Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Trail Running in HangZhou

I was conducting training in HangZhou last week. As usual, I will check out if any race or event happened around the city. I was surfing the internet and this map pop up and caught my eyes!
Click the map to visit the official site of the trail race.
It was a trail running map for an event that only takes place on 9 Nov. After all the serious training and running for marathon, I was tired and wanted to try something else. I started with downloading the trail course into my GF910XT, but it went back to factory after SCKLM. I will need to explore the trail all by myself (map, navigation, and etc.), this is even better than what I planned for!

Woke up early on Saturday morning, I packed my Camelbak, and the 2 Powerbars I brought from Powerbar SCKLM promotion. Initially I wish to go with my VFF, but the rainy weather since Thursday made me opts to run with Merrell Bare Access to avoid the wet shoes situation that I had in SCKLM. I arrived at the trail starting point behind the ZheJiang University Yuquan Campus’ library around 7:15am, and the first challenge I need to overcome, a long climb of more than 800 steps of stairs! This continued for the rest of the day. In fact most of the trail paths are converted or converting into cements stairs. If 75% of the elevations are covered by stairs (say each step with 20cm height), for total elevations of 1500m, I must have done more than 5000 steps of stairs in this “trail running”.
 The whole course marked with the green dots, and there are lots of maps available along the way. It will be hard to not following the right course, but I did take a wrong turn after 15km into the trail. The wrong turn took me extra 2km on foot, but also brought me into this very nice trail within a tea plantation. I actually walked most of the sessions except the 2 sessions of the course with dirt trail. Those cements, stones filled path and lots of others walking tourists took away my desired to run. The whole 20km trail took me 7 hours. I ran out of food and water towards the end and decided to skip the last peak.
Starting point of the trail.
700 steps of stairs done! More to go!
The first peak after the few hundred steps of stairs (195m)
Marking for boundary of West Lake Cultural Landscape Heritage
Trail Map along the Course
West Lake from the trail, too bad the hazy condition
Stones filled path
Dirt Trail, in process to convert to cement path...
Dirt trail cross the tea plantation
Another path of dirt trail over the tea plantation
Happy face :)
15k into the course, followed the orange dot and took a wrong turn here
Overall, it was a great experience of trail running. The weather was great at 22-25degC. The only draw back will be those stairs. The course scatter with stones filled path is not barefoot/VFF friendly. After the run, both legs suffered with serious muscles soreness that last until now (at least 3 days, worst than Titi50). If I wanted to venture into trail running, I will need to get a pair of trail running shoes, and obviously I need to have more trail/stairs training. Anyway, this is the small detour from my marathon training. Still got unfinished business on my Sub-4 project, hence should back to road running now.

Btw, the GF910XT tentatively will not return on time for APBIM next Sunday. I will need to run with the HRM alone. Looking at the track record of not having enough distances markers in APBIM, it will be difficult to maintain my pace. Or may be I just need to get my self used to running within my capacity (go by my best effort, which reflected by heart rate, 150-170BPM).

See you next week in Penang.


  1. 800 steps is no joke man!

    And the elevation profile. *Shudders*

    But the view is sure nice. :)

    1. The view and the speeding down of the dirt trails are 2 things that I loved from this trip.

  2. Hi friend
    I will be in Hangzhou from 04 to 24 Sept., and now I try to find some race in the city. have you some info on? thanks