HK Healthy Living Directory

Born To Run: 5 Best Races For Runners In Hong Kong

As the heat index begins to wane and the autumn breeze ushers in our favorite season, we can’t help but notice the sheer number of races popping up all over Hong Kong. It seems the city is in the midst of race boom with events packed full of eager runners and more and more niche runs and community running groups launching every month, including record demand for the acclaimed HK Marathon (less than 100 days to go)! Though completing a marathon requires serious determination and a strong commitment to training, there are a slew of other competitions and runs that aren’t as rigorous, though very fun. Some will start you on a training program, some will ask you to run topless, and some will want you to dress up. Here are five of Hong Kong’s most popular races to run. 

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon

One of Hong Kong’s best-known sporting events, the Standard Chartered HK Marathon takes place early next year on January 21st 2018. Gaining in popularity each year, the races draws over 70,000 domestic and international participants- the organizers had to implement a ballot system in an effort to ease signup congestion. Part of the internationally renowned Gold Label Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federation, competitors get the chance to run a full marathon, half marathon, 10km, and even a 10km or 3km wheelchair race. Bonus: you can raise money for your favorite good cause from your friends, family and colleagues, all white getting fitter.

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YOLO Run

After two triumphant years in Singapore and around Asia, YOLO Run (short for You Only Live Once) is coming to Hong Kong October 1st 2017. Pegged as a fun run and performance act where participants are encouraged to free themselves by running shirtless through Hong Kong Science Park in Pak Shek Kok, runners are able to opt for a friendly 5km run or competitive 10km with a timing chip! End your morning by participating in a mass outdoor yoga session of mindful stretching with your fellow comradesled by PURE Yoga instructors and ambassadors. The best part? For every participant that runs shirtless, the organizers will donate HKD20 to Plan International, a humanitarian organization dedicated to children’s right and equality for girls.

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Women’s Five

Who run the world? Girls! A women-only five-week holistic journey of fitness, health, and inspiration that ends in a 5km, the Women’s Five takes place twice a year – April and this upcoming November 18th 2017, on the Ma On Shan Promenade. With an option to run solo or in a team of two, included in your registration fee are health and wellness programs full of yoga sessions, group meditation and even a movie night (!), along with weekly training sessions open to all participants. It’s more than just a fitness community- join for a cause: 100HKD from each participant’s registration fee (and HKD200 from each team) will go toward RainLily Hong Kong, a local women’s crisis center for victims of sexual abuse. The training program begins October 16th 2017 so sign up ASAP and get inspired!

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The GreenRace

Founded in 2015 with the ambition of creating zero-waste events, The GreenRace specializes in road and trail running races, reducing their carbon footprint by utilizing no metals (no metal awards, trophies, or safety pins) or disposable cups or water bottles. This November 25th, titled Tiger’s Head, they’ll be hosting a 16km race starting from Mui Wo Ferry Pier taking runners (solo and in pairs) through local villages, past Silvermine Cave, climbing toward Tiger’s Head before descending into Discovery Bay and heading back along the coastal paths back toward Mui Wo for what is sure to be one of the most picturesque trails in Hong Kong.

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UNICEF Charity Run

Celebrating its 12th anniversary, the UNICEF Charity Run will be held this November 26th at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Sunny Bay. Raising funds for UNICEF’s global campaign, ‘For every child, End AIDS,’ UNICEF HK is hoping to raise HKD11 million this year with the support of participants and donor contributions. With a choice of runs (fun and competitive) ranging from 3km – 10km and the ultimate half marathon, be on the lookout for the Star Wars 5km run! Run, young Padawan: bring along your lightsaber and may the force be with you!

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Images courtesy of Freepik/nensuria (lead), Standard Chartered HK Marathon, YOLO Run, Women’s Five, The GreenRace, and UNICEF Charity Run.