Sunday, March 3, 2013

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2013 – 10km

Date: 24 February 2013
Venue: Hong Kong
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.08km)
Timing: 52:10 (Gun); 51:51 (Chip); 51:53 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:08 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 9th (AG); 50th (Women); 690th (Overall) (results here; overall results here)

Previous years’ recap here and here.

Well, what can I say other than I’m a medal hunter? Actually, scrap that, it’s not true. Third year running the event but I guess this was more of a shopping and meet-up-with-friends trip. Let’s get back to the race proper.

Seen along the escalator in the CWB MTR station.

On offer were the usual 42, 21 and 10km with a record 70,000 registered runners: 12,000; 18,000 and 34,000. The FM and HM started on the mainland while the 10km over on the island but with all categories finishing at Victoria Park.

The 10km was the same route as the previous editions: out-and-back along the Eastern Island Corridor with 5 wave starts. Ok, can I cut and paste from the previous years’ recap?

Run, Blog, Repeat.

If you thought last year was crowded, it was worse this year. Could not hit my pace until after km2. And OMG – it was headwinds for most of the route, not just this section.

Yay for cheering crowds at the overhead bridge around km2.5-3; run along and soon a switchback just before km4. Km4 marker was also the first hydration station (2 stations, 4km apart).

Back on the expressway or rather the wider section of it – it was a long, never ending route with an uphill around km6-7. And the next hydration station; shout out goes to the volunteers manning this point as they clapped, cheered and offered words of encouragement eg “just a bit more” etc (in Cantonese). Overhead on this stretch was also a photographer commenting that he finally got a good shot…I hope it was me! Am still trawling the interweb for pics.

Very close to the finishing and unlike the previous year, felt stronger (notwithstanding the recovering torn hip) even on the last steep 100m up the turnaround heading into Victoria Park where even more cheers, claps await you as you run down the finishing chute.

All in, a fabulous race. Would I do it again? Maybe not – the event is getting more popular and they’re likely to increase the numbers next year notwithstanding that the organization was and is top notch. Plus the route is turning “stale” (at least for me). Perhaps the HM next year? We’ll see.


a) HKAAA put on another fabulous and well organized event.

b) Distance markers every km; there were some {minor} variances in the middle miles but it more or less sorted itself out.

c) Hydration stations – long (maybe 100m?) + on both sides. How can you argue with that?

d) Easy peasy race bib collection – in and out in under 5 minutes.

e) The volunteers – from the bib collection to the finishing point: ever so helpful, cheerful. Shoutout to those manning the second hydration station at km7-8 – fantastic encouraging words to runners.

f) Crowd support along the route – above the pedestrian bridge around km2.5 and on the same bridge after the turnaround.

g) Post race traffic management was great: run past the chute, collect your goodie (filled with everything you need eg water, isotonic, pear, banana, heat rub) and you’re out of there.

h) Coordination with the MTR authorities with trains starting early.

i) Coral starts for your expected finishing times.


a) “Fantastically” crowded even with the closure of the EIC and corals. Gathered more than a few runners, including the leads and the eventual women’s winner, fell at the start.

b) They really have to do something about the registration; the system couldn’t handle the overload on the first day of registration and it took a few hours for a few of us to finally be able to register and pay. Some of us were stuck trying to get to the registration page, some on the participant’s details page, some at the payment portal etc. The race is becoming more popular (evidenced by the 8-hour sell out on the FM and HM) and the organizers should have expected a flood of registration and increased the capacity of the system, even with the 10k registration pushed back 1-2 weeks after that. Notwithstanding this, all 3 categories experienced system clogging.

Photo log:

Bib collection at Victoria Park – gotta give a shout out to the super helpful and cheerful scouts

Swag with the medallion of this year’s Chinese Zodiac

Runners along Causeway Bay and the cheerleaders; great crowd support

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