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The Road Divas' Round the Island Run

This epic run feels very much like another episode of this summer's challenge madness. It all started with an impromptu virtual Paris marathon on 5 April 2020 when Linna suggested extending our 30km on a spur of the moment. To this day, I still remember standing at the end of the Dragons' Back trail and noting my watch registering a half marathon. I didn't think I had another half marathon in my legs nor did I pack enough fuel to get me through to 42km, somehow we made it to the full marathon at Deep Water Bay!

Second time crazy was when five of us completed marathon, 50 km and 50 miles laps around the Happy Valley racecourse in late April. It was fun but let's not do this again.

Well, of course. Unless it's something longerrrrr!

The Starun Round The Island (SRTI) 62km was originally scheduled in April and we signed up to run as The Road Divas. To no one’s surprise the rescheduled 5 September race was postponed once again. With a few recce runs under our belt, we decided to run it anyway.

No amount of race cancellations, social distancing, mask wearing and summer heat could stop us from running and having fun. Linna has a fetish about completing a loop so it looks good on Strava. But it is so easy to understand, I can totally feel the satisfaction of a nicely completed loop on my Strava.

The Road Divas' route (a slight deviation from the SRTI course) started and finished at Tamar Park, with a sub-60km clockwise loop round the beautiful Hong Kong island. The route was mostly road with two short trails through Shek O and Tai Tam Country Parks.

Starting from Tamar Park, we ran east along the flat and easy harbourfront to Siu Sai Wan, up Dragon Trail and Pottinger Peak Trail, then down to Big Wave Bay, exited the beach by road towards Shek O. It was as awesome as it was awkward running along a convoy of pimped-up Hondas plus one out-of-place Maclaren on Shek O Road. Then we left the road and entered the Hong Kong Trail Section 7 in reverse to Tai Tam.  Those seven or eight kilometers of catchwater trail felt long. After that, we went through a lush trail and a very tempting waterfall in Tai Tam Country Park, followed by another 4km of catchwater to Stanley. We took a lunch break in Stanley. The rest was a relatively straight-forward 25km road run through Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Ocean Park, Aberdeen, Victoria Road, Kennedy Town and back to Tamar Park.

For me, the last 20km was sluggish and I literally walked from Aberdeen to Admiralty, but it was such a rewarding experience. I would highly recommend running round the Hong Kong Island at least once in your lifetime. This mad, super fun and amazing journey was made possible by the generous support and humour from my favourite Road Divas - Linna, Jaclyn and Karen.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Jaclyn being our human GPS and the mummy (a ridiculously young one) of the group.  She was always there looking after us and making sure no one dropped out. As if that's not enough, she is amazing photographer, all these photos are credits to Jaclyn!

So here is the trilogy of the 2020 summer season. I am excited and equally apprehensive about what may happen to our next series of group run.


In case you want to follow our footsteps, here are a few tips.

What to pack and what to wear

Road shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, cap, 500ml to one litre of water, insect repellant plus face masks for entering shops.

A few places where you can top up supplies or take breaks

1. Sui Sai Wan - Circle K in Island Resort Mall

2. Big Wave Bay Beach - a couple of stores and restaurant

3. Shek O Road/ end of Dragons Back Trail - portable toilets only

4. Tai Tam Country Park - there are a few vending machines but most were out of order or empty when we got there. Make sure you carry enough water to last between Big Wave Bay and Stanley (about 13km)

5. Stanley - there are plenty of convenience stores, supermarkets and restaurants

6. Wong Chuk Hang MTR

7. Petrol station on 61 Victoria Road

8. Plenty more along the harbour front to Tamar Park

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