The organiser of the Lantau 2 Peaks race is reviewing the event amid criticism Sunday’s race should have been cancelled due to Typhoon Mujigae.
Hong Kong experienced blustery winds and heavy rain over the weekend as a result of the typhoon as it moved across the mainland.
A row erupted after the race after several participants were injured, with criticism on social media that the organisers were ‘irresponsible’ for not cancelling the race.
Lantau 2 Peaks is the fourth Skyrunning race under the 2015 Skyrunner World Series and reaches the second and third highest peaks on Lantau Island – Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak.
As the only Skyrunning race in Asia this year, the Action Asia Event attracted many international elite runners to Lantau.
Lantau 2 Peaks Race Director and Course Designer Michael Maddess said he was aware of the debate about whether the race should have gone ahead and was currently undertaking a review.
“In order to address concerns surrounding the starting of the race in the first place, I am currently reviewing all aspects of how decisions are made as to how races are conducted and decisions made as to if and how to start.” he said.
“I will be making proposals and trying to collaborate to fellow race directors so we agree consistent guidelines for events so that there is less ambiguity and confusion and debate over events occurring.”
He conceded the race was held in bad weather conditions but said he had had positive feedback from the runners taking part in the event.
“Conditions throughout the 23km race course varied a great deal from time to time throughout the day and changed quite rapidly,” he said.
“The issues facing the race director are not always easy and communications between organising staff in mountains is impaired by poor mobile communication or wireless signals.
“Many will be astonished to know that many of the runners absolutely loved the race on Sunday. Extremes are their thing.
“No one has reported to me that runners were moaning about how they thought the race should be stopped. No one was forcing them to compete or continue.
“Those that felt unsure turned back. Those that had concerns did not even come to the start.”
He said the two runners who required hospital treatment were both now recovering at home.
“Both of the runners are experienced trail runners and have been exposed to a variety of trail conditions during their races and would have been used to wet trails,” he said.
“Their falls were on slippery surfaces in non flooding areas. Even seasoned runners can get injured not just the inexperienced and slippery trails are able to catch out even the best.”
Photographs courtesy Action Asia Events