Saturday 6th October --- The Second Summer Chicken Chase.
What a fantastic way to round off the summer and the conclusion of the Summer League....gorgeous weather with 36% humidity, a rarity in Hong Kong for sure. 21 people made it and some great performances were had.
JeniBender did her thing with the chicken, (encouraged by chocolate) and the rest of the handicapped crew followed behind. WayToJoeGo came back with the chicken beating his previous best by a good 6 minutes.! Excellent running. Fastest guy on the day was OsamaBinRunning who scorched around in 48 minutes despite feeling less than perky. So many PBs run, which is great to see. If you have pushed on through the summer you are now prepared for the upcoming race season.....and the cooler weather.
The Summer League also concluded this weekend and we will be revealing the lucky winners of the coveted Golden Boot Award for the leading Boot and Bootee very soon. The winner have the highest points from 28 weeks of running over the long, hot, sweaty HK summer. Persistent performance pays and the winners don't need to be the fastest but certainly put in regular attendance. Its no mean feat/(or feet) to run through the summer and that effort is rewarded by points for turning up and for severity of conditions. The hotter, the sweatier and more humid, the more points. Its been a very good summer and we will be organizing an end of summer party where the awards will be presented to the worthy winners. Details to follow shortly.
The Saturday Run continues on and we move the start time to 9.00am as its getting a little cooler, race season is upon us so use the run when it fits your race planning.
Thanks everyone for coming along and making it so much fun !
Saturday 22nd September, The "Mangkhut, what Mangkhut" Gone Running Saturday Run
Our efforts made the SCMP... https://sc.mp/2OYZf8V .....thanks to our very own Mary Hui ... thanks for the focus Mary!
So almost a week on from the biggest storm to hit HK in a long time and we knew the trail would be in bad shape but run it we would.
GandalfTheGrey returned to be our official photographer which is always a big help.Regulars will recognize the start and the trees at this point have never looked strong, but that big old bugger has seen better days, and I don't mean the Viking. God help anyone if it decides to finish the fall. .... So a decent bunch of Spartans arrived and we ducked and we dived (dove?) ... JenyBender, our dead keen Spartan although 60 seconds late, took pictures of all the obstacles
When you have run a route many times it is amazing how familiar you get with every step, almost unknowingly. A rock to step on here, a familiar tree or even a feeling on a particular part of the course has.
The Saturday Run uses the Hong Kong trail until now enclosed and sheltered. Mangkhut had an impact, rocks have gone, big open spaces created where previously there was shade. The strength of the storm is clear to see. Trees completely stripped of branches and leaves, like in a war zone, obvious areas where the force was funneled up a gully, resulting in total destruction. Consequently, a totally different feeling on the course. Nothing quite the same, familiarity to be regained.
A step or too more technical than before, with debris everywhere, hiding rocks and roots. The width of the trail reduced to a footfall in places on a very steep slope not previously visible. All very new and interesting but at the same time rather sad.
But it will recover, the climate and the vegetation will soon regain control. Small trees without light will now grow quickly, pretty soon the new normal will have been established.
We did our bit to open up the trail at one still badly blocked place.
At least one of us was very pleased to be done :-)
The standings are being updated and will be having a Chicken Chase probably next week..... it is very tight indeed.
Well not exactly the final run of the summer but we are getting close...Saturday 8th September - The "Last of the Summer" Gone Running Saturday Run
Not our biggest group but the leading contenders turned out to keep the race alive. ThatWong and FrankiFurter for the blokes and JenyBender for the ladies... Jeny was still on shepherding duty when the photo was taken. Newbie, TheSculler, put in a very decent 58 minutes ... not bad considering he was new to the course. Rounding up the last few weeks the scores on the doors look like this
We have more than 620 members signed up for the Facebook group and almost 23 joined just this last week so it will be awesome to see you out on the run. if not this week then in the next weeks. We will be having a final Chicken Chase before the Summer League closes so get your time on the board so that you can get a starting time..... It promises to be breezy but the run will go ahead !
Saturday 18th August - The "Happy as a Pup in Poop" Gone Running Saturday Run
Not as wet as last week but still plenty sticky and dirty. Nice turnout despite the overlap with the AVOHK 5k run happening on Bowen Road which is always a clear signal the season is about to start. The 5k race on Bowen is the season opener.
We have about 6 weeks left in the Summer League and as ever the people that have ground out a performance week after week are the ones with great accumulated points. FrankiFurter continues to top the table but two weeks missed have reduced his lead considerably. We need ThatWong to step up and take the biscuit.
For the Ladies, RolyRatette still leads but she has moved to the land of the Cheatahs and JeniBender through sheer persistence, has put herself in a position to grab the lead... come on Jeni !!.
In the age groups, the body count heavy Prime Boots U40's still has a potential battle between DomPerignon and RajinRory and for the Weathered Bootees U50s prize ChewBecca could still take the lead, as FunFun is distracted by other running activities.
We will have another Chicken Chase before the end of the Summer League and that's a great way to stir up the rankings.
With the approaching season in mind, for those wanting a bit of extra pace we will have a pre-session before the Saturday Run starting next week.
6x Hill Repeats on Middle Gap Road. Conveniently located at the start of the Saturday run we will 6x up the hill. Its about a 1:50 minute climb to the top and then an easy jog back to the start. This will sharpen your legs for the season ahead. !
So these are the current standings
So from this week we will keep a running commentary on this blog about happenings on the weekly Saturday Run......... here is where we are so far..
Saturday 11th August - The Amber Pamby GR Saturday Run
There are few better experiences than running in heavy rain in HK, especially on the trail. Obviously there is a degree of care needed but with a little caution, things can get to great fun. Last weekend was no exception. The heavy rain put a few people off but a hardy threesome enjoyed exceptional conditions.
It was an Amber Rainstorm warning and the whole trail became a river, and the streams became torrents. This particular crossing being the roughest. Hardly noticeable in normal conditions but today a whole different picture. Newbie GoldTrowell took the snaps on his box brownie, hence the clear definition which adds to the sense of wilderness. TheSwissCheese was back from his nearly Eiger expedition and complained about his legs until he decided enough was enough and disappeared into the distance. Lots of points earned for these hardy souls... update on the standings next week.
The Summer League -- How does it work ?
From the start of April through to the end of September people that do The Saturday Run are automatically participants in the Summer League.
Its tough running through the summer and in this league, persistence plays off. The people with highest points at the end of September win The Golden Boot. A unique trophy to be prized above your grandmother !.
The starting point is your best time for the run. Points are calculated a 100 - the time you do for the run, (say 65 mins) and then age adjusted for each decade (under 30, 40, 50 etc). Ladies have 110 - the same formula. The reason for the extra 10 points is simply that the difference in the fastest lady and the fastest man was 10 minutes historically (Its since dropped to 6 minutes).
The age adjustment formula are the officially published factors for the World Masters Association for 10k.
In addition you earn effort points. If you do the run each week, you accumulate an attendance point, plus points based on how rough the conditions are that week. The hotter, wetter and more humid, the more the points !
In addition, there are occasional "Chicken Runs". These are handicap races where the slowest person during the summer starts first and everyone else is handicapped by the difference in their time. The leader carries a rubber chicken and its the aim to capture the chicken and be the first back. Lots of point for improving your finishing position compared to your starting position.
Winners name are forever ascribed on the "Breast of Honour" :-)
Our next Chicken Chase will be the end of August 2018
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