In a hot, humid and competitive Hong Kong 100km ultra marathon where scores of entrants didn’t finish, Blue Mountains runners Scotty Hawker and Lou Clifton were excited to finish in the top 10.
Crossing the finish fifth, in 10 hours 53 minutes 34 seconds, Hawker wore a party hat for his 32nd birthday on January 19 and carried his daughter in his arms.
“The fifth place was definitely the icing on the cake and to cross the finish line with my daughter Sienna was incredible,” Hawker said.
After battling a challenging year of stomach issues, lower back and hamstring pain, which got so bad Hawker completed just one of five races he considered important, the result in Hong Kong was a welcome boost.
“I’m super happy with this result to kick off my 2019 season,” the Katoomba-based Kiwi said.
Clifton couldn’t believe it when she discovered at the 57km aid station she was the ninth female. She held this position through the back half of the race full of steep climbs, to finish in 14:33:33.
“It was a very competitive race with women that internationally rank a lot higher than me and who have trained and raced on the course, so I am really happy to have finished in the top 10 females (2nd in my age group) and 55th overall,” she said.
“There were monkeys, cows and dogs on the trails and a section where you couldn't take food out because the monkeys would steal it,” the Mt Victoria runner said.
“I went through there in the dark with hundreds of monkey eyes reflecting back, which was really quite eerie but an incredible experience.”