Kiwis at Hong Kong100

hk100 logoThis weekend the Ultra Trail World Tour kicks off with the Hong Kong 100km. Among those lining up are 3 top kiwi ultra runners-  Shannon-Leigh Litt, Scott Hawker and Vajin Armstong.

BCR caught up with all 3 pre HK100.

BCR- The HK100 is now part of the newly formed Ultra Trail World Tour- was that a deciding factory for choosing to race HK100- or was it a race you already had on the calendar?

SLL- This was definitely a factory and the reason I entered the HK100

SH- It was a race we already had planned as part of a 7 week holiday. Stoked to hear it was part of UTWT though

VA- I was extremely lucky in that UTWT actually invited me to this race. I was looking for a race in early January and there aren’t too many, plus the fact that I am already doing two other UTWT races (Tarawera and Western States) made HK100 a perfect fit. I enjoy racing a series of Ultra races and feel that for me I preform my best with a few ultra’s under my belt. Nothing calluses you against the demands of an ultra better than racing one.

BCR- The UTWT has brought out some top talent- do you know much about the competition and the HK100 course?

SLL- I understand the competetion is tough and have looked at the winning women last year and their times are definitely very good. I think this year there is Lizzy Hawker and Kami Semak competing and Claire Price who won last year. There is also Francesa Canepe from Italy will be a likely winner. I know the course is tough in terms of the elevation and a lot of stairs so I have definitely trained for this aspect.

SH- There’s a stack of international talent. I’ve been told to keep an eye on the Nepali guys too. I have checked out a bit of the course and all I can say is stairs!

VA- I have heard great things about this race from other athletes that had done the event before. It looks like it has an incredible balance between nature and solitude all the while being so close to such a huge concentration of people. The field looks to have a great international feel to it with top runners from Nepal, Hong Kong, China, US, Britain and of course the mighty Flying Kiwi Contingent.

BCR- How has the build up been- have you incorporated many steps and road running into your training?

SLL- The build up has been solid, have done solid amount of hill work and technical downhill.

SH- The build up has been great. I have just signed up with a coach recently who has had me doing plenty of stairs and hilly stuff. There is a heck of a lot of concrete on this course which is going to catch up with people later on in the race. Due to travel I have done a fair bit of road running in Singapore, KL & Beijing recently.

VA- For me it has just been a matter of keeping things ticking over since Kepler in December. I only found out in early January that I had been invited, so not much time for specific workouts, but I feel that I am at a good level of fitness and should be ready to race come Saturday.

BCR- What are your expectations for the race?

SLL- I am hoping for the best and going to give it everything I have.

SH- Only my 2nd international race other than a disappointing DNF at Tarawera in 2013 after catching some kind of bug on the flight over. Despite that, like all the other guys and girls, we’re all going for the win aren’t we?

VA- My expectations are simply to perform to my best and to enjoy it. The more I can stay in the moment and come from a place of love the better I tend to perform, so that will be my goal on Saturday.

BCR- You have all also entered in Tarawera (another UTWT event) –what else do you have n for the year and what is the main focuses?

SLL- Tararewa is a focus definitely and so is this race is to see where I am at. Will look at the Lavaredo Trail in Italy 27 June, as a possible 3rd race in the series.

SH- Yeah I have some making up to do at Tarawera for sure I plan on doing the TNF100 (UTWT) in May and then I’m not sure. See how the body feels after 3 100km races in 6 months. I’d have to say Tarawera is my ‘A’ race for the 1st half of 2014. Also going to be running with my wife for her 1st ever 100km in the 2nd half of the year which I’m psyched about too.

VA- Big races for me this year will be Tarawera, Transvulcania and Western States. All of these are going to be epic races with super deep fields, so I am really looking to up my game and see what is possible. As T S Eliot said “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”


Shannon- has won the ANZ 100km road champs, Naseby 100km and Ned Kelly 100km in 2013. Supported by Foundation Clinic Physio, Thir and Coached by Craig Kirkwood.

Scott- Recently placed 1st in the Truth or Consequences 50km, Kep 100km and 6 Inch Trail Marathon. Sponsored by Hoka One One Australia, RaceReady, Ryders Eyewear. “Also thanks to Eric LaHaie from Hoka One One Hong Kong for looking after us while we’re over here.”

Vajin- 3X Kepler winner, 2nd at 2013 Swiss Alpine Marathon. “Big Thanks to all my sponsors especially MACPAC, Ultimate Direction, Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and The Lotus Heart.”

From HK100 website- Live tracking will be available during the event.  To track any participant’s progress on PCs, iPads and large tablet, use this link.  For smartphones, use this link.

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  1. Good luck and look out for those monkeys!

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