Hong Kong’s Four Trails challenge is the world's most formidable test of human endurance, and only the strongest survive. Originally, it was said that it couldn't be done. In 2012 though, Andre Blumberg set off by himself, to run all four of Hong Kong's iconic ultra-distance trails in just four days. Some 298km and over 14,500m of climbing later, the Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge was born.
But this is much more than a film about an athletic challenge. It has some of the most stunning areal film footage ever taken of Hong Kong. From East to West, North to South and across Lantau, Hong Kong’s beautiful landscapes are shot in their glory, both from the air and on land.
With the 2021 edition of the challenge as the backdrop, the movie 'Four Trails' takes the audience on a journey from when the concept was first was conceived to its current format. It takes a deep dive into the famous four trails that make up the challenge, and follows the stories of those who dare attempt such a feat. The feat has to be done in under 60 hours to be deemed a 'Finisher' and in under 72 hours to be a 'Survivor'.
The Maclehose Trail is the longest of the four trails, starting in the west of Hong Kong and ending in the far East. It is 100km in length and roughly 4,800m of vertical elevation change. Competitors need to complete it in under 18 hours to get a ticket to start the Wilson Trail.
The Wilson Trail is the absolute crux of the challenge. This 78km trail starts in the far north of Hong Kong, and traverses all the way to the southern tip of Hong Kong Island. Runners must navigate technical trails, relentless concrete catch waters, three stops on the MTR, before tackling 1,000m worth of steps in the last 10km!
The Hong Kong Trail is the “easiest” of the Four Trails as it’s only 50km in length, however, the trail starts at sea level and finishes at Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island and it still has 2,500m of elevation change. Participants usually head into their second night of running with hallucinations really beginning to set in.
For those that make it to Lantau island there are 70km of Lantau Trail across some of the most isolated trails in the territory plus two of Hong Kong’s highest mountains to overcome! The exhaustion is extreme and only those with the most iron wills are able to finish this epic challenge, which includes over 14,500m of elevation gain.
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6.00pm – Free-Flow Drinks
6.45pm – Movie
The opinions expressed in this film are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.