As the winners of the UK Trailwalker in July, the 1RGR running team headed off to Hong Kong to participate in the original race. Started by Queen’s Gurkha Signals in 1986, it continues to be organised by Oxfam following the handover of Hong Kong and end of Gurkha service there in 1997. It is a hilly and slightly longer course than the South Downs; the record time is over an hour longer than UK, and it also attracts professional runners from around the world.
The 1RGR team were sponsored by Cathay Pacific, Standard Chartered Bank and the Hong Kong Football Rugby Union who together provided flights, accommodation and running support. The team had a week to carry out some recces of the route and then joined the elite starters at Sai Kung on Friday 20 November, cheered on by Col BG and the 1RGR Support team which included a piper.
It became apparent that the hill training in Brunei had insufficiently prepared them and, with one runner sustaining an injury early on, the rest did exceedingly well to finish in 15 hours. The team was captained by Major Shaun Chandler, who took leave from from his staff job in Milan. 1RGR were proud to represent the Brigade at the Hong Kong Trailwalker in the year of Gurkha 200, they learnt much about the route and conditions for running and are keen to have another go next year.