郊遊遠足其樂無窮，但在享受自然風光之樂前，卻先要接受風吹日曬之苦。據 KK 憶述，二十多年前的香港山路，原來大都是所謂的「光頭山」，植被稀薄，樹木寥寥，沿路無遮無擋。在炎炎夏日登山，似火的皎陽縱然不令你頭暈目眩，亦至少令你汗如雨下。幸而現今香港的山路綠樹成蔭，為一眾山客減卻烈日暴曬的痛苦。
縱使如此，要成為山野跑手，日曬雨淋總是少不免。如今 KK 每星期在山上進行長約100公里的訓練，風雨不改，一身肌膚飽經日炙風吹。然而，誰能想到當初的他最怕太陽，容不得曬黑半點，最愛的運動是只在室內進行的保齡球，對於在烈日下跑步更是敬而遠之，亦從未想過自己會與跑山結下不解之緣。談及為何踏上毅行之路，原來只因一顆敬業之心。
撰文: Paul Chong
Chapter Two: Start off from his feet (Part A)
Hiking can be a lot of fun but when you enjoy the scenery, you can’t hide yourself from the wind and sun. According to KK, most of the mountains in the past in Hong Kong were like “bald mountains” without the shade of trees and shrubs and the hiking trails were there. During those heating summer days, even though the burning sun might not make you faint, you must sweat like it rained. Lucky are the Hong Kong hikers who don’t have to suffer from blazing sunshine as most mountains are covered with green trees nowadays.
Being a trail runner, you will inevitably train under the sun and in the rain. KK, every week, has around 100k training on the mountain regardless of the weather and his skin has experienced years of sun and wind. However, no one can imagine that he was a man who was afraid of the sun and could not bear any tanned mark on his body. His favorite sport was only the indoor bowling, no need to mention running outdoor. Never has he thought about building an inseparable connection with trail running. Why trail running? It began with a dedicated heart at work.
In 1993, he was a fireman. Later, he was promoted and assigned to work in Sai Kung Fire Station instead of Wan Chai Fire Station. Sai Kung Town Centre was not as bustling as now and some areas were not well developed yet with transport and prevention measures. Whenever there was storm, there must be landslide which blocked Sai Sha Road. Sai Kung sounded like a distant place but it attracted many people hiking and camping there. Sai Wan Shan, Nam She Tsim (Sharp Peak), Kai Kung Shan, Ma On Shan, etc. have been very popular hiking spots.
On rough paths with unpredictable weather, accidents happen. Nowadays, if there is accident in the mountain, the public can call for help from Government Flying Service or Mountain Search and Rescue Team from Fire Services Department. Have you ever thought about who was responsible for rescue before the establishment of these two teams?
It was said that there were two rescue methods:
- You might request helicopter rescue service from Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force; however, you had to notify the unit 45 minutes before due to the unpredictable weather which might hinder the operation.
- After receiving distress signal, firemen would carry all the equipment and carry out mountain rescue.
It took so long for helicopter rescue and so firemen would take responsibility for most of the mountain rescue operations. Therefore, it was important for the firemen to be physically strong and familiar with the trail and track in order to reach to the accident spot.
As a newcomer, KK knew nothing about the rural area like Sai Kung as he had been stationed in city. Plus, he understood the difficulty in high mountain rescue at high altitude, the idea to enhance the ability of self-rescue began to grow in his heart. After one fatal casualty had taken place in the mountain, he determined to begin his life of trail running.
To be continued
By Paul Chong