上回提到，KK 經過一番思索後，決心參戰毅行。但他雖有略聽毅行者之名，但實際上對此卻茫無頭緒，不知從何入手。於是，他開始打探有關毅行者的詳情，誰知得到的回應，不是「艱辛勞累」，便是「容易受傷」，總之均是勸喻他不要參與。相關的負面評價不絕於耳，一般人可能聽之卻步，但 KK 卻非甘於屈服之人。性格向來倔強的他，面對的困難愈大，就愈要迎難而上，更何況參賽既能鍛鍊體能，又可以藉此機會接觸更多山路，有利日後的救援工作，如此難得的機會他又怎會放過? 如是者，他參戰毅行者的決心便更加堅定。
目標既定，本當一往無前，但想要參與毅行者可不如 KK 想像中輕易，首年參戰便遇上諸多阻礙。
所謂「四人八腿一條心。」毅行者講求同心協力、互相扶持的團隊合作精神。想要參賽，則必先組織一隊四人隊伍，而賽事本來就極具挑戰性，體能要求甚高，一般人不敢輕言參賽。故此，在當時組織毅行隊伍，往往需要依靠在山野間的人脈關係，活躍於越野比賽的跑手們自然更加容易組成隊伍，而此前毫無經驗的 KK，只好逐一詢問身邊的朋友及同事。可是一提到要攀山越嶺，雨淋日炙，得到的拒絕之多自不必說。縱是如此，KK 想要參賽的決心卻未動搖半分，經過一番苦心尋覓，終於找來三名隊友，其中全是消防局的同事，包括兩名救護員及一名消防員。
話說，當年若想參與毅行者，需於指定日期，去到位於九龍區的樂施會總部排隊輪籌，而事前的報名資訊，主辦方一般會致電告知去年的參賽者，又或者刊登於報紙上。然而 KK 以往未曾參賽，又一直埋頭苦練，錯過了報紙上的報名資訊。想報名參賽之時，才發現經已截止。無奈之下，他只好又再四處奔波，想方設法尋求參賽籌號。其時，「健行之友」的領隊——李維安先生，得知此事後，無私地將自己多出的參賽籌號讓予 KK，令他得以在該年參賽。
興許因為籌號得來不易，雖然以往從未在訓練中跑完全程，但當 KK 該隊踏上賽場後，卻跑得格外用力，一直緊緊跟著前面的隊伍，咬緊牙關，跑到當時的終點——屯門掃管笏寶隆軍營。衝過終點的一剎，KK 方才發現，以往在電視中，看著一個個毅行選手衝線的地方，原來就是這裡，而當下他也成為了其中一員。
撰文: Paul Chong
#ChapterFive: His first Trailwalker (Part B)
In the previous chapter, KK decided to join Trailwalker after thinking long and hard. However, he only learnt the name Trailwalker but he did not know beans about it.
Therefore, he started to find out the details about it and then the answers he got usually were “difficult and exhausting” or “easy to get hurt”. All was negative and asking him not to join. For many, they might quit easily at that moment but KK was the opposite and got ready to stand firm to face the challenge. He thought that it was a perfect chance to improve his fitness and learn more trails so that it could help his rescue job. How could he give up? He stood utterly firm.
Set a goal and go. But in his first year, he encountered many problems.
“Four with Eight Legs in One Heart”, team cooperation and helping each other are important in Trailwalker. There must be four members in one team and all of them must be physically strong. It is super challenging and not many say yes to this challenge. It depended so much on social network in trail running groups to find your teammates but for KK, he had no experience at all. What he could do was to ask his colleagues and friends one by one but unfortunately, he was refused by them when they knew they had to run a long way in the wild under the sun and rain. Despite the refusals from his friends, he has never thought about quitting.
After a long search, KK found three teammates who were colleagues working in the fire station. Two were ambulance men and one was a fireman. Although there were four, they did not have a regular training pattern. First, none of them knew the trail route well, plus, all of them did not have experience in trail running. Every time when they went to the mountains, they only made a guess of which way to go and they have never completed walking the whole route. What was more serious, they were busy with their own business and could not train together most of the time. That was why they got different training progress. At that stage, they got muscle soreness and pain after every training as they have not adapted to walk on trails for long hours.
More training can improve your physical fitness. If you lack experience, there are many ways to help yourself apart from walking once by yourself. Typing “Trailwalker” on the internet search engine can lead you to a pool of related strategies and sharing, like special remarks and necessary things you have to bring along. On electronic map, you can find where to start and what important marks you will see when walking there. Even though you do not join the race, you will know a lot on the internet.
However, before this tech-savvy generation, you could only listen to the experienced hikers for instruction and more information about Trailwalker. In those days, apart from training with teammates, KK would follow a long-distance hiking group called “Kin Hang Hiking Club” to have extra training. One episode has happened and KK is still living with this memory.
In those days, if people wanted to join Trailwalker, they had to get a quota tag at a particular time at Oxfam Headquarter in Kowloon. All the details would be posted on the newspapers or informed by the organizer through phone calls to the participants who have joint in the previous year. However, KK has never joint the event and he missed those application information. When he was about to apply for the event, he found that he missed the deadline. Being so hopeless, he asked for help everywhere to get a quota tag. Right at that moment, Mr. Li Wai-On, the leader of “Kin Hang Hiking Club”, learnt about it and selflessly gave his own quota tag to KK. KK could start his first Trailwalker.
Maybe it took a long way for them to get the quota tag, their team tried their best to follow the team in front of them during the event although they even have not walked the route once. When they arrived at the final checkpoint at Perowne Barracks (So Kwun Wat, Tuen Mun), KK discovered that the point he has just passed was before broadcast on the television which showed the Trailwalkers passing the finish line. Now, he was one of them.
That year, KK’s team finished in eighteen hours and it was six hours shorter than their estimated time. They got the tenth place.
Still, KK takes this episode in heart and it inspires him. He keeps helping others to join Trailwalker and works with Oxfam to promote the event. Establishing Trailwalker Teaching Room is to spread his gains and experiences to the younger generation in order that they can walk further on trail running. Here comes another story waiting to be told.
By Paul Chong
Cosmoboys & TTR 毅行教室創辦人，黃金百里賽事總監。長跑傳記、消防見聞、交遊雜憶、山野趣談，筆錄KK CHAN的毅行人生。「看盡山中無奈事，願將所得扭乾坤。」談何容易，繼續堅持。