Many of the World’s best confirmed for the Vibram® Hong Kong 100
FAVOURITES EAGER TO TAKE EARLY LEAD IN THE INAUGURAL ULTRA-TRAIL® WORLD TOUR
(8 January 2014: Hong Kong) Many of the world’s most renowned ultra-marathon runners will gather in Hong Kong on 18 January for the 2014 Vibram® Hong Kong 100, the city’s original individual 100km race. The event, which already serves as a qualifier for the 2015 The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® (UTMB), will be the first stop of the inaugural Ultra-Trail® World Tour (#UTWT).
With points on offer across each of the 10 stops in the series in a similar way to sports like skiing, cycling and tennis, some of the finest international runners and top local talents have confirmed their participation at the Hong Kong 100, which starts at Pak Tam Chung and ends at Tai Mo Shan, to try and secure points and establish an early lead in the #UTWT.
HOKA ONE ONE athlete Dave Mackey, one of America’s top ultra trail runners for the past decade with wins, course records and national championships all the way from half marathons to 100km races, will be amongst the favourites to take top honours at the 2014 Hong Kong 100. His impressive resume includes recently setting a course record at the 31 year old Quad Dipsea Ultra, followed by 8th place at the hugely competitive North Face 50 Miler one week later. The 2011 Ultrarunning Magazine North American Ultrarunner of the Year is excited to be travelling to Hong Kong for his first race of the year:
“2014 is a really exciting year for ultra-marathon running with the establishment of the UTWT and I am really looking forward to running the Vibram Hong Kong 100. I have heard many good things about it, the beautiful scenery en-route and the helpfulness of the volunteers and eager to fly there and experience it all for myself. It is going to be a tough race as many of the world’s top runners have registered to run, but my training has been going well and am feeling confident.”
Mackey’s main rivals in Hong Kong are likely to be UK’s Jez Bragg who finished 10th at the 2013 UTMB, having won it in 2010, and Antoine Guillon of France, affectionately known as ‘The Metronome’ for his race management expertise and four time top 10 finisher in the UTMB.
Last year’s Hong Kong 100 second and third place winners – Hong Kong’s Stone Tsang and Nepal’s Ram Kumar Khatri – will return to try and take the crown for the very first time. The 34-year-old Tsang is the pride of Hong Kong endurance running and was less than four minutes behind the eventual winner, China’s Yun Yan-qiao, 12 months ago:
“I had a great time last year, and came very close to actually winning the race. The Hong Kong 100 is an amazing event and it is more special for me as it is my ‘home’ race so I am always extra motivated to do well there. Hong Kong 100 is now going to be a part of the UTWT and that means more good runners from around the world will come to run as they try to win points and end the season as series champion. Hong Kong 100 will be tougher than ever before but I believe that is a good thing for me, for the race, and for Hong Kong.”
Other notable names in the field include Japan’s Shunsuke Okunomiya, Vajin Armstrong of New Zealand, China’s Yang Jiagen and Hong Kong based Canadian Jeremy Ritcey , who finished fifth last year.
In the women’s race, defending Champion Claire Price will be amongst distinguished company with the likes of Italy’s Francesca Canepa and Cassie Scallon of the US. The 42-year-old Canepa has only been running for two years but has already won a number of high profile races and finished second only to the great Lizzy Hawker at the 2012 UTMB.
Hong Kong based Brit Price won the 2013 Hong Kong 100 in a new course record of 11 hours 58 minutes 4 seconds, and is ready to run another fast time on this famous 100km trail on 18 January:
“I surprised myself with the time I ran last year, and I was thrilled to break the course record. With such a strong line-up of runners this year, I won’t be surprised if the course record is broken again. I am looking forward to taking part again this year, and I hope everyone has a great day out there on the trails – it’s such a pretty course and a really well-organised race.”
The 2012 Vibram Hong Kong 100 winner Nora Senn and 2013 second runner up Olya Korzh as well local hope Chow Pui-yan, winner of the 50km race of The North Face® 100 Hong Kong, will join Price as the leading challengers from Hong Kong.