To improve the competitive team aspect of the HKTRL, this season we will introduce a new, team racing event.
Currently, there are only two races in the league that are solely team-based, The Great Relay (TGR) and the Country of Origin races (COO).
Those that can remember the first season of the HKTRL will recall that when Vlad Ixel announced the TGR, I immediately wanted to put it into the league, mid-season, but was advised by people much wiser than myself, that dropping races into the league unannounced was not fair. Therefore the TGR appeared in the HKTRL for the first time in 2015.
Likewise, the COO appears in both the Ultra and Trail Leagues, given its popularity and great team ethic.
The HKTRL is not necessarily about who can put together the fastest collective of runners, but instead, who can forge a great team spirit that has the power to become a legacy team. Two legacy teams that spring to mind are of course, Team Green and the newly established, Silly Team. Both these teams transcend personal achievement and are far greater than the sum of their parts.
The NEW Mountain Express Series
Back in 2007, I organised Hong Kong's first ever multi-day trail race, called the Lantau Mountain Express (LMX). The Race was 86km across Lantau and was won by Stone Tsang and Wong Ka Wai. The first day consisted of 36km and the second-day was 50km. We even went down the now infamous Dog's Tooth Ridge. Following on from this, the plan was to organise a Kowloon Mountain Express (KMX), as can be seen here - http://www.hkrunners.com/node/1258
Unfortunately, the KMX never happened and becasue of other businesses at the time, the LMX1 was the only edition. However, when brainstorming for fresh ideas for team trail racing in Hong Kong, it seemed possible that the KMX, LMX race series could be adapted for a return 10years later in 2017.
KMX 2017 (provisional date schedule 21st January 2017)
The KMX 2017 will be a four-person relay along the Machlehose Trail. Only one team member at a time will be allowed to run before passing the 'baton' to another team mate somewhere along the route. No support runners. Teams will have the flexibility to run whatever sections they wish, for as long as they wish. Each runner will need to run a minimum of 15km for their team.
This race will be as much about strategy as fitness. How teams divide up the Mac and what sections each member runs will be entirely up to the teams so long as they keep passing along their 'baton'.
This will be a true Moutain Express in the same vein as the Pony Express Mail Service existed back in the days of the Wild West, or a contiuous relay across the breadth of the Hong Kong.
The KMX will be a new race format on a familiar course. We think it will bring an exciting edge to the HKTRL as both Ultra and Trail Racing teams will be competing against each other in a dash across Hong Kong's most iconic route.
The race will also be open to non HKTRL teams.
A dedicated website with more details explanations will be released shortly.
The original logo of the LMX from back in 2007