The Honk Kong Marathon is a famous running event that takes place each year in Hong Kong. It is organised in January or February and is sponsored by Standard Chartered. Apart from the main marathon event, a half marathon and a 10 km run is also conducted. On average the participants each year in the Hong Kong Marathon are around 70,000.
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) granted The Hong Kong Marathon with the IAAF Bronze Label road race in 2012. Then it was upgraded in 2013 to IAAF Silver Label road race. The Asian Marathon Championship has also been hosted at the Hong Kong Marathon in 2002, 2008 and 2013.
The marathon has now gained widespread popularity and runners from all over the globe come to participate in it. For most years then race has been dominated by the East African runners. Currently the record of men’s course is 2:11:27 while for the women the record is 2:30:12.
History of the Hong Kong Marathon.
The history of the Hong Kong Marathon dates back to late 1980s and 1990s. Back then it was launched by the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association as the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Marathon. Initially its route was between Shenzhen and Sheung Shui. In its early days due to lack of funds the race had to face organisational difficulties. Therefore it was not held between 1989 and 1991. Two editions of the race then took place and again it was suspended in 1994 to 1996.
Standard Chartered in 1997 stepped in as the title sponsor. In that edition a total of 1000 runners participated. But in 1998 a new route was established which started form Tsing Ma Bridge and ended at the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. In that year the number of participants was 6000.
In 1999 for the first time the race was shifted to the urban areas. It started at Central and ended at the Sham Shui Po Sports Ground with 7000 runners participating. In the 2000 edition of the race the track was again altered. It started from Hong Kong Cultural Center and finished at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground. By then the 10 km was already the part of the event but the half-marathon was added that year.
2001 edition of the Hong Kong Marathon recorded 10,000 runners. That year the race started from the Nathan Road and ended in Wanchai North at Golden Bauhina Plaza. In 2006 a prize money of 100,000 $ was announced. The number of participants that year rose to 40,000. The first fatality of the competition also took place that year when a two people fainted and one later died. Keeping this in mind more attention was paid to the first aid services in the next version of the Hong Kong Marathon. The 2008 edition of the race had 42,000 participants. In 2009 the participation rose to 55,000 and $100,000 was divided among the winners. The winner of the main event Cyprian Mwobi from Kenya got $20,000 as prize money. The finishing rate that year was also 98%. In 2010, Cyprian Mwobi successfully defended his title.
In the 2014 version of the race two additional wheel-chair races were also included. One was of 3 km and the other one 10 km. The most recent Hong Kong Marathon in 2016 was won by Mike Mutai of Kenya and the female event was won by Letebrhan Gebreslasea from Ethiopia.
The Hong Kong Marathon Weather Conditions.
Usually the weather is humid and therefore the finishing times for marathon have been slow as compared to other marathons. In 2007 version of the marathon, 35 runners were hospitalised due to the effects of hot weather. These sorts of incidents happen each year and are quite common in racing events throughout the world. The first aid response teams are present on the route of the marathon. However if you are going to compete in the Hong Kong Marathon it I highly advised that you take proper precautionary measures before, during and after the race.
Upcoming Hong Kong Marathon.
The next edition of the Hong Kong Marathon will be taking place on February 12, 2017. The starting point for the race would be Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and will end at Causeway Bay. If you are looking forward to compete in the event, you can get some competitive advantage by making yourself familiar with the route. Apart from all this it is going to be a great experience for you. Hong Kong is a great city and you can enjoy the tourist spot and have a great shopping experience while you are here.