"I am pleased to let you know that the 120km (70km Lantau Trail and 50km Hong Kong Trail) challenge was successfully completed on 15-16 May 2010 under 29 hours 52 minutes by 4 (support runners) and myself.
Initially, as stated on the sponsorship form, the personal challenge is regarded as my sole personal challenge only and other runners would be support runners only. However, that all changed on the actual challenge date. Including me, there were five runners who ran the full length of 120km, one who did 70km and two who did 50km. We ran as a team-Team Nutter (and lived up to our name!) for the whole time and supported each other the whole way through. I would like to share with you our journey below.
We started early at 0515 on 15 May opposite the ferry pier in Mui Wo (the start of the Lantau Trail), when it was still dark and walked the next 2.5 hours in rain and thunderstorm. We ran down the slippery slope in Tai O to be welcomed by our lunch, then continued our hike under the scorching sun in the next few hours. After completing 66km of the Lantau Trail, we managed to stick to our Lantau Trail schedule by running the last 4km to catch the 2230 ferry to Central. It was rather tiring but sweetly satisfying.
We resumed our challenge at 0008 on 16 May at the Peak (start of the Hong Kong Trail), missed a turn at Peel Rise, then basically sleep-walked from 0200 until 0500. We even gave up once on our 30 hours target as it almost seemed impossible to finish by then. However, we suddenly woke up after breakfast at Parkview at 0630 and picked up our pace again. Our energy somehow miraculously all came back. This allowed us, the whole team of eight, and perhaps more importantly, all the 120km runners, to complete the last 16km in 2 hours 15 minutes to reach the finish line at 1112 on 16 May.
It felt beyond magical crossing the finish line, most of all because the whole Team Nutter crossed it together in high spirits! It was a personal challenge for the whole team, runners and support team members, but arguably especially for all the five full 120k runners as none of us has completed such a long distance challenge officially. I have never come across such a strong and tightly knit team bonded together with such high morale. We sailed through together, ‘not one less’. We were afraid a few hours previously that it would not have been possible to break the 30 hours limit, yet perhaps it was that sheer determination and perseverance that got each and every one of us through. We had an inspirational leader. One of our 120km teammates was injured after 50km already yet his inner strength got the better of him and he continued. We fought through the adverse weather conditions, we fought through exhaustion, we fought through our own vulnerability and just aimed for the finish line (secretly) within the targeted time. Spending 30 hours together with the Team was very special: it reminded me once again of my fond memories in my bridge building projects, because this felt very similar. We all encouraged each other from the start until the end, the end was our ‘bridge’. Throughout the 120km challenge, many spiritual bridges of friendship and care were built, transcending genders and generations. I am out of words to describe how I feel-that hug, that smile, that pat on the arm/shoulder, that hand-squeeze and the few lines from your teammates are perhaps the best encouragement you could ever find!
Certainly, the (nutty) support team in preparing our meals and supplement must not be forgotten. They were so perfect, which undoubtedly helped us immensely to get through the gruelling 120km. Without them, it would clearly not have been possible! The whole challenge has been tough at times, but it has been an amazing ride. This challenge, however, compared to the villagers who have to walk endless miles each day to only get out of their villages, is nothing.
I will definitely miss the challenge now but when I look back, that indescribable feeling of ‘victory’ will always have a significant place in my memory.
If you would like to know more about my challenge, please visit my facebook group at the link below:
So, once again I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all donors' generous support. The donations have made a profound difference to the villagers in remote villages in rural China. Please help spread the word to your friends and relatives to sponsor us in such a worthy cause if they are interested, it will be well worth it!"