MSIG Trail Running Series 2019 concluded with the final leg – MSIG Summits @ Mui Wo
Local runners Wong Ho-chung and Tsang Fuk-cheung bagged the title of 17K and 50K Solo
Guillaume Perrot and Fredelyn Alberto were crowed Open Series Long Distance Champion
[Hong Kong, 4 November 2019] The sold-out MSIG Summits @ Mui Wo, the fourth and final leg of the MSIG Trail Running Series 2019, was successfully held on Lantau Island yesterday with around 500 runners taking part across 50km, 27km and 17km distances. Runners, competing either solo or in teams of two or four, scaled a total of 2,700m elevation gain on the 50km course, 1,730m for the 27km course, and 500m for the 17km course.
In the 50km event, which spanned the length of Lantau from Mui Wo to Tai O and ascended all major peaks on the island, local runner Tsang Fuk-cheung was first across the finish line in 06:23:01. He claimed the HK$3,000 winner’s cheque, pipping Guillaume Perrot by around 10 minutes. Elsa Jeandediew bagged the women’s 50km title and also HK$3,000 in 07:51:16, ahead of Marie Mcnaughtonby merely 9 seconds.
17km solo winner is elite trail runner Wong Ho-chung, who was sixth at this year’s UTMB. Wong joins a short distance race this time to lead and accompany his students who had also participate in the races. He believes that the MSIG Youth Development Program is a positive step towards nurturing Hong Kong’s future trail stars. “We have to promote trail running to more youth, just like other sports,” said Wong, whose running club, The Peak Hunter, offers a youth program targeting 10 to 16 year olds. “I started running at 24. I believe if our youth can start trail running early, they can have a higher potential than myself for sure — I started too late.”
As the final race of the inaugural MSIG Trail Running Series, the MSIG Summits was also the last chance for contenders to earn points towards the final series rankings. To be eligible for the grand prize, competitors must complete a minimum of three races in either the Short or Long MSIG Series. Guillaume Perrot and Fredelyn Alberto were crowned the Open Series Long Distance Champion and as a reward, they will receive an entry to a Racing The Planet 4Deserts Series race.
Hong Kong student Ng Wai-hei, the 20-year-old and the youngest member of the inaugural MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program, has won all four legs to emerge as the Youth Series champion, and confirmed his top-ranked spot in the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program. Together with female athlete, Wong Mei-yan, they have successfully guaranteed themselves a coveted spot to compete in a European trail race in August 2020 sponsored by MSIG.
Ng Wai-hei expressed his joy after the race: “I am very happy to rank 1st in the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program. After joining the Programme, my performance in short distance trail running has
improved. I worked more on speed training, power training and muscles training, thanks to Joint Dynamics. Also, I have done more uphill training on the trails and this has strengthened my legs and power. I have a good nutrition plan provided by Katia, who helps me choose different foods that is suitable for me. Also, the fitness training at Joint Dynamics has helped me strengthen my body through training different parts of the body and muscles.”
Kucher, a top trail runner herself, said: “I have seen some changes in their diet and fueling, and their performance level is quite impressive.” Kucher explained that the personalised training plans also includes some strength and core workouts, stretching and yoga sessions to make sure that the runners’ bodies are well-balanced. “Combining road and trail runs with some speedwork in training is very efficient in increasing their overall performance and stamina,” she added.
All finishers of MSIG Summits were awarded a unique sustainable finisher’s medal sponsored by Victorinox — makers of the original Swiss Army Knife — and an MSIG-branded Uglow 10,000/10,000 rain jacket. In keeping with TheGreenRace’s sustainable spirit, participants could also opt out of these entitlements (and receive either a partial refund of the registration fee or donate the money to charity).
The MSIG Summits decided the final rankings of the MSIG Trail Running Series. The race results can be seen below, and at the following link: http://msig.tgr.run
*The results may subject to change within a week after the race, please refer to official website for the latest and final results
The MSIG Trail Running Series encompasses four trail running events throughout 2019, offering UTMB qualifying points to participants. The Series aims to bring the Hong Kong running community a meaningful new trail challenge that showcases the city’s spectacular and unique country parks. The Series endeavours to create development opportunities for Hong Kong’s local running talent, with a focus on nurturing the city’s talented young trail runners.
Singapore, June 9, 2019 — The Green The Green Race returns to Singapore with its flattest, fastest and friendliest course ever! Singapore, June 9, 2019 — The Green Race (TGR), the Hong Kong-based race organiser of sustainable running events, returns to Singapore for a third year with a brand new course that mixes trail and tarmac. On Sunday June 15, 2019, the STGR Uglow Marathon will offer marathon, half-marathon and 10km options, with all courses taking participants along the serene waterside paths of Punggol Parkway and through the tame trails of beautiful Coney Island.
Some 730 runners have registered for STGR Uglow Marathon, with 342 runners taking on the 10km (8am flag-off), 285 runners in the half-marathon (7.30am) and 103 runners in the full marathon (7am). Among the participants include 16 athletes and 18 volunteer partners from Special Olympics Singapore, who have been sponsored free race entries with full runners’ entitlements by TGR.
Runners can choose to compete either solo or as a pair. All participants will receive unique TGR items in their race pack and a specially-designed Singaporean Uglow finisher’s singlet.
Explaining the reason for the new race location, TGR’s race director Martin Cai said: “We decided to go with the current trend where many trail runners are finding they can be faster overall, if they mix things up a little more. Cross-training with swimming, road running, yoga and cycling is bringing some runners back to the trail running start line stronger than ever and ready to take on their next ultra trail running battle.”
Just as well, the Bukit TImah Green Corridor, the previous location of the first two STGR events, is closed for infrastructure works.
Regardless of the race location, TGR remains focused on its ultimate goal, which is to connect runners and create community. Says Cai: “Connecting people (who happen to run) across all boundaries can be a very special thing to be part of and this is the path are focused on.”
To this end, participants of the STGR Uglow Marathon will have the opportunity to join the MSIG Summits @ Mui Wo in Hong Kong on November 3, 2019 (and vice versa). The challenging race, which will offer 17km, 27km and 50km options, traverses Lantau, the southwestern Hong Kong island, from east to west.
“TGR’s third event in Singapore is very special because it connects Singapore to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to Singapore,” says Cai.
Since its founding in 2016 in Hong Kong, TGR has been committed to creating events that contribute to the community and environment.
Cai says: “We love sharing excellent running experiences with our running community and we truly believe our events are so much more than just a race day out. They are a full-fledged experience that we work extremely hard to create and share with each participant.”
For the Special Olympics athletes, the opportunity to participate is something they relish. Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, President of Special Olympics Singapore, said: “Running together provides a platform for persons without special needs to forge friendships with our athletes with special needs. Ongoing running training helps our athletes to develop cardiovascular fitness and strong mental skills. They also develop their social and emotional skills through interactions with their running partners and other volunteers.
“We are heartened to know that Green Race is supportive of our special athletes. We believe our athletes will enjoy the experience of the Green Race — they look forward to the adrenaline rush of a mainstream running event. Through such initiatives, Green Grace is leading the way to build a more caring and inclusive Singapore using sports as a common language.”
The Green Race (TGR) was created in Hong Kong in 2016 and that year had its first event in Singapore at Bukit Timah, with 338 participants supporting the event. “The event was a great success, well supported and enjoyed by all,” says Martin Cai, TGR’s race director. The next year, TGR’s Singapore Forest Marathon had nearly three times as many participants, a testament to the popularity of the event.
It’s not just a name: TGR is all about green, sustainable events. “Our intention is to create high quality and value trail running events the do not leave behind a trail of unnecessary wastage,” says Cai. TGR has always been a healthy balance of environment, education and community. Initiatives include beach and trail cleanups, gear and clothing donations, nurturing a race volunteer community, and the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Programme in Hong Kong.
You can opt out of a TGR finisher medal. “We offer participants the opportunity to consume less and instead support a worthy cause,” says Cai. This year, at least 17% of all STGR Uglow Marathon participants chose the SG$4 medal opt-out, which money will instead be donated to Special Olympics Singapore. Over the past four years, TGR’s opt-out service has diverted more than S$48,000 from participant consumption to worthwhile charitable and community causes across Hong Kong and Singapore.
Looking for a different type of vacation? TGR offers runcation retreats. They’ve partnered with John Ellis of Gone Running Hong Kong, Justin Andrews in Chengdu, Hirofumi Maeyama of Tottori Japan, and Sebastian Bertrand of Thailand Mountain Trails in Chiang Mai, to bring runners unique runcation retreats that truly leave a lasting impression for all participants. “From trails to culture, food to people these retreats are really some of the best holidays a trail runner could hope for!” Cai says.
TGR, in partnership with sponsors MSIG Insurance Hong Kong, organise the MSIG Trail Running Series 2019 in Hong Kong, which offers a unique four-race challenge to not only the local, but regional trail running community. The series rewards top runners with not only prizes in cash and kind, but also a chance to participate in a 4 Deserts Racing the Planet event. A number of Singaporeans frequently travel to Hong Kong for TGR races, including ultra runners Alex Ang and Alvin Png.
[Hong Kong, 23 May 2019] MSIG Hong Kong and GreenRace are proud to announce that seven of Hong Kong’s brightest youth trail runners have been selected for the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program. The selected runners are: NG Wai Hei, 19; Nicole LEE, 21; Tony YUNG Tsz Chun, 24; WONG Mei Yan, 25; Lodewijk Adriaan VRIENS, 26; Plato LUK, 27; and Leanne SZETO, 28. The four men and three women, all Hong Kong-born under-30s, have qualified based on their rankings after the first two races of the 2019 MSIG Trail Running Series — the 15km MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill in January, and the 18km MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po in March.
The athletes have embarked on a 12-month training plan from May 2019 to April 2020, a unique program that includes physiotherapy sessions and physiological testing by Joint Dynamics, weekly dietary consultations by Katia Kucher of D.BeFit, training plans by Vlad Ixel of The North Face team, sponsored training gear and race nutrition by Gone Running and T8, and access to GreenRace and Fields Japan trail running events, plus support from Racing The Planet’s 4 Deserts ultra marathon series.
At the culmination of the year-long program, the top two athletes of the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program will be sponsored by MSIG for a chance to compete in one of the five UTMB Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc trail races in August 2020.
NG Wai Hei, the youngest of the group, has established himself in Hong Kong trail races in the past couple of years, frequently making the podium. Last year, he represented Hong Kong at the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships in Scotland. For the first two races of the 2019 MSIG Trail Running Series, Ng was the third overall of 15 KM at the MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill and overall champion of 18 KM at the MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po.
“I am very happy and excited to be part of the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program,” said Ng, who studies environmentalscience at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. “I hope to strengthen my fitness and improve my skills. I hope that I can perform much better in trail running after joining the program. Also, I hope to take part in overseas trail running races.”
Among the women, Leanne SZETO is one of the most recognised names. A successful Hong Kong national triathlete turned trail runner, her raw running talent has helped her achieve numerous podiums in local trail races. Szeto was the overall champion at the MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill and second overall at the MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po. Szeto, a full-time engineer, shared her thoughts on being selected for the program. “It feels like it’s going to be a very long journey, and a very challenging one, firstly because it’s a full year ahead,” she said. “Secondly, it’s something completely new to me, after being a triathlete for 15 years. I have to find a new way to train for a new target”. Leanne still enjoys triathlons more than trail running but hopes this programme changes that and allows her to step out of her comfort zone and achieve new heights with this sport.
A typical month of the training program will see the athletes not only going through an individually-tailored training and nutrition regimen, but also strength conditioning sessions and injury prevention. They will get involved in community events, attend trail running workshops and, where possible, participate in a race each month.
Races already on the cards include the Tigershead GreenRace (Aug 24) and Double Nine GreenRace (Oct 7), and of course the final two races of the 2019 MSIG Trail Running Series, the MSIG Immortals @ Pat Sin Leng (Sep 21) and MSIG Summits @ Mui Wo (Nov 3). The athletes’ weekly progress will be monitored with intermittent monthly follow-up sessions by Joint Dynamics, Katia Kucher, Vlad Ixel and GreenRace. Further, the athletes will also be encouraged to participate in optional events such as plogging, beach clean-up, and community talks and events.
Martin Cai, Race Director, GreenRace, said, “We are very pleased to support the next generation of trail runners coming out of Hong Kong. We are excited to be a part of these athletes’ journey of growing and developing their skills individually and as a team. The MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program aims to increase the spotlight on this magnificent fledgling sport and encourage more corporates and educational institutions to support the Hong Kong trail running community.”
The MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program has officially started, seven young local talented trail runners attended the first kick-start meeting to receive details of the 12-month programme
The MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program has officially started, seven young local talented trail runners attended the first kick-start meeting to receive details of the 12-month programme
The athletes will receive an individually-tailored comprehensive training plans, dietary consultations, free training gear, and access to GreenRace and Fields Japan trail running events.
This press release is released on behalf of TGR International Limited by Action House International Limited.
For event enquiries related to MSIG Trail Running Series 2019, please contact TGR International Limited: Martin Cai Race Director Tel: +852 9133 5415 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For media enquiries related to MSIG Trail Running Series 2019, please contact Action House International Limited: Anthea Look Tel: +852 3102 8117/ 9512 5685 Email: email@example.com
About MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited With a network of operations dating as far back as 1855, MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited (“MSIG”) has been providing general insurance solutions and productsto customers in Hong Kong for more than 150 years. MSIG is backed by the solid foundation and rich heritage of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited, an established insurer that has received strong financial ratings from leading rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Today, MSIG is one of the few foreign-based general insurers to have representation in every ASEAN country, a testament to its strength and reach. MSIG also benefits from being a member of the MS&AD Insurance Group – one of the largest general insurance groups in the world. Leveraging their multi-channel distribution, their strong partnerships with intermediaries and an extensive geographical network, MSIG offers a wide range of insurance solutions across personal and commercial lines.
About TGR International Ltd (The GreenRace) The GreenRace is an event organiser specialising in sustainable and all-inclusive trail running races, with a diverse catalogue of events ranging across the Asia-Pacific region. Many hosted independently and others with partners, the majority of their races take place in Hong Kong and Japan. The driving mission of The GreenRace is to ignite passion in their community of runners, designing trail running events that participants and volunteers of all ages and abilities will love. The GreenRace remains vigilant in honouring its responsibility to the greater community and to the environment by striving for zero waste events. With every trail race created, they focus continually on quality, sustainability and total runner satisfaction for people from all walks of life. The GreenRace has earned the loyalty of the Asian trail running community, and thrives thanks to the vital support of dedicated and like-minded volunteers.
Appendix MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program 2019/2020 — Athlete biographies
Leanne SZETO Birthdate: January 24, 1991 Occupation: Full-time engineer Hobbies: Triathlon Trail running background: Started trailrunning two years ago in 2017, as she was trying to find something new apart from triathlon. Started out in small local trail running races of between 10-20km. Trail running highlights: 2017 TNF50 Hong Kong, 3rd female (her first ever trail running achievement). Personal motto: “It makes it more natural to train like an absolute beast, when that’s the standard inside you.”
NG Wai Hei Birthdate: September 29, 1999 Occupation: Student, Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, Sha Tin campus Hobbies: Hiking Trail running background: Started trail running in secondary school. Before that, his parents often took him hiking, instilling in him a love for the trails. Soon, he was running up to the hills alone after school, more and more frequently. Trail running highlights: Overall Champion of MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po and 3rd Overall of MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill 15km. Personal motto: “Never give up and be positive.”
Nicole LEE Birthdate: August 29, 1997 Occupation: Year 4 student majoring in Applied Psychology at Tung Wah College Hobbies: Ballet and landscape photography Trail running background: Started trail running in December 2017, with an outdoor adventure race called Team Challenge 36. There she made a new friend who encouraged her to try trailrunning on its own. Trail running highlights: 2017 Shatin Twin Peaks 26km, Female Junior champion (her first individual trail race); 2018 New Year NE Mountain Race 32km, Female Junior champion Personal motto: “Enjoy the race, learn, and respect every competitor.”
Tony YUNG Tsz Chun Birthdate: March 19, 1995 Occupation: Salesman at trail running gear shop in Mongkok Hobbies: Football and cycling Trail running background: Started trail running 3-4 years ago. Trail running highlights: 2018 Ultra Maokong 50km; 2018 Mountain Range 50km; 2018 The Beast Trail 50km. Personal motto: “Keep smiling and keep moving.”
WONG Mei Yan Birthdate: May 25, 1993 Occupation: Works in disciplinary services Hobbies: Dragon boating Trail running background: Started trail running 4-5 years ago. Has a solid road running background — clocked 3hr 03min at the 2019 Hong Kong Marathon and 2hr 57min at the 2019 Seoul International Marathon. Trail running highlights: 2019 MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po, 3rd overall; 2019 MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill, 2nd overall; Oxfam Trail walker 14hr 50min. Why I run: “To explore the world — road and trail running gives me the opportunity to run all over the world and broaden my horizons.”
Lodewijk Adriaan VRIENS Birthdate: December 30, 1992 Occupation: Management trainee of Swire Properties Hobbies: CrossFit 4-5 times a week and surfing at Big Wave Bay Trail running background: Ran cross-country through most of secondary school, but only started trail running properly while doing his Masters in Beijing. In Beijing, he feels the running community was very tight knit and the great trails north of the Chinese capital made for some very exciting races. Moving back to Hong Kong got him more involved in the sport. Trail running highlights: Running the HK100 three times Personal motto: “Just get going, the rest will follow.”
Plato LUK Birthdate: February 9, 1992 Occupation: Freelance Hobbies: N.A. Trail running background: Started trail running more than 5 years ago. Trail running highlights: 2019 MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po, 3rd overall. Why I run: “I love the downhill speed and the feeling of my heart exploding over short distances.”