Over 1,600 Elite Runners and Athletes in Charity Race for Children and Youth
HONG KONG, Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The fourth SHKP Vertical Run for Charity–Race to Hong Kong ICC organized by Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) was held on December 6, 2015. As in years past, the race was the grand finale of the Vertical World Circuit. Officiating guests at the race opening ceremony included Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam, SHKP Chairman & Managing Director and Event Organizing Committee Chairman Raymond Kwok, SHKP Executive Director Adam Kwok, SHKP Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer and Event Organizing Committee Co-chairman Patrick K W Chan, Event Organizing Committee Co-chairman Edward Cheung, Hong Kong Council of Social Service Chairperson Bernard Chan, and The Community Chest Campaign Committee Chairman Rose W M Lee. After the opening ceremony, the runners competed in an intense race up 2,120 stairs in Hong Kong’s tallest building International Commerce Centre (ICC) for the championship and other awards.
Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam (centre), SHKP Chairman & Managing Director and Event Organizing Committee Chairman Raymond Kwok (third left), SHKP Executive Director Adam Kwok (third right) and guests officiate at the opening ceremony.
Raymond Kwok said: "Response to the Race to Hong Kong ICC is getting more enthusiastic every year, which proves the increasing popularity of vertical running and suggests that more people believe in the spirit of sport for charity. We hope that sport improves people’s health and brings benefits to the community to achieve a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. The number of runners this year hit a new record of over 1,600, including seniors, students from 18 districts who participated in teams and people with disabilities. The diversity of runners reflects the inclusive nature of vertical running, which is a healthy activity for people of all ages and capabilities."
22 Elite Runners Racing to the Top at High Speed for the World Championship
This year’s Vertical World Circuit took runners to races in skyscrapers across the globe, with SHKP’s Shanghai IFC and Hong Kong ICC as the final two stops. Rankings on the circuit go by a points system and the highest-ranking runners compete for the world championship each year at the grand finale Race to Hong Kong ICC.
After seven exciting Vertical World Circuit races, a total of 22 world-class male and female athletes from 12 countries and regions competed in the Race to Hong Kong ICC finale. The Elite runners started at the sound of the starting gun to jockey for position. The conclusion to the intensive race had Australian runner Darren Wilson in the men’s category reaching the finish at the sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck in 11 minutes and 52 seconds. Not long after, Suzy Walsham from Australia won the Women’s category in 14 minutes and 14 seconds. Suzy Walsham also won group champion of the 2015 Vertical World Circuit women’s race, sharing the overall championship with men group champion Piotr Lobodzinski, who came first in men’s category.
Different Race Categories for Youth and the Disabled
There were different race categories in addition to Elite for all kinds of vertical runners including Individual, Team Relay and Fun Climb. Runners could take part in the event according to their own abilities and contribute to charity through sport.
Participation in the Race to Hong Kong ICC increases every year with the growing popularity of vertical running. The race this year set a new record with over 1,600 runners from 36 countries. Some 93% of the runners were local residents and men outnumbered women four to one. The youngest was ten and eldest sixty-eight. Runners also included people with visual or hearing impairments and amputees.
The increase in people signing up for the Youth Team Relay was the most significant among the different categories. The Shun Tak Fraternal Association Yung Yau College team won this year’s race in 13 minutes and 52 seconds. There were close to 800 Individual runners this year, and the men’s winner was Yeung Hoi Chun (in 14 minutes 20 seconds) and the women’s winner Cindy Reid (in 17 minutes 14 seconds). They will be sponsored by the organizer to participate in the 2016 Vertical World Circuit advancing Hong Kong’s spirit of sport for charity.
Corporate Teams Strive for Charity and Fun Climb with Families
Competition in the Corporate Relay was also very intense. The runners shed their suits and ties for casual running gear to take on the 2,120 stairs, with Sun Hung Kai Properties (A) as the eventual winner.
Fun Climb allowed children aged ten or above to experience the fun of stair-climbing and sport with family. There were over 450 participants, many new to the Race to Hong Kong ICC. SHKP executives also took part to challenge the ICC stairs for charity.
Playright Game Zone for Parents and Children to Enjoy Vertical Running Together
The organizer again worked with the Playright Children’s Play Association (Playright) to have a game zone with outdoor activities suitable for children and parents together for a fun weekend. Activities included a Roller Slide, Fun Sumo, Archery, Rigamajig, Jenga and more so runners could enjoy a healthy Sunday with family.
About SHKP Vertical Run for Charity–Race to Hong Kong ICC
The first SHKP Vertical Run for Charity was organized by Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited in 2012 to raise awareness of healthy living in Hong Kong and initiate a culture of caring and giving. It was elevated to the international sporting stage as the grand finale of the Vertical World Circuit in 2013. The 2014 SHKP Vertical Run for Charity expanded its scale and comprised the Race to Hong Kong ICC and the Race to Shanghai IFC so more people could participate in the charity sporting events. Between 2012 and 2015, SHKP Vertical Run for Charity has attracted over 7,100 runners from around the world.
About 2015 Vertical World Circuit
Vertical World Circuit is organized by the International Skyrunning Federation every year, with vertical running races at iconic skyscrapers around the world. The eight races in 2015 stretched across the globe, taking contestants to the Empire State Building in New York, Tower 42 in London, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, Tour First in France, the Sydney Tower Eye in Sydney, China World Summit Wing Hotel in Beijing and Shanghai IFC in Shanghai. The Race to Hong Kong ICC was the grand finale with the most stairs. The International Skyrunning Federation oversees all races on the circuit to ensure that they comply with international standards.