Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2019 (Chung Lin Cheng)
Lok Wah 100min Half Marathon Elite Race (MaKee Snap Shot)
Sportshouse Hong Kong 10K Challenge 2018 (Cheng Chung Lin)
Chung Hing Cup 2018 (Coey Yuen)
Chung Hing Cup 2018 (wmhy)
12th Launch8 Tolo Harbour 10K Race (Sundae Lam)
12th Launch8 Tolo Harbour 10K Race (Sundae Lam)
Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (HKRun)
Mizuno Hong Kong Half Marathon 2017 (Coey Yuen)
ASICS Hong Kong Island 10K City Race (Cheng Chung Lin)

UNICEF Half merge with 10K

Running the half yesterday at 9:30 mile pace, when merged with 10K at 14K per my calculations with runners at 10:30 pace and with the narrow roads made it impossible to keep moving, and I finished last 4 miles at about a 10:30 average. You expect to have to clear the crowd at the start, but not again with 4 miles to go. There was no way to make progress. Found this frustrating, wondering if any others felt the same. It was bad for both the 10K'ers and Half Marathoners. Great event, great cause but there is too much training involved to not be able to run ones best, and would lead me to pick another race without a change. I ran 4 half marathons, this year and hoped to finish on a high, but left disappointed. Second time I have done the UNICEF. The last time in 2011 didn't feel as congested, and I don't remember the merge.

Re: UNICEF Half merge with 10K

This race isn't really designed with runners in mind - sounds ridiculous I know, but that's how it is. It is all about fundraising and holding a load of different running events is the means to the end. The course merges in the tightest and most technical narrow part of the route and is just not suitable for the massed ranks at that peak moment. I can't imagine they will change it as most people will show up and run regardless. I am sure they could change it, but heaven forbid they disrupt people getting to Disney by road on a Sunday morning before 8am.

Re: UNICEF Half merge with 10K

You have two options.

1. (Sorry to say) Run faster, the serious runners with below 6 mins a mile pace ends with the faster pack of 10k runners.

2. (a more serious option for you) Do the Mizuno half. While you may get the first mile stuck with the pack but as everyone is doing Half and are serious.

Re: UNICEF Half merge with 10K

Agree with you there, especially at the point where the road narrows. The crowd grows because of the narrow path and also because a drink station is conveniently located there.

Re: UNICEF Half merge with 10K

Same experiences here. I run at 7.2 min per miles and also merged with the 10k runners before the Inspiration Lake. The group with similar pace with me managed to pass the pack of 10k runners after 1k. However, my pace is distributed to run much faster in that section and need to re-fuel at the last water station to finish the race.

Also, I wonder why that section of road (in the remote Disneyland resort area) cannot be block for a longer time and force the Half Marathon to start at 6:10am. Unless the runners are living near the shuttle bus station or stay a night in Disneyland resort, most of the runners have to pay the Taxi fees to get to the shuttle bus station or directly to the starting line. And those Taxi fees can be donated to the organization instead if it can start like 7:30am or 8:00am when the public transport is available.

MichaelCheung's picture

Re: UNICEF Half merge with 10K

I think everyone feels the same pain at the bottleneck after the last water station. I wonder if UNICEF would consider reversing the route, and setting up time target corrals, so that the fastest most qualified runners could clear that path before others?
Mizuno Half Marathon Championship has flags to mark which section equivalent runners can start from (eg. those targetting 1h00-1h15mins at the front, followed by those targetting 1h15-1h30mins). Even if it is unpoliced, I think this is a good sensible approach, and the onus is on the faster runner to reach that corral before the clock starts.