Race Media


19 Feb, 2016

Nepalese out sprints Frenchman on New MSIG SK course

Nepalese out sprints Frenchman on new MSIG SK course

HONG KONG, 20 Feb. 2016 – Excitement on the technical trails at the MSIG SK50 was an understatement with shorter distance runners and staff crowding around the finish line viewing the TV monitors for live timing updates at each checkpoint with Nepalese Upendra Sunuwar (known to his friends 100km from Kathmandu as King of Himalaya), running shoulder to shoulder at every checkpoint with Frenchmen Pierre-Andre Ferriere and other Frenchmen Baptiste Puyou thru Ham Tin Wan, Dai Long Wan, Tung Wan, Cheung Tsui Peninsula, over Lo Tei Tun around High Island Reservoir to Pak Tam Au for 1 last crazy climb up Ngau Yee Shek Shan (408m) to finish off with 2613m of positive elevation gain over the 54km brutal course. With 300m left to the finish line and Sunuwar just a few meters ahead Ferriere, the Nepalese just pulled away enough to open a tiny gap of 13 seconds becoming champion of the MSIG SK50 in 5 hours 41 minutes 10 seconds with the other Frenchmen Pierre-Andre Ferriere grabbing 2nd overall in 5 hours 41 minutes 23 seconds with Frenchman Baptiste Puyou coming across the line only 1 minute and 7 seconds later for a very strong last push in 5 hrs 42 minutes 30 seconds also but not enough to overcome the Himalayan King.

The Overall Women Champion was taken by New Zealand trail runner Marie McNaughton in 6:58:39.

“The race was nice. Up and down and up and down which is my style. The big climbs on the trails indeed were not too difficult for me as I live in Nepal and train in the mountains, but as it had rained and were slippery, it was a little difficult, enjoyed them as an extra challenge then the weather got better and trails started to dry. Despite taking the first place, I’m not so satisfied with my performance as thought I made a couple small errors so guess just so-so. But the others also had a tough race so think I’m quite happy as maybe should have drank more as weather changed quite fast from a very cool morning to quite warm” said overall champion Nepalese runner Upendra Sunuwar showing off a bruised ankle and some nasty bloody gashes all down his legs.

Closely following came Pierre-Andre Ferriere from France, finishing the race in 5 hours 41 minutes 23 seconds running neck-and-neck with Upendra during most part of the race trading places with the lead. “Beach was fine for me; the most difficult part was the last climb up the Mac3. This climb at this stage of the race is always eventful. I knew that was going to be tough. This race is more challenging than many other races I’ve joined before as 54km. I have an entirely new feeling today. Baptsiste was always close behind pushing and with Upendra was exciting”

Next came the French runner Baptiste Puyou, who was satisfied with his record: 5 hours 42 minutes 30 seconds. “I’m very happy. I was out of strength to catch up with Upendra and Ferriere. I just ran after them at the beginning. The course was very well marked and impossible to get lost. Loved the beach section and the beautiful scenery there near the Cheung Tsui peninsula. The slippery sections after it rained were a lot of fun. The last climb was quite tough (up Ngau Yee Shek Shan (408m), so my suggestion for those who attend 54km course next year is to keep energy for the last climb, especially if the weather is warm”, said Baptiste he grabbed a podium with Ferriere at last year’s MSIG Taiwan 50.

New Zealander Marie McNaughton finished the race in 6 hours 58 minutes 39 seconds, winning the Overall Women’s Champion of the MSIG Sai Kung 50 and picking up HK$8500 in cash and a host of other prizes put a huge grin on her face saying her family will love some of this, just fresh after a podium finish 1 week ago and a 1st runner-up at the MSIG Lantau 50 race December 2015 for an impressive last 3 months. “It’s my first time doing a 50km race in Sai Kung. It was gorgeous. I haven’t done half those trails. Well done. Had a good race. Just steady the whole way and stunning scenery with really nice trails to run on. Stuck to gels, bananas and water and when the sun came out probably felt a bit queasy from maybe too much sugar, but it was fine. For me the course has a lot of flat sections, which is suitable for running fast and looked forward to the hills where I could do what I do best and climb. Really good marking as great job as perfectly marked. And today we have the perfect weather for trail running since this year we have had an unusual winter,” said overall Women’s winner of the MSIG SK50 Marie Mcnaughton.

Ukrainian runner Oksana Riabova claimed her Overall Women 1st Runner Up with the race of 7 hours 22 minutes 53 seconds. Oksana Riabova said, “Today’s race is a nice experience because everything is new to me. I’m not a professional runner. During the race, climbing down the mountain was a little bit tough for me to well control myself.” Trail running and cycling are Riabova’s favorite sports and she started running at the age of 10. Riabova said, “I love running and be with nature. This race gave me chances to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery in Hong Kong.”

No more than 2 minutes later came the local trail runner Ching Ling Lo. Lo rounded the podium with the race result of 7 hours 24 minutes 36 seconds, winning the Overall Women 2nd Runner Up. It is her second race of Sai Kung 50, MSIG HK 50 Series, breaking her own records. Lo said, “I ranked 7th in this competition last year. I am also very exciting about my own improvement. But after all, doing my best and changing myself in the race is much more important than the result itself.” Lo started her journey of trail running in 2011. She said, “I was attracted by the of the race pictures on Action Asia Events website, so I decided to join in the race.”

Lo and her trail running friends enjoyed the race after putting much effort in training before the race. Lo said, “I ran 10km on 6:00 a.m. 3 to 4 times a week before going to work. This training did not make me tired but rather more energetic at work. And I also did trail running with my friends on weekends.”

Slavomir Vinkovic from Slovakia won the male championship in the 21km race. He was proud of his performance Saturday, finishing in 2 hours 6 minutes 29 seconds. He said he came to Hong Kong specially for today’s race. Vinkovic said, “I started trail running two years ago and since then I keep running almost every day, with long run training once a week. I like the courses. The scenery along the tracks is pretty nice.” Attracted by the races, Vinkovic has already registered in the second race of SPRINTS on March.

Zein Williams from UK, the female champion of the first Action Sprint, took the first place in the 21km race again. Her record was 2 hours 20 minutes 48 seconds. William said, “it’s a fast-paced race because it is very runnable and flat, only two climbs. I like the beach, it was fine for me. But at the beginning of the race it was very slippery on the road so I had to slow down. But once we hit the hardest trail, we began speeding up and found an amazing scenery. It was an awesome day!”

HK runner Lin Sancai grabbed the male champion of the 12km trail running race, finishing in one hour 7 minutes 45 seconds. Lin said, “the rainy weather makes the trails muddy and more challenging, but as the course is only 12 km, I think it is OK. I really enjoy the beautiful scenery along the trails.” He said he attended the races organized by Action Asia Event many times but it was his first time to attend the MSIG HK 50 series. He was happy to win the champion in his first attending and expressed that he would attend 21-km race next time.

The women champion Nicola Kwan was satisfied with her record of 1 hour 35 minutes 59 seconds. She said, “the road is muddy and slippery as it rained last night. It makes the race more difficult but luckily today is a good day. I don’t really do regular training in the morning but I just try my best. I have attended the races organized by Action Asia Event before but it is my first time to get a medal.”

The series could not happen without the kind support of MSIG Insurance, ActionX Store, Salomon, Suunto, OtterBox, Sky Runner National Series, the China Skyrunning Association, Bonaqua, Redback Specialty Coffee, Berrytime, Herbalgy, C3fit, Key Sun Zinke, Rocktape, Oldham Li & Nie Lawyers, Oregon, Around DB, Salonpas, KS Kitsound, GoPro, Del Monte Quality, St John, International Trail Running Association and Action Asia Foundation.

50k Top 5 Men

Name – Nationality – Team/Sponsor - Time

  1. Upendra Sunuwar - Nepal - 05:41:10

  2. Pierre-andre Ferriere – France - 05:41:23

  3. Baptiste Puyou - France - 05:42:30

  4. John Ellis –Australia– 06:22:36

  5. Cai Rengui – China- 06:25:04


50k Top 5 Women

Name – Nationality – Team/Sponsor – Time

  1. Marie Mcnaughton – New Zealand – Gone Running/Joint Dynamics - 06:58:39

  2. Oksana Riabova -  Ukraine - 07:22:53

  3. Ching Ling Lo (勞偵玲) – Hong Kong - 07:24:36

  4. Mei Ying Wong – China – 08:04:05

  5. Jia Yu Deng – China -08:16:31


21k Top 5 Men

Name – Nationality – Team/Sponsor - Time

  1. Slavomir Vinkovic - Slovakia - 02:06:29

  2. James Park – New Zealand – All About The Banter - 02:11:24

  3. Alan Oates – United Kingdom - 02:17:17

  4. Philip Mckendry - United Kingdom - 02:18:09

  5. Jacob Young - Canada - 02:21:24


21k Top 5 Women

Name – Nationality – Team/Sponsor – Time

  1. Zein Williams – United Kingdom – XEmpower/Raidlight - 02:20:48

  2. Juliane Rethfeldt – Germany – 02:29:52

  3. Kate Martin – New Zealand – 02:45:25

  4. Ngar Ting Denise Ying – Hong Kong – 02:46:37

  5. Lauren Kenny – United Kingdom – 02:49:49


12k Top 5 Men          

Name – Nationality – Team/Sponsor – Time

1.  Aby Lam – Hong Kong – 01:07:45

2.  Pak To Lai – Australia – 01:11:33

3.  Long Ki Mo – Hong Kong – 01:13:01

4.  Jiliang Lin – China – 01:20:28

5.  Romain Gaud – France – 01:28:24


12k Top 5 Women

Name – Nationality – Team/Sponsor – Time

1.  Nicola Kwan – Hong Kong – 01:35:59

2.  Tanya Lee-parker – New Zealand – 01:36:12

3.  Ketty Shan – France – Cartilage Carnage – 01:37:07

4.  Laurene Jullien – France – 01:39:03

5.  Kalani Brown – Australia – 01:44:25


Race Info


Event Name:

MSIG Sai Kung 50 - HK50 Series


Feb 20, 2016 (Saturday)

Start Time:

6:30 am (50km start) 7:00 a.m. (12k & 21k start together)

Start Location:

Pak Tam Chung Picnic Garden, Sai Kung


12km, 21km, 50km (Ultra Skymarathon)


Trail Running and Hiking




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.


Photo credits to Sunny Chan and  Yick..see our gallery above for full albums and on facebook.

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