Bowen Road: found

Yesterday I finally found Bowen Road. Largely thanks to the advice of a colleague- thanks Molly! To get there, for those who live in Hong Kong, go to Queens Road East from Happy Valley, and run towards Wan Chai, then past Stubbs Road (the road of doom), and turn left onto Kennedy street (or road…). From there you should go uphill until you pass a park like area on the right, and then there are signs to Bowen Fitness trail. These direct you up a 400 meter incline known as Wan Chai Gap Road.

By the time I got to Wan Chai Gap I had run 2.5 miles. I was feeling healthy, so I decided I would be able to run up to the final destination. I jogged up past a group of hikers with walking sticks and back packs, and after about 50 meters felt awful. It was like running up stairs, but a ramp. It is about 100 meters in elevation change over 400 meters horizontally. Ow. I did 3 spurts of running, one at the beginning, then one somewhere in the middle, then when I could finally see the top, I ran to the end. Hill repeats are… fun?

I finally arrived at Bowen, eye-level with the skyscrapers. The trail itself is about 3 k, and the W.C. Gap puts you about in the middle, I ran to one end, back to the other end and came back to the gap to walk down the 25% grade. (don’t want to damage my knees). I also found where it intersects with Stubbs, and it is a heinous traffic circle, one way leads to the south side, one to Happy Valley, is north on Stubbs (with doom) and one is west to central, I presume. I might test out the Happy Valley way, to make a big loop some time, but maybe I’ll stick to less adventurous things.

Bowen itself was nice. It is a paved path with only 1 or 2 cabs, and plenty of joggers and walkers and people doing tai chi. Lovely views of the city and it’s mostly in the shade. The only problem is that it is a hard surface. For longer runs I really want to have some dirt or grass, and that is just not an option. It feels like running in a city park rather than like running on a hiking trail. I might go back to use it as a place for harder work-outs-it’s flat and fast, perfect for 400m repeats or a tempo run-and it is useful for adding distance right now. But I might try and do more on the maze of hiking trails that are within half a mile of my house instead.

You can’t beat a soft hiking trail in a tropical forest full of bamboo and city views. And Sir Cecil’s ride is about 2.5k and connects to a plethora of mountain trails and reservoirs. Better conditions, less cars and more tress.

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