I ran half marathon in this year’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, and 10km in last year’s. While the half-marathon was both enjoyable and exhausting for me, I had expected that the scenery along the route would be quite interesting and there were people lining up cheering on at some points. Well, at two points only after the starting point in Tsim Sha Tsui – the new ferry pier in Central, and Causeway Bay where the half marathon and full marathon ended.
It was because the run was mostly on the highway and sometimes in the tunnel. We as runners didn’t get close to pedestrians or the normal life of Hong Kong. I ended up seeing concrete most of the time while running, either of the bridges, highways or the high rise buildings in the distance.
I was hopeful that I could see some of the harbor in Central. I was disappointed. We were running in Central’s reclaimed area, with a construction site boarded up where the old star ferry pier once stood. It is construction and redevelopment that has become the signature face of this city.
And this year, I was lucky. I only needed to get up at 6pm for the half-marathon which started at 8:45am. Last year I got up at 4am for the 10km run which started at 6am. It was and is not a friendly race.
Running a marathon should be challenging and fun. In HK, challenging as it may be, there is not much fun.
Look, as a runner, you have to be careful that the pedestrians, eager to cross the road, may not listen to the police and just run into you in the busy area of Causeway Bay.