9th November, 1997
Hong Kong Trail
Well it had to happen. Sark came back and taught us all a lesson again.
This weekend's walk actually started with Chris on the 8th of November (Saturday). He had to work all day Sunday so went and did a solo run of the Hong Kong Trail starting at 1pm on Saturday afternoon. This took him into the night where I believe batteries ran out and with no replacements Chris did exceptionally well to finish in a respectable 8 hours and 20 minutes.
For Sark, Peter and myself 8:10am on Sunday saw us assembled at the Peak Cafe and off on our effort of the Hong Kong Trail. We had been set a time to beat by Chris and Sark was holding nothing back. We finished the first 16 kms in an unheard of 2 hours. Simply walking was not enough, he led us jogging for a while and I eventually gave up trying to keep up and let him and Peter get out ahead.
I didn't see them for the next hour and a bit, and it was only by chance that I managed a glimpse of them a few hundred meters ahead of me as I pulled in to the shop at the reservoir. Trouble was, they'd already been to the shop and were on their way out. I spent just enough time at the shop myself to refuel with water and change socks, then set off in pursuit.
I managed to catch Peter on the climb up Mt Butler but Sark I never saw again until the end, more than 4 hours later. Peter and I walked together for basically the rest of the trail from Mt Butler and I only pulled away when I ran the last 1.5 km's to finish in a time just under 7.5 hours. Peter was just 3 minutes after me but Sark (legend) had finished in 7 hours and 3 minutes. We were all surprised at the fast times, and given that my previous best was 8 hours and 15 minutes back in January I was very pleased with the effort.
We have one more small walk on Wednesday night, then a rest before the big one. I'm ready and anxious to get going...