Well, “today” in quotation marks because I’m pre-writing and scheduling this post on the day I’m doing HKU’s Trail Walker Challenge, where I will be walking 50km with a bunch of people.
Since the event starts at 8:00am and I need to get there by 7 ish I won’t have time to write anything in the morning.
Nor will I have time to write anything in the evening because it takes anywhere from 8 hours to 16 hours to complete (so we will finish sometime between 4:00pm to 12:00am).
For those of you who think thats a pretty long time for that distance, may I remind you that:
- We aren’t marathon runners who can do 42km in like 2 hours.
- It’s on pretty hilly terrain since it is along a nature reserve, not flat ground like in official races where they close off roads for the event.
- Part of the event is navigating the path and enjoying the view along the way.
- Most of us (including me) have never walked that much in one go before. Like I play Quidditch and have done some 10k’s in the past (with an okay time of 1 hour 16 minutes), so I’m not hopelessly unathletic, but I wouldn’t consider myself an athlete by any stretch of the imagination
- We are walking not running this. Just making this clear, it’s a trail walker event, not a trail sprint.
- It’s not a race, it’s a test of endurance. We aren’t there to be the fastest, we are there to (hopefully) say “I did it!” at the end.
So…why did I join this event?
Well, past me at the time of sign ups thought it would be a great idea – I mean how hard could it be, it’s just walking?
Past me at the time of recieving the email about the trail thinks that signing up was a terrible terrible idea and really wishes
The me who is about to start the race is either chatting with her friends (since you need to be in a team of four people) or freaking the f- out. One of those two options.
Most likely, again I have no clue, never done it before!
Some general information about where I’ll be walking, in case future people thinking about joining would also like to know what they are getting themselves into:
(keep in mind that the info may change from year to year and these are just to give a general idea of the event – and also to pad this out for the word count :P)
– The trail we are walking goes from Big Wave Bay to HKU, with 10 stages and 9 checkpoints (for safety reasons, water bottle refills/to get a banana and to make sure no one cheats or takes a shortcut)
The stages are as follows:
-Starting the crazy path @ 8 am in Big Water Bay-
1. BWB to Tai Tam Gap – 3.5 km
2. TTG to To Tai Wei – 5 km
3. TTW to Tai Tam Road – 7.5 km
4. TTR to Mount Butler – 4.5 km
5. Mt. B to Wong Nai Cheung Gap – 4 km
6. WNCG to Aberdeen Reservoir Road – 7.5 km
7. ARR to Peel Rise – 6.5 km
8. PR to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir – 4.5 km
9. PFLR to Lugard Road – 5 km
10. LR to the University of Hong Kong – 2 km
-Free buffet dinner/midnight snack at the end, whooop!-
For the lost who don’t have the time to google maps the whole trail (since I don’t have the express permission from the General Education people to post the maps + there are photos of people in it), the trail takes us:
- From the Bay through Pottinger Gap or Ma Tong Au (so named because it is the vally near Pottinger Peak)
- Along Shek O Country Park – past Mt. Collinson, Wan Cham Sham (Sham is mountain in Cantonese) and Sheck O Peak.
- Aka the “Dragon’s Back” path to normal hikers, since the mountains make it look like the back of a dragon I guess?
- Past Ngan Hang, Tung Ah Pui, Tung Ah and Lan Nai Wan Villages, oh and Obelisk Hill
- Around Tai Tam Mound into Tai Tam Country Park (+ TT reservoir)
- Along the HK Park View trail, past Jardine’s Lookout toward Wong Nai Cheung Gap
- This is really cool part of Hong Kong from a historical perspective if you are interested in the final few days of the Battle of Hong Kong, which I could probably also write an entire post about given I wrote a 4,000 word Extend Essay on it for IB (got an A for it) and took a university course concerning the Second World War in Asia & the Pacific (A as well). But I digress…
- Between Mt. Nicholson and Shousan Hill, then past Mt. Cameron – all of which is in Aberdeen Country Park
- Around Tim Wan Shan (still in Aberdeen Country park)
- Around Mt. Kellett to Po Fu Lam Country Park
- Sensing a pattern here? That’s because Hong Kong is really hilly with about 75% of it acting as the city’s “green lung” (40% country parks +35% agricultural/private rural area) – This makes the ecologist in me very happy.
- Unfortunatly it also means nearly 8 million people squeezed into 15% of its land (10% is urban parks, roads, government facilities etc), which makes the person who lives super far from HKU due to housing prices not that happy. But back to the trail I’m walking.
- Passing near Victoria Peak
- I am prediting in advance that this will suck, since it is one of the last few bit of the trail and it is a pretty steep mountian. View should be amazing though
- Through Lung Fu Shan Park
- which makes me really excited 1) cus it’s a pretty cool park that I’ve done quite a bit of field work in, 2) it should be all down hill from the peak + it ends just behind graduate house 3) it is the shortest section to walk!
So yeah… Again, not really sure how this will go but should be fun! Our plan is to finish before 10pm. Will write about it later!