He's handy with his hands and it turns out he's pretty handy (and fast) with his feet too! Now one of Hong Kong's fastest runners over the shorter distances, it's hard to believe that #GoTailwind Trailblazer Tom Hardcastle only started trail running a few years ago at the inaugural Hard As Nayls race. Find out more about Tom's story below.
1. Where do you live and where are you from?
I live in Sai Kung, my house is actually on the Wilson Trail near post 36. I'm from near Oxford in England but have been in Hong Kong for 25 years, more than half my life.
2. Why did you get into trail running?
My partner's son got into triathlons a few years ago so we were having to drive him to races early in the morning then wait several hours for the event to finish. I did this twice before deciding that the next time rather than just hang about I would do the race myself as well. I got to know a few people at these events and one of them suggested I enter the Hard As Nayls trail run in Clearwater Bay. This was my first trail race and by a series of unfortunate events for other people I won the 16km race and was then asked to join the Tailwind team for the Trail Running League.
3. Favourite race so far?
Salomon Xtrail Sai Kung 2016/09/11. Great route to start with but more because of the torrential rain just as the race started that flooded all the trails and stream crossings. So much fun!
4. Dream race?
Wide trail for the first kilometre so there's no bottlenecking, minimum concrete road and steps, well marked and marshalled, full goodie bag, healthy snacks at the finish - not pizza and beer, useful prizes if I'm lucky enough to get one.
5. Best trail racing result?
King of the Hills series 2016/17, 1st in age group and 5th overall.
6. Best trail memory?
Getting my pacing just right on the XTE Chinese New Year race 2017 to pass the leader going up Tai Mo Shan with a few kilometres left to get 1st place overall for the first time.
7. Advice for beginners?
Start with short distances and gradually work up to longer ones. Don't try to save money on shoes, get good ones. Always do a recce of the race course if you can.
8. Your favourite Tailwind flavour?
9. What it means to you to be a Tailwind Trailblazer?
Being part of a team has made me a better trail runner, I don't want to let the team down so I do as many races as possible and always practice on the course of the next upcoming race. It's a great community and I have made many good friends from all the teams not just my Tailwind team mates.
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