OXFAM Trailwalker Hong Kong Pre Race Interview – Team The North Face

In the third of our interviews with the all star teams focussed on blitzing the Hong Kong OXFAM Trailwalker course we caught up with The North Face team. The experience and depth in this team is hard to pass up with veteran 100miler Tsuyoshi Kaburaki leading the charge. This team will definitely be taking it up to the French Salomon team and will draw upon its depth of experience to get 4 runners down the course in super quick time.

Thank you once again to Lloyd Belcher for the images and interviews.

1. Could you provide a few sentences about your team members & their running achievements?

Stone Tsang: 

One of Asia’s top trail runners and adventure racers, Stone was the first and only HK Chinese to ever win Action Asia Challenge, and last year Stone was the top Chinese finisher and 21st overall in one of the world’s top mountain running competitions in Europe.   When not training and racing Stone works as an ambulance EMT

Ryan Blair:

Ryan settled in Hong Kong in 1995 and has since become one of Asia’s top adventure racers and adventure sport pioneers.  Ryan was founding Race Director and Managing Director of the first series of international adventure races in Asia, National Geographic Channel Action Asia Challenge (Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia – 1998-2001). In 2002, Ryan founded one of Asia’s leading outdoor education & training companies, Asia Pacific Adventure, and soon after, established Asia’s top adventure sports Athlete Team with business partner Stuart Sharpless. Ryan’s race career highlights include:  1st place x 3 Action Asia Challenge adventure race [Hong Kong] as well as 1st place in The North Face 24-hr Exploration Race [China].

Tsuyoshi Kaburaki : 

One of the top of ultra trail runners in the world who is very famous not just in his native Japan but the around the world. 3rd place in the 100mile UTMB race and a regular top ten finishers globally at WSER100.

Jay Kiangchaipaipana:

Jay is a high-level adventure athlete who was working as a mountain bike guide in Chiang Mai when recently discovered. He has been a sportsman his whole life, starting with Muay Thai boxing before moving on to mountain biking and adventure racing.  Jay joined North Face in 2011 and had a huge adventure racing debut win with the team at this years’ River Kwai Trophy.
2. Is this the first time that your team has competed together at this distance?
Stone Tsang: “Yes, it is the first time that the 4 of us have raced together and for Jay, this is his first 100km race.”
3. What does your training involve for the trailwalker?
Stone: “We all train individually because we live in different places but we are all experienced runners who are disciplined & trust each other. We have been suffering with different kinds of injury before the race, so our training has been very simple with no speed running & also no high mileage because of the injury. Actually, the preparation is really not enough for us but we are all excited with all the strong competition because we love trail running.”
4. So what time are you predicting for your team at the Trailwalker ?
Stone: ” Around 12 hours”
5. Who do you see as your biggest competitors/rivals?
“So as far as I know we need to watch out for: Salomon France team, Salomon Bonaqua Racing Columbia team and I think some local teams.”
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