More Than A Race- HK100 Film

In 4 years the Hong Kong  100km Ultra Marathon has quickly become one of the most recognised international 100km ultra races on an ever growing ultra race calendar. With the races inclusion in the new Ultra Trail World Tour and now with the release of “More Than A Race” a 35min film by Hong Kong based film maker Lloyd Belcher, the HK100′s popularity and status is set to grow even more.

MTAR Vimeo”So before I get to the blow by blow race report of this past Saturday’s epic Hong Kong 100 Ultra, I have to give a small blow by blow account of what was an amazing and easily one of the most memorable weeks I have experienced.”

This was the opening paragraph of my 2011 Hong Kong 100km race report, and over 2 years later I still stand by it. Well, I did. Then I watched Lloyd Belcher’s “More Than A Race” movie and now I feel even stronger about the HK100. I told Lloyd half way through watching More Than A Race that I didn’t like it because it made me nostalgic.

My experience of the HK 100 was a mixed one- there were the pollution induced headaches,  I got off course for a while and most of all I was not at all prepared for the race. But these are not the first things that come to mind when I think of the HK100.

When I think of the HK100 a smile is the first thing that happens and watching More Than A Race the smile was permanent throughout. Expectations were low when heading to Hong Kong- at the time I was coming from a small village with a population of around 20 people and the thought of cities makes me uneasy. But a desire of new experiences override this and nothing is better for new experiences than an ultra marathon in a new place.

Kiwi Vajin Armstrong has a staring role in More Than A Race.

Kiwi Vajin Armstrong has a staring role in More Than A Race.

Lloyd captures the massive contrast between the high rise buildings of the cityscape and the amazing and varied trails of the landscape wonderfully. Local running legends (and top people) like Jeremy Ritcey and Stone Tsang, along with the HK100 race directors Janet Ng and Steve Brammar help introduce the background of the HK100, before the film dives into the races pointy end. I love that many “big names” toed the line at this race, but I love it more that the front of the field was made up by names that most of us were not familiar with- I will not names names, don’t want to ruin the ending on you!

For me, on a personal level, having raced the HK100, the film captures all the amazing memories of my week long trip to Hong Kong in 2012- the rugged trails, bone jarring steps and steep down hills, monkeys (like 100′s and 100′s of monkeys!) and the enthusiastic and supportive locals.

Hannah Roberts, at the recent Northburn100, said to me “there is no better place in the world than the start line of an ultra” (or at least something to that effect). I could not agree more- the electric, positive energy of an event and peoples hopes and dreams about to be unleashed is hard to beat and impossible to replicate in any medium of art. If you can’t make it to the start of an ultra, or run one yourself, then downloading More Than A Race is a great substitute for getting that experience. But beware, it may result in you looking up flights to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong 100 website

Lloyd Belcher Visuals website

More Than A Race website

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