On February 9, Hong Kong trail runner and DB Resident Nikki Han became the first woman ever to “break 60 hours” at the 298km Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (HK4TUC). Crossing the finish line after 58 hours and 20 minutes, Nikki consecutively completed all of the four major trails in Hong Kong; the MacLehose, Wilson, Hong Kong and Lantau Trails.
To gauge the difficulty of this ultramarathon, if runners complete the Trails under 60 hours, they are considered a “finisher”. With a time under 75 hours, they are deemed a “survivor”.
In order to have a chance to be a finisher, the general assumption is that you need to run the MacLehose Trail in under 15 hours. Nikki proved otherwise by completing her run in 16 hours and 5 minutes.
In addition to a longer finishing time in the first stage, by the time Nikki got to the last stage, the Lantau Trail, she was unable to catch the 3am ferry to Mui Wo to start the Lantau Trail. This resulted in her having only 13 hours and 5 minutes to complete the 70-kilometre circuit.
Nikki took 12 hours and 10 minutes to complete the circuit. This time would have placed her at the 84th position out of 507 runners at last year’s Lantau 70. This means that, incredibly, Nikki would have been in the top one-sixth of runners in that race, even though for the HK4TUC she had already ran 228km and gone two nights without sleep.
Not only is Nikki the first woman finisher of the HK4TUC, but also the oldest at 48 years of age. The other mere eight “finishers” since the race’s inception range in age from 30 to 41 years, with an average age of 35 years between them.
All of this goes to show how by defying all the norms of being a successful finisher; to quote T8, a trail running gear company, “Nikki is an absolute legend”. Nikki has proved that age is just a number, and International Trail Running Association (ITRA) scores are probably irrelevant to HK4TUC. Nikki’s success is clearly due to her hard training, pacing, smart running and positive mind-set. A massive congratulations to Nikki!
Photo by Alan LiTags: hiking, hk4tuc, trail, nikki han