Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2009

Race Details - 2009    Review - 2008    Results, Photos, Videos - 2008

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Post Olympic Mega Event

With 55,000 participants across three 10k, one half and one full marathon race, the Special Administrative Region's brand name marathon is the uncontested giant marathon in the region. Participation numbers have been growing every year since SARS and the quota of last year was already full long before the enrolment deadline.

If you want to be one of the lucky participants in Hong Kong's Marathon event of the year, you should enter your application early.

Our Favourite for the Half Marathon

After winning all Hong Kong races in which he participated in this season, Thomas Kiprotich is our clear favorite for the 21k race.

Hilly Aspects and Hong Kong Logic

The course is, due to its bridges, elevated highways and the Western Harbour Tunnel quite hilly, considering its name as a "city marathon".

The 10k field will be split by speed instead of gender and age ("who wants to run fast has to get up early"). This worked quite well for the top group, but for runners in the following races, the crowd can be overwhelming. Since 2008, when separated courses for 10k runners (on Hong Kong Island only) and half and full marathoners (on the "traditional" route, crossing via the Western Harbour Tunnel) were introduced, congestion has been a problem only for the latter 10k races. For the first time in 2009, also the Half-Marathon field will be split according to personal best, 2 hours and 15 minutes being the dividing time.

Also new in 2009 will be a speed requirement at the time of registration for the full marathon ("Best time achieved: 5 hours 30 minutes"). In return, the time limit for the race itself was abolished. One may wonder how this event wants to attract first-timers, who normally make up for the majority of the field and can well beat 5:30 hrs!

Bad Air?

Air pollution has been a hotly debated topic for the last two races with even one casualty rumored to be connected to the bad air quality. Though, the actual impact might be less than in not-so-well organized races (see our Macau report), where the traffic jam (this time its real cars and scooters) happens on the lane next you. Lately, the Beijing Olympic Games demonstrated how well China can manage to "shut off" air pollution. Let's hope the Standard Chartered Marathon is important enough to try it again!


Race Details - 2009    Review - 2008    Results, Photos, Videos - 2008

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