The fifth SHKP Vertical Run for Charity – Race to Hong Kong ICC organized by Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) took place in The International Commerce Centre at Kowloon Station – the tallest building in Hong Kong on Sunday.
The race was the grand finale of Vertical World Circuit – an annual series organised by International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) with races at iconic skyscrapers around the world – and saw runners competing for world championship for the fourth consecutive year.
The Race to Hong Kong ICC included Elite, Individual, Team Relay, and two Fun Climbs. Fun Climb B allowed youngsters over ten to join with an adult so children and parents could feel the exhilaration of vertical running.
A field of 24 top runners from 12 countries or regions took on the challenge, with Australian runner Mark Bourne taking the men’s category after reaching the sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck finish in 12 minutes and 12 seconds while Suzy Walsham, also from Australia, won the women’s category closely behind in 14 minutes and 25 seconds. Suzy Walsham also won the women’s 2016 Vertical World Circuit, along with Polish runner Piotr Lobodzinski for the men.
Vertical running is increasingly popular and the number of Race to Hong Kong ICC participants set a record this year with over 1,700 runners from 34 countries. About 90% were locals and the male to female ratio was 7:3. Runners ranged from 10 to 69 years and included some with hearing or visual impairments and amputees.
The student relay category saw the biggest increase in participants. Tin Ka Ping Secondary School Team A won the secondary student relay in 13 minutes and 38 seconds while Hong Kong Baptist University took the tertiary relay in 12 minutes and 12 seconds.
There were 900 runners in the individual races to the 100th floor, taken by Su HsinKai for the men in 14 minutes and 34 seconds and Wong Yu Hung for the women in 19 minutes and 06 seconds. They will both get SHKP sponsorships for the 2017 Vertical World Circuit representing Hong Kong’s spirit of sport for charity.
HKSAR Chief Secretary for Administration Mrs. Carrie Lam said: “SHKP Vertical Run for Charity represents the spirit of exercising for good causes and has raised more than HK$25 million for child and youth services over the years.
“In addition to this event, SHKP also stages a wide range of activities to promote sports for charity. Doing exercise helps maintain a balance between physical and mental well-being and has a positive impact on individuals and the community at large.
“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage people to participate in sport to maintain physical health and add spice to life.”
The corporate relay also witnessed fierce competition as runners shed their suits for running gear and scaled 2,120 steps. Sun Hung Kai Properties Team A took home the title. SHKP executives also joined Fun Climb A for charity.
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