HONG KONG – This is an incredible place to run and to discover the island's vast network of trails. But my best running tip here came over a beer. This beer:
My friend and colleague Nicolas and I had discovered an outside Beer Fest one weekend afternoon on a side street in this densely urban place.
To give you an idea:
We zeroed in on two booths that served craft beers, one from England, the other from Scotland. It was early in the afternoon, and we ended up staying for a couple of hours, talking with several 20-somethings who had gone to college in the US or Canada and decided to settle here to do business. They were full of ideas on how to make money – as they worked a couple of jobs at the same time.
We started talking with two guys; one asked if I were a runner and that led to a discussion of all the runs we had been doing in Hong Kong, where we've been staying on weekends during a three-week tour of Asia.
One fantastic run was high above the city. It was on a paved trail that had several panoramic views at eye level of the top floors of skyscrapers. Like this:
One of guys, whose name was Gary, an investor who splits his time between New York and Hong Kong, said there was an even better run. He scribbled down some path names, warned that part of it was straight up, but encouraged me to do it.The next morning, I went.
I went up and up and up – so steep that it hurt my calves. So I walked, up and up. At the top, I found a trail through a forest of small trees and ran up some more. At the peak, I could see the other side of the island, and then the strangest thing happened: a cooling headwind. Hong Kong is hot and humid during summer, and it was the first – and only – bit of natural coolness. I ran down the other side of the mountain and found my way back to the hotel – nearly a 90 minute run in the heat. I felt energized, though, after finding a glimpse of a rural oasis in a packed city, all thanks to a kind stranger over a black IPA.