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Border Run

14/10/2012 09:30
賽事簡介 Event Information: 主辦機構 Organiziers: 創極培訓及項目管理有限公司 Xtraventure Training and Events Limited 日期:2012年10月14日 Date: 14 October 2012 參加費用:每人HK$150 Entry Fee: HK$150/ person 地點:新界北區 Area: North N.T. 賽事中心:香港浸會園 Event Centre: Hong Kong Baptist Assembly 前往途徑: Transport: 1.於粉嶺火車站轉乘小巴 乘九廣東鐵至粉嶺站,轉乘52K專線小巴至坪輋路88號直達本園大門口。(約5-10分鐘一班) 2.於上水火車站轉乘巴士 上水火車站對面上水廣場地下巴士總站,乘79K巴士到香港浸會園站下車。 3.駕駛私家車或乘旅遊巴士 駕駛私家車或乘旅遊巴士,到上水警署前迴旋處入沙頭角道經聯和墟直行至坪輋路口左轉入坪輋路(約300米)直達本園。 賽事開始時間:早上9:30 Race Start Time: 9:30am 路線: Route: 香港浸會園>廟徑>紅花嶺>担水坑>新村>烏石角>麻雀嶺>萬屋邊>長山>香港浸會園 距離: 體驗組:12公里 挑戰組:20公里 Distance: Explorer: 12km Challenge: 20km 組別Category︰ 青少年組Youth – 21歲或以下Under 21 公開組Open – 年齡不限 No Age Limit 壯年組Senior – 35歲或以上Over 35 先進組Master – 45歲或以上 Over 45 元老組Veteran – 50歲或以上 Over 50 (各主要組別另設有男子和女子組。There are man’s and woman’s sub-categories in each main category.) Enquiry查詢: Tel: 2676 9678 Mobile: 9318 5822 Email: info@xte.hk Website: www.xte.hk

Re: Border Run

That was totally disaster! I wanna share with you!

We signed up for 12K or 20K, but turned out much more than they said. For instance, for 12K, now ~17K shown on GPS. About 30% runners dropped out!

We only ran ~2.5K flat, 2K uphill but the rest was bushwhacking, more than 3.5-4 hours doing bushwhacking uphill and downhill! Not a run at all! Not enough water and helpers do not have knowledge about trail condition and distance! People got lost, including me and my team!

More to come,some runners dropped out and got early exit but crown Champions or 1st runnerup! Runners Complaining!

Very unprofessional and I totally do not have confidence in XTE.

Re: Border Run

XTE needs to set up more water stations if they're going to organise the event again next year. I saw many ppl dropped out basically because there weren't enough water/food supply. They should also make their emergency line functional. There were ppl collapsed in the trail after exhaustion and couldn't get thru the emergency phone no. for help. And it took the firemen some time to locate those ppl since the helpers were not familiar with the route.

XTE should really consider renaming the event as "Border Trail Exploration". It's just not a running event after all. And I don't think an average participant can finish the '20K' trail in 6 hours, which is the time allowed for completing the race.

Re: Border Run

These organisers please do not organise any race if they don't know how to organise. They shouldn't rely on participants to bear the risk. They must understand that if the organiser doesn't organise the race properly and if any participants are injured, the organiser is accountable (although the participants have signed the exemption clause).

Re: Border Run

I have attended many events, anyway this was my first event to drop out. I felt exhausted and my wife was hurt in finding a way in the bush. I wish XTE would arrange better next time. :(

Re: Border Run

I've ran in many HK races and did XTE's sea to summit race April this year. Hard to quantify, but certainly a good part of the race is bush whacking and going through some pretty silly routes (including walking across a water pipe to cross a small ravine, climbing and crawling on steep rocky and muddy terrains with hands and feet!). There was ZERO mention of such bush whacking or risk/difficulty level in XTE's description at race sign up.

Since participants have to "bush whack" with their hands and feet, and many including myself were wearing shorts and running singlet (thinking this was just normal trail race), all of us ended up with some countless cuts on our arms and legs and for some people their faces. I thought it was really strange at that time and I should definitely avoid future XTE events since it's really not for runners, but I didn't bother complaining.

Now that I see this thread, I thought I should share some of my experience.

Re: Border Run

Joined Sea to Summit early this year as well. I found it fairly challenging but manageable. Highly appreciate the route planning of the race. That's why I decided to join Border Run. After seeing the map, I expected to be more difficult than Sea to Summit. Finally I finished the race with 7 hrs which is beyond the official time limit with some little injuries. Always appreciate the organizer to have the courage to organize a race on an "unusual" route. Since the route is new to organizer/ participants/ police etc, I can see the organizer has paid a lot of efforts in terms of route planning and negotiation with Police, etc. Thumbs up! Each race always has room for improvement. I don't want to see this kind of "niche" races disappearing from the flood of big races too. Instead of complaining, there are a few things I would suggest to XTE making it better next year.

-Distance markers
-Well informed volunteers (Understood that it's difficult to recruit volunteers but it would be better if they are well informed of some basic race info at CP like the distance remained)
-Longer time limit to finish (Like other participants above, this is the first time I cannot finish a race within time limit)
-Alignment of closure of CPs in respect to final time limit (Reasonable timing in between the close of CPs and finish point)
-Kind reminder for wearing trousers and hand gloves
-Better measurement of the total distance. Participants can be better informed of the distance remained during the race (I was misled by the distance measurement of my GPS and the "official" total distance to come up a "wrong" distance remained)
-Pocari and banana should be provided earlier than CP3. People are normally running out of energy after 3 hrs of running/hiking according to my full marathon experience.

My 2 cents. Welcome other thoughts.

Re: Border Run

I think some of you may know that the area/trail after "Hung Fa Leng" (Robin Nest) was only "re-opened" in February 2012. It had been "forbidden" area for several decades. It is not a common hiking route, though I know some of the experienced hikers / clubs have tempted to enter the forbidden area without having permits.

I am not a participant of this race. Frankly, I have hiked along part of the route before the deadline for application. I've found most of the trail is not runnable and so I skipped this race.

I think Tikian has given fair comments. Its better for the organizer to make some descriptions on precautions because the English name of the race "Border Run" may mislead some runner, though the Chinese name of the race is "Border Cross-country Race).

In addition, its better for the participants to have a pre-trip so as to get familar with the route and get some ideas of gear to be carried during the race.

Re: Border Run

The description 'border run' led me to expect this to be a normal trail running event with some tough uphill or downhill at most, but not bushwhacking...hence, many cuts on my legs and arms also (normal running outfit only) and eventually dropped out when I saw the 3rd (last) climb again !

There were a couple of young kids (one of them is 9-year old girl) joined also. The route must be even more tough to them considering the bush could be as tall as they are but they are surprisingly strong. They could probably have completed on time !

Definitely the description of the event needs to be much clearer next time.

Re: Border Run

The intention of holding this type of race is much appreciated as the route is new to a lot of runners and also good training for otw and other races. However, it was not mentioned clearly the type of the race (a lot of bushwhacking) and rather difficult for beginners. The helpers were having no knowledge of the route and could not tell the remaining distance. My 12K has turned out to be more than 15K and there have been so many climbs especially the 2 climbs at the last 2K were stupid. Was told the 20K has become 25K. A lot of dropouts and time limit was not enough, I believe there were only about 70% finishers. Checkpoints were also not enough and there were runners running shortcuts. The 9 year old girl is my friend's daughter and she has been awesome and finished 12K but frankly speaking, this type of race has become too dangerous for her. Also saw a lot of littering on the way.

We definitely need more clearer information of the coming races, XTE !

Re: Border Run

My dear fellow runners HYY and Tikian,

I don't mean to offend you both, but your comments are too kind to this organiser. A responsible organiser should have a pre-race site visit to check if the "whole" route is suitable for running. They must understand that if the venue is not suitable for running, this would risk the lives of racers.

In contrast, HKAAA has done a good job to defer the Hong Kong Cross Country Championship when they found that the venue is not suitable for competition.

The worst is that they even let young children join. It is a "totally" irresponsible organiser. If they want to regain the trust from runners, they must come out to apologise to all racers.

sportsgal's picture

Re: Border Run

I didn't join this race but I have strong interest to join as I have been hiking at the borden area several months ago. Hence, I knew the difficulty level of the race and would like to have a challenge. However, I had to join a company race on the same day that I couldn't join the border run.

I think the part of the problem is most runners, especially the novice runners thought this race is a normal run just like the x-country race organized by LCSD or HKAAA.
In a running forum, I saw runners wanted to join this run as their first x-country race and some asked if it is the same level as the Yuen Long x-country race! Oh... what a big mistake!
Frankly speaking, border run is a real x-country race. If I had joined the race, I would have a pre-trip and bring my own water bottle during the race for safety. No one knows what would happen on the hills. It's not the Mac trail! I think most outdoor sports lovers know that. Unfortunately, most leisure runners would not do that and depend totally on the organizers. For participants have read the map of the route and have hiking experiences, they should know that's not an easy route.
What I would say is... it's a big misunderstanding.
Organizers surely should warn the runners while runners are advised to do more preparation work before they join a race!
Also hope that XTE would review but keep on to organize more races on new routes with challenge for us.

Re: Border Run

Misunderstanding? Quite clearly a case of organizer incompetence. At minimum their communications is "F" (go take a look at what the race info says about the nature of the race- nothing!), at worse they could be criminally negligent. What kind of responsible organizer would let a 9 year old run in such races?

Re: Border Run

I am not an experienced trail runner/hiker. I joined the 12K explorer category. I did go there a few weeks ago to check on the first part of the race course. It is impossible for me to go further without any indicators since there is not a clear trail.
I guess what was killing me and maybe most participants was the incorrect distance. When I reached the village at about 10K, I started to run through the village until I hit another hill. Okay, my misjudgment. after the hill at 12-13 K I reached Sha Tau Kok road, I ran with my tired legs towards the finish and then found out there was another climb. There was no surprise to me when I saw a third climb at 15K where we helped a collapsed runner.

A responsible organizer must give out clear information on the race. This is the first ever race I have worried about my safety during the course.

Re: Border Run

I’m afraid too that I have to continue with the theme of the vast majority of earlier comments. I was so angry having completed the race on Sunday. I felt completely cheated and misled by the organiser as to what I actually signed up for.

I suppose there were some warning signs by the barrage of late information received, some as late as the day before. The most alarming element in the late information was the statement, ‘When coming down from Robin’s Nest, there are two trail junctions (one near the top and the other in the middle) with trails going down to the closed area. DO NOT turn left at these junctions; otherwise you will have big trouble’. What an earth was that supposed to mean. It strikes me that we were being placed at serious risk? I don’t recall either there being appropriate supervision at these points so it’s amazing there isn’t a horror story from this torrid tale.

I don’t believe in the comment that its up to the runner to do their own research, the onus is on the organiser to provide an accurate portrayal of what the event entails.

Quite frankly the whole event was shambolic. Earlier comments have already dealt with the basic issues of lack of signage, support and fluid.

There was no trail for probably two thirds of the race. It was man against bush. You were literally fighting your way through dense bush land, which at times was well over six feet high. I think I managed to run for only about 3-4km. Again my GPS said I completed 15.3km whereas the race was only supposed to be 12km. I was with several other runners throughout much of the race and I’m pretty confident I actually followed all of the pink markers. If this route was clearly mapped out by the organiser, how can they get the distance it so drastically wrong?

I don’t believe people were intentionally cheating but without a timing chip at the water or check points there is no way of knowing for sure. It would however be disappointing if as suggested certain runners quit the race, only to arrive back at the finish point and claim they completed the race and subsequently happened to win a prize.

I am also disappointed the organiser could not even muster a commemorative souvenir. I did at least manage to complete the race in just over 3hours but only have deep cuts, bruises and bad memories to show for the gruelling effort I had to put in.

I totally agree with an earlier comment that the organiser should have come out and issued an apology immediately. Given that the race finished over 48 hours ago, the silence of the organiser might mean they are deeply embarrassed by what they put the runners through. But still, they should man up and do the right thing. Be honest and admit they got this event hopelessly wrong.

On a positive note, I will also congratulate the young girl who completed the race. Amazing performance. She demonstrated bravery way beyond her years to have tackled such an event.

Re: Border Run

If anyone who participated in this event would care to comment (more) publicly about it John Carney from the SCMP is going to run a story about it this Sunday. He really needs comments from competitors in the event to comment. His number is 2250-3103.

Re: Border Run

An email received from the Race Organizer today.

Dear All,
Sorry for the delay of sending the race result to all of you as we have to run a training programme right after the race and got to Gobi Desert for the site visit of the coming event.

We got some feedbacks and complaints about the race and I would like to apologize for all the upset and unpleasant experience caused by the race.

We have visited the race routes right after it was opened to the public and it was even more harder and difficult to run/hike. The difficulty of the route is higher than that on HK Island, Lantau and Sai Kung as it is seldom visited by hikers before. We should state more clearly about the condition of the trail so that people can have better preparation for the race.

The distance we calculated based on the first visit on the routes and there were few changes to suit the requirement of the police. So it is longer than that we put on the website before. This is the thing we can work harder to avoid it again as the Police will be more familiar with this kind of race in the border area.

We will keep exploring new areas / routes and work harder in the area that we are weak at in the future.

You are also very welcome to give us more feedback / complaints about the race.

Sorry again for the all the unpleasant things.

Best regards,

Felix Shum
Xtraventure Training and Events Limited

Re: Border Run

What a quick reply after Sportpix's (Richard's) message!

Re: Border Run

What a disappointment. They failed to capture my time. After so many hours of battling in the bushes and there is no time nor position under my name. How can this organizer not able to do basic things like measuring distance and keeping time?