Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley of Flagstaff, Arizona has won the Hong Kong Fast 50 Miles (formerly 100K), in 6:05:59. Yanqiao Yun of China finished second, in 6:43:27, and Brian Mcflynn of Ireland was third, in 7:36:05.
Race organizers announced a new start line location, significantly reduced distance, and new start time at the last minute, due to pressure from local residents. The race’s three distances were now 50 miles, 50K, and 28K, and the 50 miles was considered to be flatter and faster than the previous 100K course. Though many anticipated a showdown between Walmsley and Canadian runner Rob Krar in the 50-miles, Krar’s name appears on the 50K list as DNF.
Who will win the @fast100ultra and take this bad boy home? @walmsleyruns ? @robkrar ? @brendan_davies ? Yun Yan Qiao? Place your bets and win a free entry for the @Salomonrunning Lantau 70! pic.twitter.com/Ji8T8REQ5f
— The Trail Hub Team (@thetrailhub) February 13, 2019
The first woman to finish was Hong Kong’s Ngar Ting Denise Ying in 10:19:38. In second place was Oi Wah Aqua Tsang, also of Hong Kong, in 10:23:45, and third was Canadian Katia Kucher, who lives in Hong Kong, in 10:37:23.
Last year Walmsley set a new course record of 14:30:04 at Western States Endurance Run in California. Most recently, he ran a 64-minute road half-marathon in Houston, exactly meeting the B standard for next year’s Olympic marathon trials. His subsequent boast that he could beat a 2:05 marathoner on trails sparked controversy.
Krar won last year’s Leadville 100 in Colorado in under 15:51:57, only the second person to go sub-16 in the race’s 35-year history. (The other was course record-holder Matt Carpenter, who ran 15:42 in 2005.) It marked Krar’s triumphant return to the ultra scene after dealing with injury throughout much of the year, and it was his second win at Leadville, which he’d won in 2014, the year he also won Western States and Run Rabbit Run in a span of 11 weeks.
Yanqiao Yun finished 10th at TDS-UTMB last year. Both he and Walmsley are sponsored by Hoka One One.