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Hong Kong

It’s been five weeks since Debbie and I visited Hong Kong. Upon our return, I’ve had no time to sort photos and reflect on what a cool adventure it was. When in Asia, I had the time to post about our Lantau Island hike.

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However, over the course of three days, we packed in a bunch of other sightseeing. It was our first time in Hong Kong and it is a splendid city full of modern infrastructure, history, and parks.

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We only scratched the surface on this visit, but it proved to be a welcome stopover on our trip to Singapore for the YPO Global Leadership Conference.

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To get to Hong Kong, we took a direct flight from Boston on Cathay Pacific Airlines. Cathay is a fine airline. I recalled doing a case study on the company in business school. We left late in the evening on Tuesday and arrived early on Thursday morning. There was a 13 hour time difference. The day we arrived, we recovered from the trip and caught up on email and reading.

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On Friday morning, Debbie went for a run and I went for a swim in the hotel pool. Then we took the fairy to Lantau Island and did the hike. That took all afternoon and we got back late at night.

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On Saturday, Debbie met up with our friend Rod, who joined her for a trail run on the Hong Kong Trail, another one of the Hong Kong area’s long distance hiking trails. She did a 20 mile section in the southeast corner of the island.

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Rod broke off after 10K and she continued on her own. She eventually ended up on the Dragon’s Back and ran up and over to Shek O Beach. When she started the run, I headed for the bus depot. I took a bus to Repulse Bay. Rod had explained that this was a good open water swimming spot. He told me that there would be “shark nets” so it was safe. I thought that was comforting! He also noted that in March, I wouldn’t find many others in the water.

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That part was true! There were many people on the beach, but I think there were only three or four other people in the water. I was the only one who was actually swimming for exercise. I ended up doing two laps of the enclosed swimming area.

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There was a huge changing room with showers, so I was able to wash off following my swim, but the fresh water was not much warmer than the salt water in the bay. From there, I took another bus to get closer to the Dragon’s Back trailhead. It was late morning, but the temperature had remained cool.

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I struggled to figure out the bus routes,  and ended up in the village of Stanley, which was farther south, but actually the opposite direction from which I needed to go. I had to get north and then east in order to cut across a short peninsula. So, I flagged down a taxi and told the driver where I wanted to go.

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It was the first time she had ever been to this part of the island, so we both enjoyed the adventure on the steep, narrow, and winding mountain roads. At times, it was so narrow that only one vehicle could pass. There were rock cliffs on the left (the side of the rode that you drive on in Hong Kong) and steep drop offs to the right. Crazily, they allow full size buses on these roads, so several times, we had to squeeze over even farther to the left in order to let one by.

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I used my iPhone and Google Maps to navigate to the right spot. I felt safer when I got out of the car. From there, I messaged Debbie and she called. She was at Shek O Beach, which was perfect. She had gotten to the spot where I was standing, about 90 minutes earlier, so she continued on the trail up and over the Dragon’s Back.

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I was still hobbled by my broken leg and she warned me that the trail was steep and rocky. I told her I would meet her at the top and then we would turn back together. So, we ascended the Dragon’s Back from opposite directions. It was her second time.

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The trail was crowded with tourists and locals. When I say crowded, I mean it was jammed with people. The closest thing to compare it to would be climbing Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire on an early summer day. It was far from a wilderness experience. Also, the air was thick with smog and damp clouds, so there were zero views. Supposedly, this trail can offer fantastic sights, including the entire Hong Kong skyline, but I couldn’t see a thing.

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I got to the top and did 15 minutes of people watching before Debbie came up the trail on the back side. It was great to see her. We took some photos and then descended the trail back to where I started. From there, we caught a bus to Shau Kei Wan, an MTR station. MTR is Hong Kong’s main transit authority and the trains and subways are clean and efficient. We took the train back downtown and were back at the hotel in the mid-afternoon.

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That night, we had a fantastic meal at Pure Veggie House, a fantastic restaurant that was walking distance from the hotel, but to get there, we took a short cab ride. We had to get there by 6:00 P.M. for an early reservation. They said that they were sold out for the night. They squeezed us in and we had a great time. With less time constraint on the return trip to the hotel, we walked and wound our way through Hong Kong Park, one of the beautiful green spaces.

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On Sunday morning, we went for a swim in the hotel pool and then packed up. Our Singapore flight was around 3:00 P.M., but we needed to get back to the airport on Lantau Island shortly after noon. Once we were packed, we ventured back to Hong Kong Park to explore the Aviary along with the Zoological and Botanical Gardens. We were pressed for time, and want to return so that we can visit the butterfly garden.

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Getting to the airport was a snap. We were actually able to check our bags in at Hong Kong Station before boarded the train. That was really cool. We checked them in at the train station and didn’t see them again until Singapore. What makes this so amazing is that the airport is 30 kilometers from central Hong Kong, so they securely load your baggage there and transport it to the airport on a separate train car, where it is securely transported to the correct plane for the trip to your final destination.

We enjoyed our short stay in Hong Kong, but there is so much more to see. We only passed through Kowloon, and didn’t have the time to stop and explore. There are also other trails to run/hike on. We took off and after a three and a half hour flight, we were in Singapore by 7:30 P.M.

2018 Finally Spring 5K!

It had been five years since we last went to the Finally Spring 5K hosted by the Manchester Running Company. I think its been five years since it last felt like spring. Actually, in 2013, it was pretty cold too!

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Today, the sun struggled to shine through the clouds, and the temperature was barely above freezing. Dampness hung in the air after yesterday’s snowstorm. It was perfect conditions for running!

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The course is slightly different from when we last ran it, but still includes the trails in the watershed that feeds the Howard/Porter Reservoir. It’s a fun place to run or ride.

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Debbie, Dahlia, and Shepard all lined up for this one. Dahlia did the one mile kids race along with 24 other children. It was a nice turnout on a chilly day.

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Being so close to home, this was a fun race to do. I enjoyed watching, taking photos, and saying hello to friends.

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The Shenipsit Striders and Silk City Striders had good turnouts. The Manchester Running Company has a strong team of their own. It was also great to see folks from the Hartford Track Club and the Mohegan Striders. With the Boston Marathon a week from Monday, there were probably a few holdouts.

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Morgan Kennedy took the win for the men. He was chased by Jon-Paul Mandelburg and Samuel Alexander.

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Elizabeth Fengler took top honors for the women. She was followed by Darby Dustman and Linda Yamamoto. Linda told me she got her one and only “trail race” done for the year. Truth be told, the trails on this course are pretty mild. This isn’t 7 Sisters, or even the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race, which are both coming up in May.

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Debbie and Shepard both got prizes in their age groups, which was cool. Nothing beats a short race that is so close to home. We were back at the house by noon, with the rest of the day open for work and play.

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Debbie is the Race Director for Soapstone, which is part of the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series. The series kicks off a week from today with the Traprock 50K. We will be there!

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Soapstone is also part of the New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series.

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So, if you liked these trails, come out and try some of the races in these series. If you missed today’s race, there are many more for you to choose from.

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Race Results (1 Mile Kids Race)

Race Results (5K)

SmugMug Gallery Photos

2018 MT. TAMMANY 10

Yesterday, Debbie ran the MT. TAMMANY 10 in New Jersey, for the first time in its five-year history. She learned about the race from our friends at Mountain Peak Fitness, who have a page on their website dedicated to this difficult trail ultra.

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This was her first ultra since last August’s Cascade Crest 100. She did great. The format is unique. The start/finish and only aid station is at the Kittatinny Point Visitors Center in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The aid station is at a pavilion about 1/3 mile (on road) from the trail head at the Dunnfield Parking Area on the other side of Interstate 80, which also cuts through the Gap. There is a 3.5 mile counter-clockwise loop. You take the Red Dot trail to the 1,526 foot summit of Mt. Tammany,. Then you connect to the Blue-Blazed Trail for most of the descent. You parallel beautiful Dunnfield Creek and then you briefly connect with the Appalachian Trail, before entering the back side of the parking lot. You do 10 loops of the course, including the 1,200 foot ascent of Mt. Tammany. On every even loop (laps 2, 4, 6, 8, 10) you return to the start/finish to check in. The race relies on the honor system. You have to count your own laps.

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The total mileage ends up being between 38+/- with 12,000 feet of elevation gain and 12,000 feet of descent. That’s substantial for a race of this distance and the per mile gain puts it up there with some of the more hilly ultras in the country, and certainly on the east coast. The trails are rugged with lots of rocks, requiring some scrambling. The snow and ice from three weeks of Nor’easters just added to the challenge, though some veterans said that the presence of deeper snow on the descent permitted faster running. Some folks opted to use traction devices on their feet, but Debbie went without. She also started the race without her poles, but during the second half, she used them on the uphill section of the course.

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The goal is to complete the race in 10 hours or less. Well, the real goal is just to finish. It took Debbie 10:21:13, which is still a great time. There were 35 official finishers. 22 people didn’t finish, or missed the time cut. The race is meant to be small, partly because this is a popular hiking trail, and it was crowded with visitors. More runners would have only added to the traffic. It was cold and breezy, but the sky was clear and bright sunshine helped the morale. That sun is what drew many visitors to the park on a (very) early spring day. The views from Mt. Tammany, especially on the climb, are spectacular and another reason for all of the hikers.

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We have always been friendly with members of the New York/New Jersey trail running community, and frequently venture beyond New England to do races in their region. Last year, Debbie ran Manitou’s Revenge, and that’s where she first heard about this race from Ben Nephew, a veteran of both events. The highlands of northwestern New Jersey on the Pennsylvania border, have fantastic terrain and trails. We have explored it some, but need to visit here more. Six years ago, we went to the AMC’s Mohican Outdoor Center, and passed through the Gap. When I was in the Boy Scouts, I did a 50 mile canoe trip on the Delaware River.  I recall that our guide hailed from nearby from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

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After such a long layoff, Debbie needed to get back in the game. This early season race will help build her fitness as she looks to tackle half a dozen ultras in 2018. This will be more quiet year for her. 2017 was a big year with Manitou’s, Hardrock, Cascade Crest, and several other ultras. She is planning a series of races in the 50K to 100K distance, but likely no 100 milers. She gave her body and mind a long rest after last year. Over the last six months, she has mixed in more cycling, and more cross-training.

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On Thursday 24 May, our entire family will be at the REI store in West Hartford, Connecticut, for a presentation on the Hardrock adventure. If you want to hear about this amazing race, join us. Debbie, the kids, and I will all be speaking and sharing our excitement for trail running. We will have Hardrock photos, gear, and memorabilia to show and discuss.

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This week was really busy. It was our first full week back after our Hong Kong/Singapore trip. It culminated with our daughter’s participation in the Bolton Center School Variety Show on Friday night. After the show, the four of us piled into my car, and drove to Debbie’s parents house. The kids stayed with them because there was a second show on Saturday afternoon. Debbie and I got up at 3:00 A.M. and drove the 2 hours and 45 minutes to the race.

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The start was at 6:30 A.M., just as the sun was coming up. Some people used headlamps, but she didn’t bother. I walked one lap, taking photos of the runners and the views. Then, I went for a bike ride on Old Mine Road, which parallels the Delaware River on the New Jersey side. It goes north for about 35 miles through the National Recreation Area and adjacent Worthington State Forest. After a few hectic weeks at work, I needed some time in the saddle, and also in the woods, so this trip was perfect. I took the road north for about 13 miles. I didn’t go too far because I wanted to make it back in time to catch her at the finish of lap eight. I’m taking it slow in my comeback since breaking my leg in January. After I helped her in the aid station, I rode around some more, including a trip across the bridge to the Pennsylvania side of the gap. I explored a bit more through the Gap, before returning to the trailhead to see her finish her 9th lap.

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After that, I changed up, and waited for her to finish. She was in good spirits, got to catch up with several friends, and make some new friends too. Garry Harrington came down from New Hampshire, though in recent years, he has spent a lot of time on the road out west, traveling from race to race. We saw him at Hardrock and Cascade Crest, so that’s three in a row! Kehr Davis (who won Manitou’s in 2017) had a fantastic run, taking first among the women. She was followed by Kathleen Cusick. On the men’s side, Jay Lemos and Steven Lange had a race-long battle, with Steven prevailing.

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It was great to see Julian Vicente and Elizabeth Azze from Mountain Peak Fitness. These trails are in their backyard. Both hail from nearby New Jersey communities. Alex Papadopoulos is the passionate Race Director who hosts the race. His organization, Athletic Equation, Inc., based in Virginia, promotes several ultras that are part of a series, hosts trail running travel adventures, offers coaching, and sells gear. We invited Alex to come run the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race, the Shenipsit Striders race that Debbie has directed for 15 years. I think we can convince him to visit and run it in the future. We told him to bring his whole family.

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One nice touch was that each finisher received a rock mounted on a wood trophy. The rock is symbolic of these rugged trails. The fun part was that Alex had plaques pre-printed with each runner’s name. So, she got to choose the rock that appealed to her, and he mounted the customized plaque on the spot. That was cool. It’s not our only rock trophy. I’m pretty sure that the Shenipsit Striders started that “trend” nearly 30 years ago.

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We were in the car and on the road by 6:00 P.M. After a few stops for gas and to stretch our legs, we were back at her parents’ house by 8:30 P.M., in time to visit with the kids. We were both famished, and after eating a late supper, it was lights out for me. Apparently, Mt. Tammany was tough on both the runners and the crew! Next up for Debbie is the Traprock 50K, the first race in the 2018 Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series.

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Race Results

2018 Metasprint Duathlon

The YPO Global Leadership Conference (GLC)/EDGE brought Debbie and me to Singapore for the second time. We were last here in 2012, when the event was last held in Asia. It’s typical when we travel for us to look for an event to do.

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On prior conference trips, we have done the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Six Foot Track Marathon. The last time we were in Singapore, Debbie ran a 10K road race. This year, she opted for multisport. Today she did the Metasprint Duathlon.

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She had never ridden a true road bike, so we rented a Merida (Shimano Ultegra drivetrain/Mavic wheelset) from a local bike shop, on the recommendation of our friend, Tim Cosulich. The day before the race, a bellman delivered the bike to our room at the Marina Bay Sands. I’ve never had a bike delivered to my hotel room before! On Saturday, I rented an ofo city bike and rode with her, giving her some pointers on how to handle the bike, how to corner, how to shift, how to dismount/remount, and other tricks.

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Today, she did her first road duathlon and it was a lot of fun. I was planning to do this race too, but the broken leg I suffered at the USA Cyclo-Cross National Championships in January has been a setback. I only ditched my crutches a week before our trip and have been increasing my workload each day. On this trip, I’ve hiked, swam, and now ridden outside to go along with my daily stretching/strengthening regimen. However, I can’t run and don’t plan to for several more months.

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In contrast, Debbie is in good shape right now, and building towards her first ultra of the year, the Mt. Tammany 40 Miler in the Delaware Water Gap in two weeks. Today’s race was over in 66 minutes, which is considered a sprint especially for her. She had a great result, finishing second in the 40-44 age group. The format was a 3 kilometer run/18 kilometer bike/3 kilometer run.

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The run course was a narrow loop along the Kallang River, finishing on the bike path before it reached the transition area. The bike loop was also narrow with a few turnarounds, but at least it was on completely closed roads. Both were dead flat, given that Singapore is a low-lying island with no real elevation. Part of the course is shared with the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix course.

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Tim raced in the Elite Men field. He is a talented triathlete and won the Aquathlon which kicked off the Metasprint Series last month. The trilogy completes in April with a sprint triathlon and he should be favored with his strong swimming ability. He was busy with the YPO conference all week and out late at night (like us), but he managed fifth overall and fourth in the tough 35-39 age group.

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We had a momentary scare last night when Debbie was organizing her gear and reading the race materials on-line. She found a page where it said that packet pickup was last Tuesday (in person) and that there was “strictly” no day of race bib number pickup. This concerned her because she hadn’t received any confirmation emails or race instructions, though she did find her name listed with the starters. She slept restlessly, but was relieved when we arrived at the venue and there was an area for Overseas Athlete Kit Collection. No sweat. She submitted her medical form and she was ready to go.

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The weather in Singapore is pretty much the same year round. It rarely dips below 74 degrees Fahrenheit and day time temperatures usually reach the high 80’s. The humidity is omnipresent and typically in the 70% range like today. At 6:30 A.M. when the first wave went off, we were already soaking in sweat…and the sun hadn’t even come up yet.

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Debbie had a really good race. Her only problem was a rookie mistake. She was leading her wave after the first run, but entering transition, she couldn’t remember where she racked her bike. The racks were numbered, but in her mind, she transposed her bib number. She thought it was 1828 instead of 1282. She had placed her bike in transition when it was dark and when there were few other bikes in the rack, but in the race, this led to confusion and cost her 30 seconds as she searched to find it.

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Aside from that, things went smoothly. If she does this again, she will have to learn how to use aero bars, since they make a big difference. She much prefers the trails and XTERRA style races, so her road duathlon/triathlon days may be infrequent. Time will tell. We are already thinking about our next foreign adventure. The YPO conference returns to Cape Town in 2019.

Race Results

Lantau Trail Hike–Hong Kong

Our Lantau Trail hike in Hong Kong turned out to be the first big test of my leg. In classic Livingston Family fashion, Debbie and I underestimated the difficulty of this route.

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Our day hike turned into a grand adventure with a fair amount of suffering, just like old times. We eased into our first full day in Hong Kong. Debbie went for a run to The Peak, while I spun on the stationary bike at the hotel gym, and then swam for 30 minutes in the outdoor pool.

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We had a late breakfast, and then after reading email and catching up on the news back home, we meandered down to the piers. We took a 12:30 P.M. ferry to Mui Wo on Lantau Island. The intention was to do a three-hour leisurely hike. We knew the terrain was hilly, but we didn’t expect it to be so rough. We arrived in Mui Wo after the 50 minute trip, and then took a taxi to the Nam Shan trailhead. By the time we got moving, it was nearly 2:00 P.M. The sun sets around 6:30 P.M., but we never thought we would be chasing daylight.

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I brought a headlamp on this trip, but left it at the hotel room. I’ll save the suspense: we didn’t need it, but it would have been a prudent safety measure to have it, especially since my iPhone battery died. Debbie’s phone was fine, and in a real pinch, we would have used the flashlight feature, but that would have been pushing it.

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It was warmer and more humid than expected. We had a few bottles of water, but that proved to be inadequate to fully satiate our thirst. The hike ended up being 8.25 miles, but when you factor walking to the pier and then home from the train station, it ended up being a 12 plus mile day, which was hard on my legs (both of them). It was time for a test on my left one, 10 days after ditching my crutches.

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I followed the doctor’s orders and didn’t fall, but I’m sure this is not the kind of walking he had in mind. It wasn’t just the broken fibula that slowed me, but my overall level of fitness. I hadn’t hiked in six months since before cyclocross season started. My legs didn’t fail me, but they came close. Over the course of four hours, the Lantau Trail basically went up, down, up, and down again. On our route, there were two major climbs. The first was up Sunset Peak, and the second was Lantau Peak.

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We skirted the true peak of 869 meter (2,851 feet) Sunset and avoided a side trail that would have required us to backtrack, but the Lantau Trail went right over the top of 934 meter (3,064 feet) Lantau, which is pretty impressive considering that we arrived on a ferry!

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The fog and smog were intense. Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island are known for their bad air quality. I’ve got nothing to compare this with, but it was pretty bad. This limited the views, which would have been spectacular on a clear day. We still enjoyed the trail. We saw a handful of people, but it was generally pretty quiet, especially high up. We saw some backpackers heading up for overnights, but most people were out for the day.

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The TransLantau ultra (25K, 50K, 100K) was on Saturday and the course was already marked on Friday. Sadly, we didn’t hear about this race until it was sold out. Prior to our trip, Debbie inquired about race entry, but the event was full. That’s OK. It would have been fun, especially now after seeing the terrain, but she accepted the circumstances and now we have a reason to come back. She would have been happy to do the 50K. The 100K would probably have been much since she hasn’t done an ultra since Hardrock last July. Plus the race started at 11:30 P.M. on Saturday and wouldn’t have been over before our next flight. She has had a long stretch of “time off,” but is gearing up for Mt. Tammany 40 Miler in March, and Traprock 50K in April. She has other races planned during the summer including the North Face 50 in Massachusetts in June, the Vermont 100K in July, and the Ragged Mountain 50K in August. After that, it’s a bit up in the air, but she plans to ride the Vermont 50 again.

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The TransLantau is rugged. We saw the trail up close yesterday. The most impressive feature was the stone steps. There were thousands of them. The rock work/trail maintenance was awesome. The stones were perfectly placed and went up the steep gradients in both directions. Navigating them on reduced power and a damaged leg was incredibly hard.

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When we got to the road crossing between the peaks, we tried to take a bus (shortcut) but couldn’t figure it out. The first bus that came was the wrong one, so at my behest, we stubbornly pushed on. On the climb to Lantau Peak, I regretted the decision and mumbled about leaving the headlamp at the hotel. I kept checking my watch as we made painfully slow progress up the steps. Our goal was to reach the Big Buddha at the remote Po Lin Monastery. A friend had described the route and given us some basic info, but his estimated times factored in some running. We were only walking, so it took a lot longer than expected.

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The climb up Lantau Peak was brutal, but the descent was even worse. My legs were shaking and I had to stop multiple times. I had to avoid a fall at all cost. The steps and gradient were very similar to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Both climbs ended up being about 2,000 feet of climbing for a total of 4,291 feet of elevation gain based on Debbie’s Suunto GPS data. It was the 4,000+ feet of descending that killed me.

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Seeing the Tian Tan Buddha at the end of the trail was worth every painful step. It couldn’t have been planned better. We got here just before sunset. Unfortunately, the steps to the Buddha had closed an hour before we arrived at dusk, but he was lit up in all his glory. We heard “buzzing” from a kilometer a way, and it turned out to be two drones, controlled by photographers in the square.

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Just past the Buddha was a tourist village, but all of the shops were closed. So too was the funicular that came up the hillside from Tung Chung. One last store was just about to close, but we stopped and bought two bottles of water, grape juice, and coconut milk.

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The drone pilots were two of a handful of tourists left visiting the monastery. In addition to the photographers, there were quite a few wild dogs, which didn’t make Debbie happy. At one point, there were three of them surrounding her, and she shooed them away. If the dogs weren’t wild enough, there were half a dozen cows wandering around the square and nosing through the garbage cans. A couple of them just plopped themselves down in the middle of the bus parking lot. Street signs warned of their presence. We wandered around the village looking for transportation information. We eventually found the bus terminal and the attendant said that one more bus was coming at 7:20 P.M.

He pointed us in the right direction and 20 minutes later, we were on our winding way down the mountain to Tung Chung. There, we found the train station and an hour later, we made our way back to Hong Kong Island. The train goes under the water to Kowloon on the mainland, and then under the harbor to Central Station. We walked from the station back to our hotel, washed up, and went straight to bed. It was a long and fun day.

Recovery

I’m making progress with my recovery after my broken leg (fibula). It’s been seven weeks since I crashed out of the singlespeed race at the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships.

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I’ve gone from no boot, to a boot, to a cast, back to a boot, and now no boot. I would say that the first part of my recovery has been good, but a full recovery and “pain-free” status is months away.

This past Tuesday, I returned to the orthopedic doctor and got an updated x-ray that showed the “callous” forming around the break. The “crack” is still clearly visible, but the material formed around the sides of it are a natural stabilizer. The persistent pain and discomfort is partially due to all the soft tissue damage that occurred during the impact/crash, and also as a result of the pressure from the callus.

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I stayed off my feet, using crutches, for nearly six weeks. The combination of the boot and the crutches was causing all kinds of other issues, including back pain, IT band pain, and frustration. So, when it felt like I could put weight on my leg, I started walking. That was about 10 days ago. During my layoff, I shortened my work days and did a lot of work remotely via computer and phone. As for exercise, I maintained a simple strength,  stretching, and Yoga routine that saw me doing 25-35 minutes a day of floor activity.

Subsequent to starting walking without the crutches, I’ve swam a few times, and spun on the indoor bicycle a few times. I’ve returned to “normal” days, which for me, means being on the go for 12 hours at a clip. In the first week, I was completely knackered at the end of the day, but I am starting to regain some strength and stamina.

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The last two months have been rough, but I’ve also learned a lot. I withdrew from the Metasprint Duathlon, the Mt. Tammany 40 Mile Trail Race, the Traprock 50K, and the Rasputitsa Spring Classic. I’m going to ease my way back to full strength and focus on swimming and easy riding. One of the benefits of the situation is that I will “reset” and go back to building my fitness base.

When I return from my trip, the time will have changed, and I’ll begin commuting to work. I’m going to be cautious about mountain biking, likely avoiding it for a few more months. I have no plan or desire to run. I’ll be happy if I can run by August. It may be sooner, but I’m in no rush. I only want to be ready to go for cyclocross in September, and if I’m not hitting my stride until November, that’s fine because it is a long season and my main goal is to redeem myself at the second 2018 Cyclo-Cross National Championships in Louisville in mid-December.

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Everyone in my family, at work, and in my various networks has been super helpful. I’ve gotten some great tips and shared experiences from many of my athlete friends. My broken shoulder felt more traumatic at the time of the injury, but it as turned out to be a lot less significant than this broken leg. The immobility challenge, the lingering effects, and the fact that it sets back everything; biking, running, swimming, and even walking, means that it is worse.

Others have suffered far more debilitating injuries, including double fractures, compound fractures, and breaks requiring surgery. In that regard, I’m fortunate. Factor in that the fibula is a small bone that isn’t used for primary weight-bearing, but rather for stabilization and support. This means that I have to move it to get the muscle and tendons to begin their healing process. Folks with a similar injury have told me that the pain lingers and that there is a potential for setbacks if you re-injure the leg.

The doctor said I could walk, spin, and swim. The spinning includes riding outside, but easily and on the road or smooth surfaces. I haven’t ridden outside yet, but plan to do so in mid-March.

The most challenging aspect of this injury has been the mental challenge. I went from being at peak fitness to being hurt, in an instant. My original January/February plan was to return from Reno, rest, recover, and then reset my base before I started running more in advance of the duathlon and the two trail ultras. Debbie is still doing these races, so I have to support her while missing out on the fun. I also missed a trip to Nicaragua and several important meetings. My Asia trip has also been significantly impacted. During this entire struggle, I’ve had the type of daily chronic pain that I’ve never had before. All of this has forced me to summon mental strength of a different sort. I feel like I’ve handled this OK. I have been mindful that my two children are witness to my setback and how I handle it is a lesson for them. I would want them to persevere, so that is why I’ve pushed on and maintained a positive attitude.

NAHBS & Bicycle Talk

Bicycles are always on my mind. Last week, I returned to the UConn campus in Storrs, Connecticut to take part in another live interview on the Bicycle Talk show on WHUS. I was joined by my Horst Engineering colleague Arthur Roti, and had fun in an hour long discussion with host Ron Manizza, and his co-host, Fran Storch.

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This was Episode 85. You can also find the Bicycle Talk Podcast archive on iTunes. I was also on Episode 35 back in April 2017.

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Bicycle Talk covers bicycle culture, bicycle Advocacy, upcoming cycling news and all kinds of other interesting bicycle related topics. Ron has been around bikes his entire career. He owned Rainbow Cycles in Willimantic and has been a bicycle manufacturers’ representative for more than 20 years. He is also the Race Director of the Riverfront Cyclocross, and the Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross. The latter is one of the oldest cross races in New England.

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We had a lot of fun. After “Ron’s Rant of the Week,” we talked about kids and cycling, the 2018 Cyclocross Nats, the Team Horst Junior Squad, CCAP, Cyclocross Worlds, and other fun bike stuff.

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Ron and Fran have had some great guests on the program and they are doing a service for everyone in the bicycle community. I can think of at least 100 other people who would make great guests on the program. Bicycle Talk won’t run out of topics.

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The North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) was at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. This was the first time in the show’s 14 year history, that it has been in New England.

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Our family joined other members of Team Horst Sports and the Team Horst Junior Squad  at the event. We saw so many other friends. I didn’t take many pictures. There are so many great photos from NAHBS on the Internet. Just search around. Follow their Instagram or Facebook feeds, and you will see some of the finest bicycle craftsmanship in the world.

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I’m still hobbling around from my Reno CX Nats crash, so I didn’t cover a whole lot of ground at the convention center. I saw some good stuff, but if I was feeling better, I would have taken in the whole experience. Horst Engineering had a small presence at the show. We have a fun collaboration with our friend, Richard Sachs, the noted Connecticut bicycle frame builder. We helped him produce the Richard Sachs Seat Lug Survival Kit, also in partnership with SILCA and NixFrixShun.

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Several of Richard’s kits were on display in the SILCA booth. Also, our friends from Victus Coffee were doing a bang up job, serving customers from their brand new mobile trailer. Victus sponsors Team Horst Sports, and they had our Cross Spikes display at the show.

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After the show, we went to the Arch Street Tavern for the Hartford Bike Party hosted by the CCAP. This was a lot of fun. We hung out and participated in the raffle benefitting CCAP. We didn’t score any of the prizes, but again, saw a lot of friends. Richard Fries did a fine job as at the Master of Ceremony, and our daughter, Dahlia was his sidekick.

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I’ll be interested to hear how this version of NAHBS compared with past years. Was the attendance on par? Did it meet expectations? I hope the show returns to New England when I’m not using crutches. If not, I’ll seek out NAHBS in a future city. This was my first time attending the show, but it has always been a bucket list item. It was good for Hartford that it was here in 2018.


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From race directing to @thecubscouts directing. Proud day for our son, @trailrunningmom and the rest of #cubscouts Pack 157 Den 5 as they earned their Arrow of Light. Four of her boys are moving to @boyscoutsofamerica #scoutsbsa after five years of fun and learning.
Little D and I ran the @shenipsitstriders #soapstonemountaintrailrace Jerry Stage Sampler 6K with a bunch of other crazies! Tackling the infamous Sandpit with its 40% gradient and slick conditions was great fun. #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️⛰
Start of the @shenipsitstriders 34th annual #soapstonemountaintrailrace This is the 15th year as Race Director for @trailrunningmom #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports ⛰🏃‍♀️
REWARD: Less likely to be $1 billion and more likely to have hops 🍺 or grapes 🍷 in it. Best suited for those in CT. On Monday at the end of my #carfreecommute to @horsteng I realized I lost one of my two custom orange/black @dillpicklegear panniers on the way. Within an hour, I retraced every pedal stroke in reverse. My route was Bolton to Manchester to S. Windsor with sections of @eastcoastgreenway and #wickhampark The only item in the bag was a brand new @lifeproof iPhone 6s nuud case in Hot Pink. That’s another story, but it was on clearance and I got a deal! It was in the unopened mailer/package ADDRESSED TO ME. I rode the route again on #biketoworkday today and no luck. At this point it is going to have to find me. So sad. I still can’t believe I couldn’t find it which means someone has it. Maybe they are a #goodsamaritan But no luck yet. Keep your eyes peeled!
After a full day at the CFM( Safran and @geaviation ) supplier conference, I explored the emerald green urban oasis known as #burnetwoods The sights, sounds, and smells (other than the dead possum) were delightful. @cincyparks #trailrunning #cincinnati
@trailrunningmom had a great week! She topped it off on #mothersday by spending some quality time with her favorite @disney character.
More #mountainbiking with the @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad at #rocklandpreserve So. Much. Fun. #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #mountainbike 🚵‍♂️
#manhattan
#teamhorstjuniorsquad Wednesday night practice at Rye Street Park. @the_ccap @horsteng #teamhorstsports #mountainbike #mountainbiking 🚵‍♂️

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