On February 18, 2017 I ran the 2017 edition of the MSIG Sai Kung 50. No, I didn’t actually run 50 kilometres, in the countryside, up and down mountains. Maybe someday I will, but not that day. I ran the shorter, 21km route, in the countryside, up and down mountains. This run started super early in the morning. The run was to start at 7:00AM, so I got to Pak Tam Chung Picnic Garden at around 6:00AM. I had plenty of time to mill around, hydrate, warm up, and hand in my things to the friendly baggage collection folks for safe storage.
We got off to a great start at 7 in the morning but it wasn’t too long before we all behaved like lemmings and followed someone in the front who went off the path by accident. There was a hilarious few minutes of all of us trying to reverse direction on a perilously narrow village path.
Once back on course, we all began to spread apart a lot more as we all settled into our own personal grooves. Along the way was some great scenery as well as… a cow.
From then on, it was a mighty hard slog up some steep inclines. We eventually got to a beach village where refreshment stands were setup. Words can’t properly express how much I appreciated water and Nutella sandwiches.
From there, I had a nice little walk along the beach as I munched on my sandwich and drank the water. An important sidenote concerning the water: as I took the bottle from the refreshment stand and started to walk away, the lady at the stand reminded me not to just carelessly leave it somewhere. I assured her I wouldn’t. I didn’t. Once emptied, I crushed it and carried the dang thing up and down mountains until I finally saw the next rubbish bin.
So anyway, that nice walk along the beach was the last easygoing part of the run. From then on, I had a brutal, never ending walk up a mountain that seemed to never end. I swear, several times I just wanted to lay down and sleep. That was a real desire. This is the reason why I encourage people to get into endurance sports though. You get into a mental kind of headspace that is not really easy to get into in other situations. You end up LEARNING more about yourself. I finally did get to the top of that brutal incline and took a couple of nice pictures.
Now a little warning: when you’re completely knackered and sitting on the ground to catch your breath, DO NOT quickly stand up without your sunglasses on if there’s a clear blue sky. It was the strangest thing. It was like there was a little gremlin inside my skull, pinching the rear of both my eyeballs. I wasn’t having any of that so I sat back down for another minute until the weird little mini-migraine went away. Then I put my sunglasses back on, SLOWLY stood up again, and started the descent down the mountain.
Later on, we got off the mountain trail and spent a great deal of time running on pavement. At one point, there were some reinforced embankments that people had scratched various country names into. I made my own contribution.
All in all, I had great time despite finishing with an atrocious run time! Ha ha. I’d like to extend a big congratulations to the event organizers. They put on a great race overall – which even featured great post-race refreshments!