Hong Kong 100 and Marie McNaughton continued their dominance of the Gone Running Hong Kong Trail Running Awards, taking out the2XU Best Race and GreenRace Female Runner of the Year awards, respectively, for the third year running.
46 years young and a mother of three, McNaughton continues to defy gravity, with another dominant season, highlighted by over a dozen local wins as well as winning Transjeju in Korea and runner-up at Ultra Trail Mount Fuji STY in Japan. Despite narrowly trailing in the public vote, McNaughton was the clear favourite with the expert panel from the Trail Runners Association of Hong Kong, with the awards decided based on both inputs.
Accepting her award, McNaughton reflected, “Thanks to everyone for the support. It’s been another fun season and great to see the competition just getting stronger and stronger.” Happily for the other ladies, this upcoming season could be McNaughton’s last, given plans to move back to New Zealand.
The men, however, are proving much more adept at sharing, with WONG Ho Chung becoming the third winner of the Male Runner of the Year award, narrowly beating WAA’s Jeff Campbell. Chung received over half the public vote for another fine season, with big performances all over the world. As well as victory at the DMZ Trail Race 100K in Korea, he podiumed at The North Face 50 in China, The North Face 100 in Hong Kong and only narrowly missed the win at Four Deserts Namibia.
Hong Kong 100 has been a popular choice for Best Race since the awards started, even winning in 2015/16 when a polar vortex stranded runners on Tai Mo Shan. This year was another strong showing for Hong Kong’s first solo 100 kilometre race, with Hong Kong 100 being a firm favourite with the public vote as well as the expert panel.
Andy Naylor Best Sportsmanship Award
The Andy Naylor Best Sportsmanship Award is named after former Sai Kung elite runner, community leader and family man, Andy Naylor, who tragically died during the New York Ironman. Nominees are judged based on the trail running ideals of sportsmanship, fairness, integrity, respect and excellence, with the winner receiving a $5,000 Gone Running voucher, courtesy of the Hard As Nayls trail race.
This year’s winner was Mr & Mrs Camel FUNG, a much-loved couple on the Hong Kong trail circuit. Wearing a prosthetic blade, Camel is widely known as “Blade Runner” and has run numerous trail races and desert ultras, including Gobi, Namibia and the Atacama deserts. He lives life to the fullest even with disability and is a great role model for all.
However, this could not have happened without Mrs Fung, his best training buddy, racing team mate, supporter, and post-operation recovery nurse. Not only are they good runners, they have actively supported many organisations through their charity fundraising campaigns in races.
This year’s awards also saw the inaugural Alpinamente Asian Runner of the Year award, recognising the tremendous growth of the sport across the region. In a very tight contest, China’s YAO Miao narrowly pipped Nepal’s Mira Rai, Kaori Niwa from Japan, and Thai-based Harry Jones. 22 year old YAO crushed the Hong Kong 100 record by almost 40 minutes as well as winning a number of high profile races in China.
The Hong Kong Trail Running Awards are now in their third year and seek to recognise and celebrate the best runners, races and volunteers within the Hong Kong trail running community over the past racing season. The awards are organised by Gone Running (www.gone.run), a local community trail running store in Wanchai, and backed by a number of generous sponsors including Salomon, 2XU, GreenRace, HOKA, WAA and Tailwind, who have contributed over $35,000 in prizes.
Alpinamente Asian Runner of the Year Award – YAO Miao 姚妙
GreenRace Female Runner of the Year Award – Marie McNaughton
Salomon Male Runner of the Year Award – WONG Ho Chung
HOKA Master Runner of the Year Award – Mo Devlin
Tailwind Youth Runner of the Year Award – NG Wei Hei
Ultimate Direction Most Improved Female Runner Award – CHIU Wai-Yin Winnie
WAA Most Improved Male Runner Award – Brian McFlynn
Salomon Best Solo Run Award – Stone Tsang
RaceBase Best Team Run Award – Alice Lee & Celvin Tsang
Andy Naylor Sportsmanship Award – Mr & Mrs Camel FUNG
2XU Best Race Award – Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race
CrampFix Best New Race Award – Gurkha Trailblazer
Altra Best Trail Running Photo Award – Feng Er
T8 Community Award – Elton Lam
2XU Lifetime Achievement Award – Keith Noyes
Gone Running Sponsors Award – Beauty & The Beasts & Jeff Campbell