Cold Half 2021
I will race Cold Half again this year on the coming Sunday, 2021-02-21. This will be my second time doing it solo, and probably my last time doing it because I will emigrate later this year.
The weather forecast is 18-24°C, sunny, easterly BF 2. The water temperature is 20 - 21°C. The condition is similar to last year. It will be a good condition to make course records and PBs.
We will have 14 solos (8 in skin and 6 in neoprene) and 11 relay teams this year for the Cold Half. These numbers do not include the 4 ColdXtreme participants who will also do a virtual bike and run race afterwards but they will also count into the category rankings for Cold Half.
There will be 2 waves in the start as usual, not counting the ColdXtreme participants, 09:30 for the slower participants and 10:30 for the faster participants. Due to social distancing we will not have a post-race party nor prize-giving ceremony this year. A lot of my idols and good friends will race as well, the following are the participant list (those who did not race last year in the solo are indicated in bold, and those who did have their last year time listed here for reference):
The ColdXtreme participants will start earlier in the morning:
- Thomas Butter
- Cae Tolman
- Mandy Tik - wife of Cae Tolman
- Mayank Vaid - Indian triathlete, former record holder of Enduroman A2A, swam round Hong Kong in 2020 followed by bike and run
- Edie Hu (2020 4:12:32) - my female idol, a veteran open water swimmer who swam round Hong Kong in 2018 and done a few big swims around the world, such as Palk Strait, and she joined a 2-person relay team for the Channel
- Li Ling Yung (2020 4:30:11)
- Joy Zhu
- Justin Murray
- James Sweeney
- Leo Chan (in neoprene, 2020 5:04:39)
- Me (Michael Tsang) (2020 5:14:26)
- Alex Fong (little flying fish) - my male idol, a former Olympian who did the fastest round Hong Kong swim in 2019.
- Simon Holliday (2020 3:59:34) - founder and director of Splash Foundation; my marathon swimming mentor who helps and guides me through the recent 2 years; Channel swimmer who also swam round Hong Kong in 2017
- Allan McPherson - a Channel aspirant who will swim the English Channel this August
- Karen Surgenor (in neoprene)
- Kenny Li (in neoprene)
- James Paton (in neoprene)
- John Lyons
I have read the weather forecast and tidal current forecast. The condition will be mostly the same as last year and the course is nearly the same, with the finish at the VRC pontoon rather than on the beach. My goal time this year will be A: 4:40, B: 5:00 and C: 5:30, i.e. targeting about 20 - 30 minutes faster than last year judging from my recent training progress. This will be a reference only, as I will pace myself not only according to my planned schedule, but also the speed of my competitors as well.
My paddler this year will be Gary Lui again, a fellow orienteer and a kayaking coach. I'm very grateful to have him in the orienteering community such that we can learn from each other to improve our orienteering skills, and from him I get to know the greater paddling and adventure community as well.
The tracker will be available at Follow My Challenge.
Nice write up Michael. Good luck - here's hoping this bolsters your confidence!
The race was completed. The condition was perfect that everyone PBed. I got 8/8 among all unassisted competitors. All solos and teams completed within 5 hours this year. Both my idols Alex Fong and Edie Hu won the race in the unassisted categories for their genders.
The result has been published. I have written my race report.
Hey, you broke 5:00! Nice improvement over your last attempt. And you were in spitting distance of your "A" goal. Well done.
I also have to say I love the name of the 10th place relay team...
Everyone got his/her time reduced by basically the same proportion - i.e. it is unconvincing that I actually had improvement, and I believed that it was the condition which made everyone fast on that day. Considering that it was basically not possible for anyone in Hong Kong to do any training in 2020 because of extended restrictions and closures (during the past 12 months from February to January, the pools only opened for 2 months between mid-May to mid-July, and for another 2.5 months between mid-September to November), it would be a miracle if anyone actually got improvement.
The name of the 11th team is more funny to me.
Just say "Thank you" for goodness sake.
We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams