- Kerry Sutton
Hong Kong trail Ultra ~ Abi Tyrell
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and apart from University in the UK and a year working in London I have always been here. We decided recently to relocate to the UK to finish of the kids education, hence the Hong Kong bucket list. We sat with the kids and tried to write a list of all the things we want to do before we move in August. Apart from the obvious favourite dim sum restaurats and Disney Land my husband threw a curve ball – ‘lets do the HK trail in one go!’. The kids replied in unison with a big fat ‘NO’ so that just left me! He has done all parts of the trail hundreds of times but not all in one go. I have done it twice but that was 7 and 20 years ago!
We started training under Kerry’s guidence in February this year as we hoped to do a three day multi distance (40k/40k/20k) race in Mongolia. Training for both us was going really well until Covid hit and Simons job intesified and the race was cancelled which crippled his motivation. So when he sggested we do the full 50k of the Hong Kong traiI I was surprised and worried he wouldn’t make it. I had kept up with my training plan from Kerry and was feeling pretty fit. The plan was just what I needed to keep me on track, I loved the varity of hills, farkleks, long runs and the fact that it took a huge amount of the thinking out of the equasion, all I had to do was lace up and get out the door.
The Hong Kong Trail is ranked among the World's 10 Best City Hikes by Lonely Planet, stretches 50 kilometers across 5 country parks, and passes through 7 reservoirs. It is a panoply of beautiful landscapes and rich biodiversity in the highlands, valleys, beaches, streams and lush woodlands! There are spiders, snakes and the odd wild boar. Thankfully we had our dog with us for the last 25k and he scared the spiders and snakes away!
There are 8 sections, the last section is also known as ‘The Dragons Back’ and was ranked by CNN as one of the worlds top 23 trails. There is no doubt that the trail is stunningly beautiful which takes your mind of the 1351 metres of elevation. The other factor was the heat, it was 30 degrees and 88% humidity.
Thankfully the trail has easy access for support so at 25k we were able to refill water bottles, fuel up, grab some snacks and pick up the Duke the dog.
We were out there a long time, 8 hours and 45 minutes in total which made for a long 50k. We didn’t push to hard and we had fun. We had been saving a lot of our ‘chat’ for the hike and managed to cover all the necessaries…….where to live in the UK, what we want in a house (we have been in an apartment for 20 years), the kids schooling, how we go about transporting our dogs on a 12 hour flight, when will we go etc etc!
As for the rest of the bucket list dim sum and Disney wont seem like a huge effort after the 50k hike!