Green Race Ultra Hong Kong - an interview with Race Director Martin Cai
Posted on February 13 2017
Today, we feature another new race on the Hong Kong ultra trail circuit, The Green Race Ultra Hong Kong, organised by The Green Race. It features 70km and 35km courses, as well as solo, pair and 4-person team options and will kick off on 1 April 2017.
Despite being a relatively new kid on the block, the team at The Green Race now hosts six races in Hong Kong alone as well as events in Singapore, the US and Canada. Runners are loving its eco-friendly ethos, challenging courses and friendly atmosphere.
Race Director Martin Cai recently quit his corporate job at HSBC to focus on The Green Race, and he was kind enough to tell us a little about what runners can expect from The Green Race Ultra.
GR: Hey Martin and congrats on the move. Exciting times for you guys! Hong Kong already has a multitude of ultra trail races so what's going to make Ultra Hong Kong stand out?
MC: For sure, runners have plenty of race options these days, so you need to be different. What the GreenRace is seeking to achieve is a unique race day experience with premium venue, race packs, food and awards - and all sustainably sourced. We’re passionate about creating Hong Kong’s first Zero Waste trail and road events. We’d also venture to say our that our Start/Finish point at the Hong Lok Yuen Country Club is going to be particularly outstanding, particularly with the amenities on offer.
GR: Maybe you can tell us a little about the course. Will runners have run most of these trails before?
MC: It’s quite possible many that runners will have covered SOME of these trails previously, but we're hoping that at least some of the course will be new for most. Regardless, it's a stunning part of Hong Kong and it'll also be a unique overall race day experience, not just the course, but also the high quality food and hydration at check points, to the unique start/finish venue.
GR: So tell us about these check points? What should runners be looking forward to?
MC: Check points will be VERY well stocked with healthy treats. Tailwind is an obvious staple, but we’ll also be having European-styled check points with a variety of high quality and healthy quick energy foods!
GR: Another thing you mentioned is the private start and finish at the Hong Lok Yuen Country Club. Sounds fancy! Tell us a bit about this.
MC: It’s an amazing venue and we’ve been very fortunate to partner with this Country Club. We’re aiming to make this venue as good as it sounds. Certainly, we’ll have great catering and a variety of tasty beverages on site plus, something we believe is unique for Hong Kong, shower passes for at least 100 runners in each category!
GR: It's called "The Green Race" so what will be "green" about this race?
MC: We’re getting better and better with this. We’re NOT using metal awards, disposable cups, pins, disposable metal/plastic in racepacks, plastic bottles, nor disposable course markings. We ARE using eco friendly packacing and other green initiatives like opt-out of race pack items or donate to Hong Kong community causes or help to fund student green projects. 5% of net race proceeds go to to HK Cleanup for cleaner trails and coastlines and creating increased awareness of the environmental issues facing Hong Kong. We’re always working on new ways to make our GreenRace model even greener.
GR: Impressive stuff guys. Let's see an example of these race packs.
MC: Our first week of January Braemar GreenRace packs had next to no disposable metals or plastics and we intend to continually improve upon this for our April Ultra.
GR: Ok, I have to ask this. Ultra Hong Kong is on 1 April. This is not a joke, right?
MC: No joke! We’re hoping for cooler weather – but we’re preparing for whatever we’re given. Like at the GreenRace Plover in September, we’ll have ice baths on hand and a tonne of cold drinks on hand, plus surprise check points for those really in need of little extra hydration boost!
GR: And any other Green Race events that fans should look out for?
MC: Of course! We have a full calendar for 2017. The next races are GreenRace Pottinger (15km and 6.5km) on 20 May 2017 and GreenRace Road Race (21km / 14km / 7km) on 12 June 2017. Also, the LBC TGR Short Course Series is in full swing so don’t forget to add the LBC Stairmaster races to your run calendar for 8 & 15 April! The top placing male and female for best 3 of 4 LBC TGR short course events will be hoisting one serious cup above their heads!
GR: That's plenty of great events coming up, Martin, and no excuse for runners not to be enjoying the great green outdoors over the next few months with a fabulous line of races there. For more information on The Green Race Ultra, please visit here. Entries are still open but selling out fast!