"NOBODY CAN RUN THAT FAR IN A WEEK !"...... but oh yes they can!

Posted on June 30 2020

"NOBODY CAN RUN THAT FAR IN A WEEK !"...... but oh yes they can!



We have long supported RUN.HK here in Hong Kong and we admire so much the work Virginie Goethals and her team put into helping refugees integrate and find a new life outside of what have been awful local circumstances. 


So when she threw out the challenge of the RUN HK Corporate Virtual Challenge to coincide with World Refugee Day we could not resist the temptation. 

Teams of 5 competed over 8 days to see how many Km's they could accumulate. The aim was to raise $200k hkd. 28 teams competed and between them completely smashed that and raised over 500k hkd...... and in the process has a fabulous long week of competition.

We caught up with the three leading teams on Monday the 29th of June when they were each presented with their prizes. 

The 28 teams ran a staggering 11,000 kms over the 8 days which was an average of about 10k per person per day, average of 80k per person for the 8 days. That is a pretty impressive performance!.

Averages however hide the outliers and some teams took the challenge to a level which prompted some of the other teams to question "how can this be possible? ... are they cheating?" !..... here is the inside story......

The top 3 teams ran 3383 kms between them which is an average of 225k per person for the 8 days or 28km per day. 

Over the first weekend "The Society of the Crossed Keys" decided they would all cover the Lantau Trail (70km) on Saturday and Sunday so they emerged at the end of the weekend in contention. Comprising of Jack Wyse, Jess Chong, Dorian Gabler, Sam Nunn and Eddie Robinson they got off to a storming start. 

The "T8" team, comprising of John Ellis, David Longo, Habiba Benahmed, Mark Green and Matt Pocock, had promise but with one of their team suffering from a crushing hangover on Saturday and most of Sunday they were not firing on all cylinders!.  

The third team in this trifecta, the Gone Running/Joint Dynamics Team had also made a slow start with team aims only being defined on Sunday afternoon, by which time they had more than a 100km deficit against the other two teams. Ryan Whelen, Henri Lehkonen, Sam Chan, Dennis Theodosis and Peter Hopper finally knew they were facing a target of 1000km + which came as a bit of a shock!. 

So then things started to change..... T8 were marginally ahead on Sunday night and it was pretty clear David Longo, John Ellis and Mark Green were out for a big total and they were gunning for it.

Then Habiba shook off her hangover and everything changed. She immediately banged in a 60k day followed by a 40k day and with the other members of the team they quickly established a strong lead. 

"The Keys" however were looking very suspicious.....after a storming start, one of their members stopped posting anything....."GR/JD", noticing this suspected a rat that maybe all the runs were not being entered. Spurred on by this, efforts redoubled and by Wednesday, the gap with "The Keys" had been closed and small lead created. 

"T8" at this point had got completely into their stride and were rapidly disappearing over the horizon.

End of the week tactics then became the focus. Unless something really strange happened, "T8" were going to be uncatchable, the battle focused then on the 2nd and 3rd places. "GR/JD" were moving along smoothly but they realised two of their members would be occupied on the crucial last day so something of a big lead needed to be established to counter a big "Keys" push at the end. 

"GR/JD" responded with Ryan Whelen and Henri Lehkonen pulling out a 70km and 40k run late on Friday night respectively, by doing endless loops of Lugard Road.

So to Saturday. 9pm was the closing time for the challenge and the weeks analysis showed one "Keys" member with no runs through the week. Suspiciously however a small run was posted at 3.45 am on Saturday followed by a 70km bike ride. The other team members were MIA. Calculations showed that to catch GR/JD, "The Keys" needed 78km per person on Saturday. Tough but not impossible. A late night Friday start on the Maclehose for a 100k Saturday would do it. 

Facebook crawling finally established "The Keys" were on the Island and eventually news came that they had completed 60km or so. If the submitted runs were correct this was not enough .... but who knew?. 

Two little runs adding an additional 10k by one of the "Keys" members prompted alarm and "GR/JD" deployed a Theodosis to add another 10k, this was after him adding 50k in the morning. 

So until the final results were published on Tuesday, the 2nd and 3rd places were uncertain. It was pretty clear that "T8" had won it with a staggering 1440kms, and then 2nd and 3rd?......."GR/JD" 1034kms and "The Keys" 909km ....... injury explained the lack of runs mid week by "The Keys"

So fabulous fun had by all and important to note that Team Sylebra themselves raised over 100k hkd,  "T8" was second with 31k hkd and Goldman Sachs 26km.

Habiba Benahmed of T8 covered a staggering 319 km, closely followed by David Longo and John Ellis of T8 who did 315 km and 303 km respectively. 

What a fabulous event and super congratulations to all the teams who competed and raised such a fabulous amount of money for a great cause !


The T8 Team (Matt Pocock, Habiba Benahmed, John Ellis and David Longo, (Mark Green not shown) .. With Virginie Goethals from RUN HK

Team GR/JD, Sam Chan, Henri Lehkonen, Peter Hopper (Ryan Whelen and Dennis Theodosis not shown) with Virginie

Team "The Society of the Crossed Keys" .. Jack Wyse, Dorian Gabler, Sam Nunn, Jess Chong (Eddie Robinson not shown) 

Virginie Goethals, and Dani Cassidy  from RUN HK 

 To lean more about the work being done by RUN HK ... Click on the logo.



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