Two of the top female European marathoners will compete in the Standard
Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2004, to be held on Sunday 8 February, in bid
of the champion title and winning purse of US$13,000.
Violetta Uryga of Poland and Denmark's Gitte Karlshoj will be running again in
this year's race, after losing out to China's Sun Wei-wei last time. The Polish
runner finished second in 2:39:51 in her first visit to Hong Kong while the
Dane was two places behind her with a time of 2:41:46.
After capturing the runner-up in Hong Kong in February, Uryga took part in the
Nagoya Marathon in Japan and achieved her personal best of 2:34:44. A month later, she won the Wroclaw Marathon in her home country, for the third
consecutive time, in 2:39:27. Her extra-ordinary performances at these three
races in three months provided a very strong evidence of the chance to win
the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon this year.
Veteran runner Gitte Karlshoj is well known for her consistency. She has
recorded strong performances in the Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon, over the few years, finishing 11th in 2003 (2:40:52), 9th in
2002 (2:35:01), 13th in both 2000 (2:35:11) and 2001 (2:36:36). Despite of her
fourth-placed finish in Hong Kong, she was crowned the 2003 Odense Marathon in Denmark with an excellent performance of 2:34:37 at the age of
44. She was also the winner of the 2000 and 2001 Odense Marathons with a
respectable time of 2:35:39 and 2:32:40 respectively. Standard Chartered
Marathon 2004 will be the best warm-up race for Karlshoj to get ready for the
international Boston competition this April.
The Organizer has confirmed 40 international runners from 20 countries in the
February race while local entries are as encouraging. Over 21,400 runners
enrolled in the three races (marathon, half marathon and 10km race) and broke
Hong Kong's highest participation record of 18,682 in advance of the entry
deadline. The deadline of entry is set on 8 January 2004 and the quota is 22,000. Interested parties are suggested to submit their entry
forms together with the HK$320 entry fee as soon as possible.
Local and international runners will assemble along Nathan Road for the start
from 6:45am onwards on Sunday 8 February 2004 to showcase "The Hong Kong Spirit, The Marathon Spirit" to people in Hong Kong and around the