HK Marathon 2011: before, the day, and after.

The good thing about a shopper like me marrying a runner, is that I get to come along for the Hong Kong leg of the Standard Chartered Marathons.  Yey!  Perfect!

We arrive the day before the marathon.  The hotel we stayed at had free airport transfers, which was really convenient.  And it beats paying 300HKD for a cab.  The flight landed us in HK way too early for check-in, so we just left our bags at the concierge and made our way to Victoria Park, where the distribution of race bags was happening.

After getting the race kit, we make our way thru the little streets to find some place to eat.  We ended up in Electric Street, and were faced with rows and rows of noodle houses.  The first place that had english in their menu - we sat and ordered!  Cheap, yummy and just what we needed climate-adjusting on our first day.

The rest of the day, I spent with our friend Maggie, who now resides in HK.  She couldn't believe the route mapped out - it's practically the ENTIRE Hong Kong!  Tunnels, bridges... it's absolutely impressive how the organizers managed to close these thorough-ways to traffic.

The gun start for Chips' 42k wave is at 7am, which is the latest from our experience.  We make our way to Nathan Road early, because we also needed to find the baggage drop, which was on a different street. The organization of the event is really commendable, with security and traffic enforcers everywhere.  I guess the good thing about HK is that their MTR system is so developed, that people could live a day with main roads closed.

wearing the cheapo gloves I got him at Mongkok.  better than nothing!
interesting people at the starting line.
can you spot the hubby?
the only time I saw the MTR tunnel empty.

I had the luxury of sleeping for a bit (and eating tons of bacon at the breakfast buffet) before making my way to the finish line, which was over on the Hong Kong side.  This time, the MTR wasn't so empty.  Walking out of the Causeway Bay exit, I was greeted by a huge throng of people squishing thru the barricades.  For a moment I feared for us who were on the exit escalator, because there was no place to go and it's not like the escalator had a stop button.

Thank goodness the security guys immediately fix the routing of pedestrians, and the street could somewhat breathe.  I was extremely lucky that the street I ended up on was part of the actual race route.  I get myself into a space between the unused barricades and prep the camera.  Waiting and worrying for a good hour, I finally spot the hubby coming towards me.  I scream, but he was in some zone.  Didn't even flinch.  After I get my snaps, I run to Victoria Park to TRY to meet him.

for real?!?
dog spectator.

Chips with fellow Pinoy finisher, Nino Fajardo.

The thing about the hubby looking very Chinese, is that amongst 10,000 runners, he's practically impossible to spot.  I actually tried, three times, to find him within the recovering and resting crowd of runners on the main event area.  Until finally, I just decided to wait at our assigned "if we can't find each other, we meet here" spot.  That's where I finally see him!  YEY!  I had to skip and run and give him a great big hug.  Extremely proud doesn't event begin to describe what I feel for him.

To him, it was the most awesome marathon he's ever done.  They went through tunnels and huge bridges.  It was so cold that his breath turned to mist, and it was hard to grab his gels from his back pocket.  But the view from the bridge - both the horizon and the stomach-churning sight of the water, he says, was AMAZING.

Pinoy marathons have quite a way to go still, he says.  Runners in HK were so strong, that beyond 21k when normally they thin out, he still had so many people to contend with.  Including runners who liked broadcasting their music instead of using earphones - one was playing Kenny G and he unfortunately was at the same pace for a good five minutes.

the new PR.  yeaheah!

Right after the race, we have a second dose of hot noodle soup goodness from the same noodle house of the day before.  We then met up with Maggie again for a walk around Tsim Tsa Tsui.  And since the race is over, Chips can now eat evil food!  Yey!

Cheesedogs wrapped in bacon and deep-fried!
With cuttlefish japanese style, also deep-fried haha!

Peking Duck in oily goodness.

I'm already looking forward to next year :D



lauren said...

Congratulations Chips, and you too Fozzy of course. :)
BTW the sharks in your photos made my day. Teehee.

dezphaire said...

thanks Lauren! actually it's amazing that those sharks finished at a good time, considering they wearing those costumes!

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