Race Media


Dec 02 / 2016

Fierce competition set for challenging MSIG Lantau Vertical Kilometre

Fierce competition set for challenging MSIG Lantau Vertical Kilometre

Italian champions among strong international field for the curtain raiser

of the 2016 Asian Skyrunning Championships

HONG KONG, Friday, December 2, 2016 – What goes up must come down, but not at this Friday’s MSIG Lantau Vertical Kilometre (VK). Rising a total of 950 metres over just 5 kilometres, the trail race starts at sea level and finishes on the 934m-high summit of Lantau Peak, Hong Kong’s second highest mountain. A handful of elite international runners have made their way to the city to take on this tough challenge against gravity, including champions from Italy, Japan and Nepal.

Leading the pack is Italian Emanuele Manzi, who recently finished 10th at the prestigious 2016 Skyrunner World Series VK at the Limone Extreme in his home country. “I’m really happy to compete in Hong Kong in the MSIG Lantau VK. I’m used to running in the European Alps on high mountains and snow. It will be a new challenge to compete in a different environment,” says Manzi of Team La Sportiva.

His compatriot Cristina Bonacina, a star on the International Skyrunning Federation’s Vertical World Circuit, headlines the women’s field. She says: “You have to have very strong legs in order to race this challenging route. In my opinion, however, the most important is to train the mind to withstand fatigue.”

Bonacina, who usually races up skyscrapers all over the world as part of the Vertical World Circuit, will find the MSIG Lantau VK a different beast than ascending concrete stairs in a building. Flagging off at Tong Fuk Beach in South Lantau at 3pm on Friday, December 2, the course will mostly follow a rugged single track to the summit. It is designed to the high standards set by the International Skyrunning Federation, which considers a VK to have 1,000m of vertical ascent in under 5km.

Other international stars to look out for in the VK include Japan Skyrunning champion Yuri Yoshizumi and Japan’s top VK runner Hayato Yanagisawa, 2015 Asian Skyrunning Champion Samir Tamang from Nepal, top Austrian triathlete Sandra Koblmuller and mainland China’s Zhang He.

Zhang, who was 4th in the 2016 Ultra Trail Wu Gong SkyMarathon race in his home country, started mountain running from a young age and shares his passion for trails by leading the Salomon Running Club in his community. “Trail running not only enriches my life, but also enables me to be more self-disciplined,” says Zhang. “I’m still quite green in trail running, but my enthusiasm for the sport keeps me motivated to improve my skills. I’m so eager to race the MSIG Lantau VK and meet the other international runners, especially on such a professionally-designed course with wonderful scenery.”

Now in its third year, the course records for the MSIG Lantau VK were set in 2014 by American Joseph Gray for the men (37 min 45 secs) and Nepal’s Mira Rai for the women (48:32). There is a HK$2,000 bonus for breaking the course record.

The MSIG Lantau VK kicks off the Asian Skyrunning Championships weekend in Hong Kong, which also includes the MSIG Lantau 50 on Sunday, December 4, which consists of a 27km Skyrace (over 2,000m elevation gain) and 50km Ultra SkyMarathon (over 3,400m elevation gain), both starting and finishing in Tung Chung.

Together, the MSIG Lantau races are part of the MSIG HK50 Series, which includes a leg on Hong Kong Island (October 23, 2016) and will end with a third and final leg in Sai Kung on February 18, 2017.

The event is possible due to the generous support of presenting sponsor MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited and supporting partners ActionX Store, Hoka One One, Herbalgy, OtterBox, C3fit, Oregon Scientific, Bonaqua, Key Sun Zinke, Salonsip, Del Monte, AroundDB, Skyrunner National Series China, China Skyrunning Association, OL&N, Oldham Li & Nie Lawyers, International Trail Running Association Member and Action Asia Foundation.



Race Info       

Event Name


HK50 Series - MSIG Lantau VK - Asian Skyrunning Championships


Friday Dec 2, 2016

Start Time


Start Location

Tong Fuk Beach, Lantau, Hong Kong

Finish Location

Lantau Peak

- then Awards at Pak Kung Au BBQ Area


5 km

Race details



For more race details, please click below:





About MSIG

With a network of operations dating as far back as 1855, MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited (“MSIG”) has been providing general insurance solutions and products to customers in Hong Kong for more than 150 years.

MSIG is backed by the solid foundation and rich heritage of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited, an established insurer that has received strong financial ratings from leading rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Today MSIG is one of the few foreign-based general insurers to have representation in every ASEAN country, a testament to its strength and reach. MSIG also benefits from being a member of MS&AD Insurance Group – one of the largest general insurance groups in the world.

Leveraging on the multi-channel distribution, strong partnerships with intermediaries and extensive geographical network, MSIG offers a wide range of insurance solutions across personal and commercial lines. MSIG builds and nurtures enduring relationships, forging close partnerships, through good times and bad.

About Skyrunning

Since the first extreme races in 1992, the first World Championship in 1998 and the introduction of the Skyrunner World Series in 2003, Skyrunning has grown to become a globally renowned sport governed by the International Skyrunning Federation. In 2015, the Continental Championships were introduced and includes Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania. The sport is practised in more than 40 nations and counts followers from 126 countries.

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