Marathon Man

From the wee small hours I could hear the chanting. Gah yow, gah yow. This means literally add oil. It is a call of encouragement to urge someone on. Well rather a lot of people needed some oil this morning as the 2015 Standard Chartered Bank marathon started early. There are the usual options of 10k, half marathon and for the foolish, a full Snickers bar.

Eventually I decided to open the curtains and see what was happening. The runners were close to our apartment and I took some images from the crow’s nest. Note that traffic is still allowed on the opposite carriageway but sadly, as I am sure it would be more entertaining, not on the same lanes.Marathon1


Just a little hazy – the photo is enhanced in Lightroom so that you can actually make out something in the distance. I recommend a mask and oxygen for those with breathing difficulties. Running here is a brave decision. It could of course be romantic, early morning mist. But it isn’t. Marathon3


Marathon5Some runners couldn’t even follow the arrows.Marathon6Then I wandered down to the bridge over the motorway just in time to be too late. Feeling the pain with a smile or a grimace. But they were not last!Marathon7Even this group of 4 managed to avoid being the tail on the donkey. Right at the back the last straggler, soldiering bravely on.Marathon8And just to urge her on the clearing up had already started behind. This marathon is run with a ruthless efficiency and a fanatical devotion to the pope. Just like the Spanish Inquisition.Marathon9And what of all the cheerleaders? Well they can settle down to a well-earned rest and a hearty breakfast convincing themselves that next year they too will run. But in the meantime there is room for just one more tiny, wafer-thin mint. Marathon10A good pal of mine ran the 10K in 61 minutes. Well done sir.

35 thoughts on “Marathon Man

  1. I used to really love running. Did a couple of marathons. Then my knees went, then my enthusiasm. The latter returned but it takes it out of me far more than cycling. I find it almost impossible to go slow enough not to get out of breath. So I’ve called it a day and now walk. It suits me better. And it suits Jolly too.

    • I used to be a decent cross country runner, Simon. I even had a county trial once. But eventually I ended up having an arthroscopy on each knee and the joy of running was gone. I could probably outrun Lulu but only over a short distance.

  2. The number of runners was 40,000! That’s almost 1/2 of my town’s population. As I As I looked at the pics I began wondering how may runners were braving the smog. I think the photos of the curved roadways are pretty and I especially like the covered walkways. I wish the states had more of those. I am wondering of HK has special roads for bicycle riders. My town has begun adding a few lanes here and there but it is mostly for the benefit of the university students. Everything in this town pretty much revolves around the Baptist university. The county junior college does not fare nearly as well.

    Is the air cleaner higher up or is it the reverse?

    • It was a myth, Hilary, started by Nike and Adidas and of course physio-terrorists. Yesterday there were 1100 people needing medical treatment. I don’t think that is a good advert for running. Writing and photography are far better for your health.

  3. Una corsa molto affollata, ma anche amando la corsa come fanno in mezzo a tutto quel veleno nell’aria?? Mah, io non lo farei mai!!
    Belle le foto e anche le tue parole divertenti 🙂
    Ciao, Pat

  4. I think they are great photos. It gives a really good indication of the sheer size of the race. Usually I’m one of the people on the ground so I don’t get that perspective 🙂

    • Well done if you can run a marathon or even 10k. I suppose it is a personal achievement for many but when I see the state of some runners at the end it looks like the risk reward is not that good!

  5. It amazes me to see how many people choose to run marathons. Even in the tiny town where I live there is an annual run for something or other and it shuts down the streets for the day. Huh. ….I run, too, sometimes. When my dog wants me to chase him. 🙂

  6. I think each marathoner should be issued one of these. Actually, everyone in HK should have one.
    I agree with you, Andrew. A good hike with a camera kit on your back will do wonders for the fitness.

    That looks like a pretty sharp skywalk in the first picture. Do they have little shoppes inside as well?

    • Its just a walkway Steve but it provides some nice vantage points for the photographers. The Honeywell Airvisor looks just the ticket.

  7. Fair dos to the girl with the smiley face (a rare sight on a runner) – and after careful consideration I think the bloke’s face is twisted into a grimace. Of course I wouldn’t manage the first 50 yards. Give me dancing any day – all smiley faces at my weekly salsa (but perhaps that is due to embarrassment at forgetting the steps)!

    • Oh don’t get me wrong, Willo. I am full of admiration for them but I’m not sure I see the point of running or even jogging. There must be numerous more fun ways to get and stay fit. Salsa dancing for example. Or watching paint dry. Even, whisper it gently, photography.

      • Couldn’t agree more and I never see a smile on the faces of the local joggers. I am glad you prefer photography, as we reap the benefits of your skills and keen eye (as well as you getting satisfaction) – and your captions sometimes make me laugh out loud!

  8. A bit smoggy for a run i would think, but looks like fun nevertheless. And your images geve me a good sense of the race as well as of the city that I am looking forward to visiting in May.

  9. Great run I am sure. That bank must have lots of employees or are they all account holders?

    I tried running a few times but could never get the sense of it and prefer walking at a leisurely pace.

    I would be tempted to drive to the finishing line and while dressed in all the running gear, panting heavily, try and mingle with those first few hundred that arrived first.

    • I think 40,000 people run altogether Gerard. It is open to all if you register in time. Your plan sounds like the way some of my school friends approached the weekly cross country run. Run a few hundred yards, hide, smoke a few then walk to the finish and emerge just behind the leading group. Always worked.

  10. Listen my friend this is your house if it’s time to watch a great run then so be it ,bangers and mash for everyone, and I’m buying the first round,Guinness for everyone.

    • I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and I put you up as one of my nominees, you have been a supporter of mine for quite some time so…………
      As always Sheldon

  11. I love racing/running pictures, Andrew, even though I gave up running 5k races. Here in Colorado, we have 5k runs through the hilly Garden of the Gods, as well as the famous Pikes Peak Marathon…a full marathon up and down a 14,000+ foot mountain, and even though the air is crisp and clean, some runners really do need oxygen before it’s over.

    • 14,000+ feet is high altitude running Marylin. I can imagine it takes its toll. I expect they have to practice a lot to do that. A friend of mine was running 100km races well into his 50s and belonged to an elite group. He trained in The Lake District and could run a marathon in 2:28 at 51 years old. Its not for me!

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