Hong Kong is known for its stunning skyline, bustling streets, and vibrant culture. But did you know that it is also home to one of the most challenging races in the world? The North Face 100 Ultra Trail Challenge Hong Kong 2023 (TNF 100 Ultra Trail Challenge). This annual event, which took place from December 8th to 10th, 2023 this year, is one of the most prestigious and toughest races in Hong Kong and Asia.
It was a night to remember for the 1,800 runners who joined this year's race from different countries and regions. They took on the challenge of running 100km in the dark, starting at 10 p.m. for the first time ever. Along the way, they experienced the peaceful and quiet side of Hong Kong, and admired the beauty of the city's lights and stars. The race was a celebration of endurance, diversity and adventure. The race organizers also introduced some changes to the course, making it even more exciting for the runners. The course was run in a clockwise direction, instead of the usual anti-clockwise direction, giving the runners a different perspective and experience of the scenic trails. Some sections of the course were also altered due to the terrain being damaged by the heavy rain in the earlier season.
The epic race in Hong Kong is not for the faint of heart. With its technical and difficult course and steep elevation, it pushes athletes to their limits and rewards them with a sense of accomplishment like no other. This event offers runners the ultimate test of grit, power, and stamina as they tackle a course of punishing hills and harsh terrain.
Special arrangement this year with the TNF Base Camp which was buzzing with excitement and joy, as the participants prepared for the challenge with a lively and festive mood. They cheered each other on, danced to the music, and shared their stories and hopes. The TNF Base Camp was more than just a place to rest and gear up, it was a place to celebrate life and adventure.
What makes the North Face HK 100 so tough?
The race in Hong Kong is a true test of endurance and skill. The course is designed to challenge even the most seasoned athletes, with its combination of steep climbs, treacherous descents, and technical trails. Runners must navigate through dense forests, rocky terrain, and narrow paths, requiring them to have excellent agility and balance. The ever-changing weather conditions, from scorching heat to torrential rain, add another layer of difficulty to the race. Luckily this year it was only drizzles.
The 100km course features over 5,600 meters of cumulative elevation gain over 102 km this year (it was the actual data tracked by my Garmin watch), including Hong Kong's highest peak Tai Mo Shan, which stands at 957 meters above sea level. The runners also have to tackle eight peaks on Pat Sin Leng, a mountain range with steep slopes and sharp ridges at the start. After 70 km, a killing ascent to Ping Fung Shan & Wong Leng from the Hok Tau Reservoir. The elevation is not the only challenge, the technical trail, with rocky, jagged steps, loose rock, narrow paths and slippery surfaces added more difficulty to the weary limbs.
You have to be quick and efficient in this race. Every section has a tight cut off that you need to meet. Don't linger too long at the check points, just grab what you need and go. Time is precious and you can't afford to waste it.
Who can participate?
The North Face 100 Trail Running Challenge is open to both local and overseas runners who are up for the ultimate endurance test. Whether you're a seasoned trail runner or a newcomer to the sport, this event will push you to your limits and beyond. It's a chance to challenge yourself, discover your inner strength, and experience the beauty of Hong Kong's natural landscapes.
How to prepare for the North Face 100 ?
Preparing for the North Face 100 requires a combination of physical and mental training. Here are a few tips to help you get ready:
1. Build your endurance: Gradually increase your mileage and incorporate hill training into your runs to prepare for the challenging terrain.
2. Strengthen your legs: Focus on exercises that target your leg muscles, such as squats, lunges, and calf raises.
3. Practice on similar terrain: If possible, train on trails that mimic the conditions you'll encounter during the race.
4. Stay hydrated and fuel properly: Proper nutrition and hydration are key to maintaining your energy levels throughout the race.
5. Get familiar with the course: Study the course map and try to run sections of it during your training to familiarize yourself with the terrain.
Why participate in the North Face 100?
Participating in the North Face 100 Trail Running Challenge is not just about the physical challenge – it's an opportunity to push your limits, overcome obstacles, and achieve something extraordinary. The sense of accomplishment you'll feel when you cross that finish line is indescribable. Plus, you'll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for trail running and adventure.
Never Stop Exploring!
Check out the exciting moments of the race >>> TNF 100 Ultra Trail Challenge