Medkit and other "essentials" (including a knife, toilet paper, etc) and some spare compression gear (Zoot calf sleeves). In retrospect, just the water and a phone would have been ideal.

1/10/2010 Trail Run
Wai heading down a hill on the first section (9) along a road.

1/10/2010 Trail Run
Posing at the mid-way point, the Tai Lam Chung Reservoir.

1/10/2010 Trail Run
After the mid-point, the trail followed a path along the north shore of the reservoir, initially, corralled by a bamboo grove.

1/10/2010 Trail Run
The reservoir-side trail.

1/10/2010 Trail Run
Gaining a bit of elevation.

The trail then left the shore, pushed up a steep hill and wound through some rolling hills before a mild decent to the finish. All-up it took us around 2hrs 40mins, which was a fair bit longer than expected. Aside from a brief ~5min walk up the steep hill, we were jogging the whole time at what felt like a comfortable but not slow pace. This makes me think that the ~20-21km suggested may be a bit out, but perhaps running with the pack was slowing me down more than I noticed?

As you can tell from the elevation graph, this sections starts quite high... all the hard work is in the section before!

It's a great trail to run and we did pass a few other runners out there. I'm looking forward to taking it on again!

See you on the trails
~ Joe

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