The 13th Annual Sheko Challenge was held on 9th July 2017. Some of Hong Kong’s top swimmers and runners descended on Big Wave Bay, where the mountains meet the sea to offer a spectacular, scenic backdrop for the swim race and mountain run along the spectacular coastline of the Sheko Peninsula.
Held on a perfect day, in between the recent thunderstorm warnings of previous days, the field was one of the fastest ever with over 200 swimmers participating. The women’s race was won by Fiona Chan, with a time of 29:00 (8th place overall), followed by Ching Lam Wong at 30:21 and Hannah Li with a time of 31.32. The men’s event was won by Miles Williams and a fast time of 27.29, followed in 2nd by Ho Yin Kwan 27:34 and Bill Thorley at 27:58 (all of the men are under 20 years of age). The event stretches along 2.2km of beautiful cliffs and Hong Kong’s Sheko coastline.
The winners of the challenging 8km running race, which starts with an uphill climb from the beach of 1,000 stairs, were Iaian Veitch (Men) 37:37, and Kodie Hultgren (Women) 46:54. The winning combined team (swim/run) was the HKFC Spartans, with Vasco van der Flier swimming, and Iaian Veitch running, with a combined time of 1:10:19.
There was also a youth category of 600m with 18 young swimmers aged 8-13 competing.
“It was great to see some of Hong Kong’s youth at the race today, as many of the pool swimmers are now becoming more competitive in open water events, which is good for their exposure in the sport internationally,” said Doug Woodring, co-founder of the event.
“The Sheko Challenge is also a showcase of how sports events can reduce their plastic “footprint” and waste-creation during events. We hope that other sports and event organizers can follow suit. We already have events in the US that are adopting a reduced plastic and waste strategy, and it is great to see Hong Kong leading the way here, particularly given the pressure on our landfills and the marine environment. As users of the ocean, and the environment, athletes cherish clean places to train and compete in their sports, and we hope that they will carry this ambassadorial role with them to their friends, families and other races as they continue their love of sport,” Woodring added.
Since 2004, the Sheko Challenge has been a way to bring athletes closer to the environment, inspiring them to be ambassadors for the ocean. Some of the funds raise go to support the ocean protection work of Ocean Recovery Alliance, and to support the development of water sports in Hong Kong. The event is organized by
Event Video from 2016 – https://youtu.be/jHW76WyHn_0
For more information please visit www.openwaterasia.com