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Riche and Williams rock to wins in Repulse Bay Sprint

Bonaqua Action SPRINT adventure race series
Race 1 – Apr 6, 2014 – 12 km – Repulse Bay, HK Island
Race 2 – Apr 27, 2014 – 12 km – Discovery Bay, Lantau
Race 3 – May 11, 2014 – 13 km – Sai Kung, N.T.

Hong Kong – April 6, 2014 – Frenchman Romain Riche and British Zein Williams each took the overall win at race 1 of the Bonaqua Action Sprint series at Repulse Bay Sunday in wet, slippery and technical conditions in the 12km adventure run.

The race was near capacity with over 360 participants registered in the 1st leg of the series with adventure runners starting the race with a 500m beach run, 4m pier wall jump into the ocean followed by a 20 meter swim all before running up the 430 meter Violet Hill thru bush, steep downhill wear many slid on their bums, then down steep technical trails, before river rock scrambling in 3 different river in Tai Tam Country Park mixed in on the 2nd half of the course.

“Nice start as usual as the weather was good. Hard time on the hill as steep, but with Zein one of the Women runners pushing me was happy to have her behind me motivating me. A lot of fun going down on the technical parts as always fun for me playing in the river gullies” said overall Men’s winner Riche from the HK Trail Runners who had to fight hard to keep Mark Western and Cheung Wai Hung off his tail during the 2nd part of the race course to win in 1 hour 21 minutes 56 seconds.

Canadian Mark Western and local Hong Kong runner Cheung Wai Hung sprinted down the beach with only 8 seconds finally separating both after battling the whole race neck and neck for an exciting and competitive finish with Western grabbing 2nd in 1 hour 22 minutes 18 seconds and only 22 seconds behind Riche. “Pressure helped me with this performance in ideal windy and cool, but dry conditions as was in the lead and battled right to the end, but happy as won last year and this year ran on a twisted ankle, but definitely one of my favorite HK courses as starting on the beach followed by a wall jump and swim before a steep mountain trail run is much more fun compared to a boring road race," said 2nd Men’s overall winner Western.

Finishing 3rd in the overall Men’s Cheung Wai Hung had to be proud being the top local resident after a hard fought battle. “It wasn’t easy as those in front were strong in their technical abilities, but I didn’t want to get lost so played it safe and ran with others not taking any risks, but think with my training I have a chance to win at race 2 in Discovery Bay as finished less than a minute behind Riche today and am sure I can go faster” said a confident fast and one of the most experienced technical adventure runners in Hong Kong “Cheung Wai Hung who finished in 1 hour 22 minutes 26 seconds.

Fourth and only 22 seconds behind was another very strong runner Charles Sutherland finishing in 1 hour 22 minutes 48 seconds with Jeremy Leung from the Fire Services finishing close behind in 1 hour 23 minutes 2 seconds for fifth overall.

Zein Williams had a convincing win and missed Claire Price’s 5 year old record by 20 seconds. “It was really great as loved the beach start. I actually really liked the dip in the water to cool you down to start with. I love uphill’s so going up Violet Hill I just tried to push hard and stay on Romains tail for a bit, but on the steep downhill didn’t really have the guts to shoot down. One reason why I love this race is there are so many different sections that are thrown at you pushing you in different ways from legs, body to arms. Awesome race and looking forward to the series” said overall Women’s winner Raidlight team member Williams finishing in 1 hour 28 minutes 37 seconds.

Crossing the finish line 2nd overall in the Women’s was British Nathalie James finishing in 1 hour 49 minutes 33 seconds.”I made a lot of friends during the race, but as everyone had their own speed during many sections had to focus on myself. Great as using so many parts of the body as the course was constantly changing compared to a boring runs on the roads” said James.

Third place and friends with James was Estonian resident Liis Uiga. I suffered in the swim as my weakness and had took a while to recover as had to go hard to make up time so pushed really hard on the run and happy with 3rd” said Uiga finishing in 1 hour 53 minutes 23 seconds.
Hong Kong resident Dennex Lui grabbed 4th overall in1:55:12 while Opsima Marichuf of the Philippines grabbed 5th overall in 1:55:43.

Category winners are splitting over HK$100,000 in prizes from series sponsors such as Salomon, Oregon Scientific, Ocean Potion. Special thanks for making the series happen goes to Bonaqua, Action X Store, BonActive, Oregon Scientific, OtterBox, , OL&N, Ocean Potion, Nature Valley, Salonpas, Around DB, DBay and the Action Asia Foundation.

The next race of the Bonaqua Action Sprint Series goes to Discovery Bay April 27th with the final Sai Kung race May 11th.

Overall MEN'S - Top 5 – Repulse Bay – Bonaqua Action Sprint 2014
Rank Race # Team/ Charity/ Sponsor Last Name First Name Age Category Nationality Residence Time
1st 38 Hong Kong Trail Runners Riche Romain M20-29 France Hong Kong 1:21:56
2nd 237 Western Mark M45-49 Canada Canada 1:22:18
3rd 21 Cheung Wai Hung M20-29 China Hong Kong 1:22:26
4th 95 Sutherland Charles M30-34 United Kingdom United Kingdom 1:22:48
5th 142 FIRE SERVICE XC RUNNING TEAM Leung Chi Hang, Jeremy M35-39 Hong Kong Hong Kong 1:23:02

Overall WOMEN'S - Top 5 – Repulse Bay – Bonaqua Action Sprint 2014
Rank Race # Team/ Charity/ Sponsor Last Name First Name Age Category Nationality Residence Time
1st 304 Raidlight Williams Zein W30-39 United Kingdom Hong Kong 1:28:37
2nd 290 Vine Church James Nathalie W30-39 United Kingdom Hong Kong 1:49:33
3rd 274 Uiga Liis W20-29 Estonia Hong Kong 1:53:23
4th 320 Lui Lai Han dennex W40-49 Hong Kong Hong Kong 1:55:12
5th 322 Opsima Marichu W40-49 Philippines Hong Kong 1:55:43

Name of event: Bonaqua Action Sprint Repulse Bay (Race 1 out of 3 races)
Venue : Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Island
Time:Starting at 9am, Apr 6, 2014