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Apr 15 / 2018

Ixel smashes Bonaqua C3fit Action SPRINT record by 2 minutes

Ixel smashes Bonaqua C3fit Action SPRINT record by two minutes

Mak relishes the Sai Kung course’s technical downhills on her way to women’s title 

Pouring rain drenched the Bonaqua C3fit Action SPRINT Trail Series in Sai Kung this morning, but the challenging conditions were no match for elite trail runner Vlad Ixel, who charged his way to a new record for the 12-kilometer course in 56 minutes and 49 seconds. The Australian was two minutes faster than the previous mark that he set two years ago, and over three minutes clear of his nearest rival.

Ixel said: “The weather today was a little bit cool - perfect for running. It was a good feeling to run faster than two years ago even though I am getting older. Hope I can still get faster next time.”

The fight for the women’s title was a closer affair. Hiu-tung Mak surprised herself with her first ever trail race win in 1:17:47, less than a minute ahead of second-placed Stefanie Gadbois. Mak said: “I have run several times in these mountains before, so I am familiar with this trail. Downhills are what I like the best - and this trail has fewer stairs compared with others in Hong Kong.”

Usually a roadrunner, Mak said she preferred trail running: “Trail running is variable. When running, I am always immersed in the beautiful scenery and forget about other things which makes me feel relaxed.”

Starting and finishing in Pak Tam Chung, the race showcased beautiful scenery along lesser-known trails and gave participants a chance to experience unfamiliar locations, in the process raising awareness of the dire need to reduce our carbon footprint.

Behind Ixel, the men’s race was a super tight battle with just 10 seconds separating second and fifth place. James Park from New Zealand, who got into trail running after moving to Hong Kong five years ago, came second (1:00:21). He said: “I have done this race before. It’s such a great race with an awesome, well-marked course. I am very happy and excited to get second place. I had a lot of fun today. It was a perfect day for running. I will join again next year for sure.”

Just three seconds adrift in third place was Australian runner Andrew Graham (1:00:24). “I have done a few Action Asia Events races and I really enjoy them, but this was my first Sai Kung Sprint,” said Graham. “It had a lot of uphills and was very challenging. I liked the road part the most.”

The race flagged off at 9 am and participants first ran 5km through country park road, then tackled 5.5km of off-road trails that included a mix of technical track and stone stairs. The final portion of the course went along a smooth trail for 2km, sending runners back to where they began. The course was designed to suit runners of all abilities as well as fast hikers.

In the women’s race, runner-up Gadbois (1:18:39) of Canada was just seconds ahead of third-placed Fely Bejuna (1:18:56). Gadbois, who has been living in Hong Kong for five years, shared how she got started in trail running: “Actually I was a gymnast in the national team when I was younger, but I got injured before the Olympics so I almost didn’t do any sports from maybe 18 to 28 years old, then I got into trail running. I love Action Asia Events, and I have done a lot of races like this before. I like short events because you can get it done quickly and go for lunch with friends after. The Sai Kung Sprint was well-organized and the marking was good. The view on top of the mountain was gorgeous.”

Filipina trail enthusiast Bejuna improved on her fifth-place finish in her previous participation in the race. She said: “The race today was very good, I like Sai Kung’s trails very much because it is exciting and the scenery is great. But the uphills are very challenging so I try to go faster when going downhill. I think trail running has changed me a lot and I have met lots of new friends from different countries.”

The Bonaqua C3fit Action SPRINT Trail Series has been organized for 15 years. Action Asia Events is dedicated to creating diversified and challenging routes and giving runners the opportunity to set foot on less-trodden trails and explore the suburbs away from the concrete jungle.

The event is possible thanks to the generous support of presenting sponsors Bonaqua and C3fit with supporting partners: Action X Store, Hoka One One, Salonsip, Royale International, Aquarius, OL&N and Action Asia Foundation.

 

 

Race Results

Top 5 Men
Name - Nationality - Time

1. Vlad Ixel – Australia – 00:56:49

2. James Park – New Zealand – 01:00:21

3. Andrew Graham – Australia – 01:00:24

4. Thomas Kitwood – United Kingdom– 01:00:26

5. Paul Byrne – United Kingdom– 01:00:31

 

Top 5 Women

1. Hiu Tung Mak – Hong Kong – 01:17:47

2. Stefanie Gadbois – Canada – 01:18:39

3. Fely Bejuna – Philippines – 01:18:56

4. Nadene Freysen – South Africa – 01:18:57

5. Jaybie Pagarjgan – Philippines – 01:22:23

 ALL RESULTS AT http://www.actionasiaevents.com/results.html

 

Race Info

Event Name

Bonaqua C3fit Action SPRINT Trail Series – Sai Kung

Date

April 15, 2018 (Sunday)

Start Time

9:00 am

Start Location

Pak Tam Chung P.H.A.B. Site, Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

Distance

12 km

Category

Hiking and Trail Running

Website

http://www.actionasiaevents.com

 

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