Sunday, 23 January 2011

Run Banana Run

Have you ever seen a banana run?

This morning I woke up early and headed over to Tsim Sha Tsui to take part in the 6km run which is a fundraiser for the World Cancer Research Fund.

Kids gearing up for the 3K run after the "elite race"
It's called "Beat the Banana" and the fun run is 3km where the fastest person from last year gets to wear a banana suit that the rest of the runners try to catch up to.

However I signed up for the 6km "elite rate" even though I'm hardly "elite".

I even called up the organizers to make sure it was OK if I didn't run very fast.

In any case I was very concerned about it being very cold today and constantly checked the weather updates. Luckily the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day.

A gorgeous Sunday morning at 7:30am with the Olympic torch
I took the MTR over and made a pit stop at the posh restrooms at The Peninsula before arriving at the Clock Tower at the Cultural Centre. On the way I saw a group of people doing tai chi exercises with the recording shouting out numbers in Mandarin.

The race itself was pretty straight forward: we ran from the clock tower to the end of the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade to a brown building called the International Mail Centre, ran back and did one more loop to equal 6km. This was good, as it enabled me to pace myself. At the start those definitely qualified to be elite runners sprinted off way in front and the rest of us rounded up the rear. Only a few hundred metres into it, some Hong Kong Chinese girls stopped running, complaining of cramps. Some people didn't train for this...
Some folks getting fit doing tai chi

A colleague had advised that I try to find a runner who was just slightly faster than me and keep pace with them. I tried to do that but then I started passing them or they slowed to a walk. Others passed me and I couldn't keep up with them.

Along the route we passed by the Avenue of the Stars which is the Hong Kong version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On the ground are famous Hong Kong entertainers' hand prints, and there is even a statue of Bruce Lee in an action pose that I didn't know about.

I kept a good pace all the way -- on my second time around, there were more tourists gathering along the promenade and we had to dodge them; the "officials", volunteers with yellow plastic vests over their jackets did little to keep the path clear for us.

"Officials" getting the route ready before the elite race
In the last stretch I picked up the pace to pass two more people and finish the 6km run in about 36 minutes as there was no time clock. I was very pleased with the time as I usually finish 5km in under 35 minutes on the treadmill.

Overall the organization of the race was alright -- our stuff was stored in plastic bags that were numbered and the tag was stapled to our race bibs. There was plenty of water to drink, but the bananas were way too green.

Nevertheless, it was a good outing out -- pleased with my workout and doing my bit for charity.

1 comment:

  1. hong kong is so technologically advanced , i am surprised they don't have the individual tags that tracks time for the runners.