Trail Running

Trail Running

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    Hong Kong

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Hong Kong’s diverse 1,108 sq km landscape — almost three-quarters of which is countryside, including 24 country parks covered by a criss-crossing network of dedicated hiking routes — provides a unique trail-running setting. Many road runners have shifted to trail running along the city’s many trails, which offer them an opportunity to enjoy exhilarating open running only a short distance from where they live in the city centre. The trails pass through areas of outstanding natural beauty they may not have seen before, including beaches, rocky coastlines, dense woodland and rolling mountains rising nearly 1,000 metres.

The easily accessible running trails follow long stretches of the city’s four long-distance hiking routes, which stretch over a combined 298 km: MacLehose Trail (100 km) from Pak Tam Chung in Sai Kung to Tuen Mun in the New Territories; Wilson Trail (78 km) from Tai Long Wan on Hong Kong Island to Nam Chung in the New Territories; Hong Kong Trail (50 km) from The Peak to Tai Long Wan on Hong Kong Island; and Lantau Trail (70 km), a loop course which starts and ends in Mui Wo. All of the trails can be accessed using public transport. Hong Kong’s countryside trails are a safe environment in which to run, with relatively gentle slopes without dramatic changes in elevation. All of them are well maintained, and easy to follow thanks to regular signposts and distance markers along the routes, with stations for making emergency calls.

Trail running first attracted attention in Hong Kong with the 1986 launch of the annual Oxfam Trailwalker charity team event along the MacLehose Trail, which has grown in prominence and remains the city’s biggest trail event. Interest in the sport has grown rapidly, and many other regular prestigious trail-running events are staged in the city — many of which are qualifying races for the UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc), the world's most prestigious trail races, and places often fill up quickly. Many overseas competitors are keen to take part in Hong Kong’s events, not only to pick up points for entering UTMB races, but to savour the city’s memorable countryside.