Monday, 4 November 2013

Exclusive Interview: 2013 Hong Kong Sedan Chair Race Champions!

Last Sunday 27 October saw one of Hong Kong's premier sporting events of the year: the annual Hong Kong Sedan Chair Race. Apart from being a test of strength, determination, speed and manhood, the Sedan Chair Race is a major fundraising event for various charities in Hong Kong.
It is an awesome event all for a good cause.
And, here at Dim Sum and Long Runs is the exclusive interview with the winning team and new record holder's key member, Mr Hopper.
Look at the determination on their faces!

Congratulations on your win. You must all be really pleased! Were you aiming for a course record, or just the victory?
 Had to be a course record because our biggest rivals the police (who beat us last year) and fireman chickened out at the last minute.

How did it feel when you found out you’d broken the record by 12 seconds? That’s huge!
Totally F*&()d but over the moon !... suck on that you ponsy polis and firemen’s helmets !... tee hee !... we are as gracious in defeat to.

What did your preparation for this race involve?
We did about 4 training sessions with varying weights on the chair followed by numerous drinking sessions to get over the shock

How was the training for this different to the training that you usually do?
Don’t normally train with a loosely attached weight, hands in pockets, flat out in the dark, open roads, ….. some similarities though… people shouting “get a move on you useless sod” is quite normal

What motivated you to enter this race?
 Seriously it’s a really truly team event in a way that few other running races can be… balance that against a feeling of guilt and “you’re a wimp if you don’t”, and a lack of someone else to allow me to get dropped.

Can you tell me more about the race. For example, what was going through you mind during the event? How did you keep it together and not blow up? 
 My biggest fear was that the chair, lady and the 5 other totally uncaring sods behind me would be the last thing to go through my mind as we headed down the hill… everything else is a blur.

What did you do to recover from this race?

I know you all run and race individually, was it difficult to come together and work as a team?
Not at all

I’d like to hear more about the team dynamic: did you have specific roles within the team, or did you just get in and all run as fast as you can?
Back row provides the power, we expected the big kiwi, Kean, Reeves and Booth junior to be the grunting growling power house. Just spoilt by one not having the courage to dress as an Australian (understandable) and another dressed as a Scotsman.

The front row or the “’ikkle weeds” are really only there to stop the front scrapping on the ground. Matt’s spanish get up was a touch baggy adding to the weediness impression, I was dressed as Italian and as expected, I went backwards at the end (oooh !), but Whart played the role of an aggressive English Defense League skinhead and Lowther a surprisingly fast Frenchman after our real Frenchman dropped out with an “arse” problem. Couldn’t get off it I think.

They even look fast!
Your chose to run in lycra full-bodysuits, each bearing a national flag. Other than being more aero-dynamic, was there a reason for this particular choice of outfit?
They feel so good against ones naked flesh.

How did the bodysuits feel to run in? Do you think that you will maybe get the bodysuits out for any other upcoming races?
Well I am sure they will get a lot of use in between, there was huge creativity displayed on how they could be improved usually involving holes so I guess they could be seen in public again but maybe just in Wan chai.

Do you think you will back up and try to win again next year?
The Booth dynasty wouldn’t have it any other way… Booth Senior has competed in this for the last 25 years and won most of them… Booth Junior now is set to take over the reigns …. We really don’t have a choice.

If you were racing again, would you do anything differently?
Tried to avoid being in the front going down the hill…. My suite definitely needs a wash after that … a bit of poo came out.

Compared to other races that you have done in the past, how was this different? Was it harder than say, a marathon or a track race?

I speak for more than one member of the team and can safely say it is THE hardest 8 + minutes of your running life, I have been dreading this race for most of the year, The Big Kiwi was heard to remark, “thank god now at least there are 364 days before the next one”…. It is truly monstrous.

What advice would you give to anyone planning on racing in next year’s Sedan Chair Race?
Be afraid, be very afraid! 


  1. Hey, Jane! Thanks for popping over to my blog and the sweet note!

    I have never heard of this kind of race, so thanks for highlighting it. That looks insane! I love cultures and customs of other places. I have had multiple friends who lived in Asia (and I was lucky enough to visit). Ex pat life can be pretty exciting!!!

    1. Hi Crystal,
      Yes Hong Kong does some pretty crazy things! Before this I was in Shanghai though which made HK look practically tame!