19th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) The inaugural China Bank (Hong Kong) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Half Marathon took place today, making it the first long-distance running event held on the bridge since its opening. Runners had the unique opportunity to race across the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which boasts breathtaking views of the sea. Over 2,000 participants eagerly awaited the start, including renowned actor Chow Yun-fat, who made an appearance in a black vest, and fellow actor Jack Wu who also joined the first group.
To facilitate the event, organisers arranged for runners to be transported by special vehicles to the vicinity of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, followed by a 15-minute walk to the starting point. However, due to the considerable distance between the drop-off point and the starting line, many runners found themselves rushing to reach the starting point before the first race commenced.
Multiple portable toilets were set up along the route near the assembly point. However, the demand for restroom facilities far exceeded the available supply, resulting in long queues even minutes before the race began. Faced with the inconvenience, some male runners resorted to relieving themselves by the side of the road. Consequently, the first race was delayed and only started at 7.40am.
The China Bank (Hong Kong) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Half Marathon, which is part of the inaugural East-Asian Half Marathon Championships, offers Hong Kong runners the opportunity to compete against elite athletes from various East Asian countries for the championship title. The race covers a distance of approximately 21.1 kilometres, starting at the Hong Kong checkpoint of the bridge and proceeding towards the Hong Kong section before making a U-turn and heading back to the finish line at the Hong Kong checkpoint.
The first group to start the race was the “Challenge Group,” originally scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Hong Kong checkpoint. However, as the majority of participants had not yet arrived at the starting point, the first race was ultimately delayed until 7:40 a.m. The gun was fired by Matthew Cheung, the Chief Secretary for Administration, and Erick Tsang, the Director of Immigration.
Participants expressed their excitement about the opportunity to take part in an event that allows them to be part of history by running on the world’s longest cross-sea bridge. Approximately 2,000 individuals eagerly awaited the start. Mr. Au, who participated in the first group, described his excitement and revealed that his primary motivation for joining the race was the desire to experience running on the bridge and discover its unique features.
With the arrival of the northeast monsoon, the weather in Hong Kong today was dry and cool, with a minimum temperature of around 17 degrees Celsius in the city centre. The on-site conditions featured intermittent breezes, with an actual temperature of 23.9 degrees Celsius.
A total of 8,000 runners, including 20 overseas invitees, participated in the event. The overseas invitees would complete the entire race by reaching the starting point before the boundary between Guangdong and Hong Kong, while Group 1 and Group 2 started at 8.10am and 8.50am, respectively.