What is Hong Kong's 9 Dragons Ultra trail race all about?

January 31, 2019

Photo credit: Lloyd Belcher Visuals/9 Dragons

 

If that weekend hike up Dragon's Back is filled with lots of cramps, breaks and strategically breathing through your nose when other hikers pass by, taking part in this race is probably the last thing you'd want to do.  

 

Imagine having to surmount a 50 mile uphill race with over 5000 metres worth of accumulative vertical, or the relatively tamer 50 kilometre race featuring a more forgiving 3730 metres climb by contrast. 

 

That, in a nutshell, is the 9 Dragons Ultra - offering its 800 participants from across the world the option of taking part in either, or indeed both races (known as the 50/50). 

 

The event kicks off on the cusp of midnight on Friday 1st February, leading athletes on a trail that starts in Yuen Long and finishes in Tai Po. 

 

Day 2 picks up where the previous day left off, commencing in Tai Po and concluding in Shing Fung Studio in Sai Kung - where the new male and female 9th Dragon will be crowned. 

 

 

Runners will effectively embark on an express tour of Hong Kong, taking in the most picturesque urban, rural and natural views it has to offer from Tai Mo Shan and along the Maclehose trail. 

 

"I think we're both popular and infamous - most races of this distance either have much longer cutoffs or lower elevation," said Steven Carr, 9 Dragons' Racing Director.

 

"The fact that it's such a big challenge really compels people to come and want to beat it." 

 

Despite already enjoying tremendous success since its 2017 debut, he believes that the 9 Dragons Ultra will only get bigger and better. 

 

"Each year, we work towards tweaking and making things better. So while there will be an even better community vibe and variety of checkpoints, we promise the exact same tough courses that we have become known for." 

 

"But above all, I think people know that we strive to put on the best event possible from registration through to drinks the day after the event." Carr added. 

 

 

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