MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) — Two Australian expats living in Hong Kong have set off on a 102 kilometer ultra-marathon to show support for the protests currently continuing in the city.
“I’ve been really touched by the sacrifice, determination, creativity and restraint shown by the students and other democracy protesters over the past month. I very much believe that governments should represent the people, so wanted to show my support – and why not by doing something I love, like running?" John Ellis, a 36-year-old finance worker, told the South China Morning Post.
Ellis and his fellow runner Andrew Dawson, a teacher, have mapped a course around the region in the shape of an umbrella using GPS technology. Their run began at 4am local time at the Upper Shing Mun reservoir in Hong Kong's mountainous New Territories. The course makes a circuit around the New Territories in the shape of an umbrella canopy, before heading south through the urban district of Kowloon to start the handle.
The runners stop at the Mong Kok protest site, then cross the harbor to the government offices at Admiralty before going over the Peak to Aberdeen, completing the umbrella handle at Pok Fu Lam in the west of Hong Kong Island.
The marathon is set to take about 15 hours, finishing at 7 p.m. local time. Ellis and Dawson are keen ultra-marathon runners, who previously joined the shorter Umbrella Runs held earlier this month.
The Australian remarked that others are keen to join the pair at various points around their endeavor: “As word got out, we’ve been inundated by dozens of people wanting to run with us for certain sections. It’s been quite amazing how many people are really behind the students and the Occupy Central movement.”
A Facebook page set up to cover the run, called the Umbrella Ultra Marathon, has gained 817 members since its creation on Tuesday. Those wishing to join the run are asked to wear a yellow t-shirt and bring a yellow umbrella.
An update today on its page told visitors: “Due to the overwhelming response of people on the route the runners are no longer on schedule,” estimating them to be one and a half to two hours behind plan.