Local trail running champion, Stone Tsang, was the big winner as the Hong Kong trail running community gathered on July 21 to recognise outstanding performances from the 2016/17 season. Nominated for six awards, Tsang took home three, including the Andy Naylor Sportsmanship and Altra Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Reflecting on his multiple wins, Stone reflected, “For me, it’s an amazing night and it’s an honor to win three awards. I’m very happy to get the support of so many people and I’m very lucky. Thank you to the community and Gone Running.”
Another stand out was Canadian Jeff Campbell, who claimed the blue ribbon Green Race Male Runner of the Year on the back of 12 wins in 13 races. Amazingly, Campbell bought his first trail shoes less than three years ago. For the ladies, over a dozen local wins and a top 10 finish at the Ultra Trail World Tour saw New Zealand’s Marie McNaughton’s make it back-to-back victories, comfortably winning the WAA Female Runner of the Year.
Despite seeing only 22 starters, the 298km Hong Kong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge was well represented, with the magic 60 hour cut-off broken for the first time in six years. Tsang’s win in the Runivore Best Solo Run was based on his second placed 54:15 finish, as well as his monumental fundraising effort, raising over $500,000 for sports-based charities. Unluckily beaten for the solo run prize, race winner, Tom Robertshaw, received the Alpinamente Sponsors Award.
The awards also acknowledge the crucial behind-the-scenes work of race organisers and volunteers. The Vibram Hong Kong 100 claimed the 2XU Best Race gong for the second year running, while RaceBase’s 9 Dragons – challenging back-to-back 50 mile and 50km courses over a single weekend – won the Black Diamond Best New Race. Local snapper, Sunny Lee, picked up the inaugural Ultimate Direction Best Trail Running Photo trophy.
The awards are organised by Gone Running (www.gonerunning.hk), a local community trail running store in Wanchai, and winners are based on public voting. A groundswell of interest saw this year’s online voting double to 5,852 returned ballots, while big name trail running brands like Salomon, Joint Dynamics and Tailwind also strongly backed the awards night with over $35,000 of prizes.
WAA Female Runner of the Year – Marie McNaughton
Green Race Male Runner of the Year – Jeff Campbell
2XU Master Runner of the Year – Janine Canham
Joint Dynamics Youth Runner of the Year – Tang Ying Fei Nathania
Salomon Most Improved Female Runner – Frances Lai
Tailwind Most Improved Male Runner – Nick Cook
Runivore Best Solo Run – Stone Tsang
RaceBase Best Team Run – Team Japan
Andy Naylor Sportsmanship Award – Stone Tsang
2XU Best Race – Vibram Hong Kong 100
Black Diamond Best New Race – 9 Dragons
Ultimate Direction Best Trail Running Photo – Sunny Lee
Icebreaker Community Award – Filipina Extreme Hikers
Altra Lifetime Achievement Award – Stone Tsang
Alpinamente Sponsors Award – Tom Robertshaw