The day of the run. After getting to bed around 12:30 in the evening I was up bright and early at 03:30 I was so so tired. Tempted to stay locked away in my hotel. Out here all alone the furthest I have been outside my comfort zone. This was not an organised tour, just a trip on a whim in which the circumstances changed at the last minute.
I got on the foam roller to loosen my dreaded IT Bands. I then got my kit together. Much of which had been laid out the night before. So after a strong coffee I ran downstairs to the reception desk to ask if they knew how far away the start was. They didn’t know. I asked for a banana in which she happily obliged. I stepped outside in the pitch black, and freezing Hong Kong air. I saw a stream of wind breakers – following these like a lost sheep I located at least the start of the marathon route. I didn’t have any extra baggage to pick up at the end of the marathon I just had my trusted camelback. My bits and bobs and just in case of the runners trots a loo roll.
Limbering up I realised I was really here this was really happening. The thought of going back to the hotel was a more appetising option. The porridge gurgling in my stomach. The nostrils filtering the carbon out of the air Blocked. Why do I do this? I Then think of everyone who ever doubted me. The people in school that told me I would never do anything in life. Well this is where the fire ignites and the fun begins.
Whilst warming up a local resident shows up in skinny jeans. Maybe she was just a spectator? No, she was limbering up and had the knee straps on over her jeans. What was she thinking? I was counting down it was like waiting to be sentenced (not that I would know). I started taking a few videos the realised the people going past where in my wave.
I met a runner from the UK who resides in Hong-Kong. She was exited even after a year of living here advising of the excitement to see all that she would see today. She asked how long I was here for. 4 days I replied. She gave me an odd look. A long weekend to Hong-Kong who does that? As I reiterated this earlier, I just said I know right! The briefing started the atmosphere was electric. Off we went.
The sun was rising as we meandered through the sky scrapers. This was why I was here all the apprehension, fear and doubt. This was now. Seeing the ships in the harbour and running on the highway. This run had claimed its first few casualties. Gashed knees and face. The ruby red glint off their bodies fresh blood. Nicceeee.
We hit the first bridge an immense structure, made me realise what a massive challenge this was. It was just one foot in front of the other, taking in the sites. Through the haze of the smog. The journey in which took me 1 hour on the MTR the day before was the first leg of the journey. The first 10k done and dusted. We hit the underground tunnel. They reminded me of Tokyo drift, and all the PlayStation games from young.
It wasn’t until 33 km until I started to feel it. I stopped to walk a little, the pain was unbearable. I didn’t c ome all this way for nothing. I felt the blisters build in my trainers, the fluid erupted through my toes. Why do I do this again? This question never fails me and is one I can never answer.
The tunnel into Hong Kong approached. The cheers filled the city – the atmosphere and the adrenaline detracted from the pain. 35 km hit. I just wanted it to be over it was excruciating. all he runners from all the runs, fun run ,10 k , half and marathon the amount of time I nearly tripped up went uncounted. It was like dodging bullets. The 40k sign was like the gate way to heaven. however, the last 2 km seemed to last longer than the previous 40k. I saw the split for marathon runners to split – the adrenaline kicked in all the pain was temporary. I managed a sprint to the finish. I was elated – this was the only run that towards the end I nearly cried. although the others where tougher. This one I had done alone on the other side of the world. I could not believe I had done it. The funny looks from not being able to walk commence and now the long journey back begun.