Mr. Fung Ying Ki - The first local Marathon wheelchair race finisher of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Half Marathon 2013
Regular wheelchairs are different from racing wheelchairs in terms of appearance, speed and steering. Wheelchair athletes should have an accredited racing chair especially for 10km race; the wheelchair should have two large wheels and one small wheel.
Wheelchair athletes need to squat and lean forward to control the direction of the racing chair which relies on friction to accelerate. Most wheelchair marathoners will use a training roller for regular training but gym use is also recommended for exercising core muscles and arm muscles for marathoners practicing their continuous pushing technique. There are slopes on both the 3km and 10km wheelchair race; athletes should not forget to train on ramps. While training on outdoor slopes is a good choice, and adding 2-3 KG of weight to their racing chair to achieve the same training results as going uphill.
The race route comprises of pavements and driveways therefore wheelchair athletes should pay extra attention on connecting road surfaces and drainage trenches.
The speed of the racing chairs could be as high as 20 km per hour. Maintaining that speed on uphill slopes requires more energy therefore wheelchair athletes should utilize extra energy to speed up the slope and then rest when going downhill.
Recommendations for training routes
A round trip between Fo Tan and Tai Po measures about 20km. For a shorter course, a good route would be a round trip between the Hong Kong Science Park and Tai Po, which totals 7km, but you would have to pay attention to cyclists and pedestrians. A single trip around Tung Chung and Disneyland exceeding 23km is suitable for long distance training as it also has flat road surfaces, some ramps and less pedestrians.