There are some tough women in Hong Kong, but few rival Chamelia Suhra a.k.a "The Chaminator". If there is a challenge out there, she is up for it. She is tiny, but packed with power and her latest exploit, to take on the Lantau 9 Buffaloes in summer, is just a great example of this lady's fortitude. Grown men crumbled in her wake, and when the going got tough, she took off her shoes!... like you do!.... and as ever, this also brought out the best in our incredible running community.
She is also a massive ALTRA fan!
Thanks to Kelly Scott Morris for this fabulous summary video. You can read Chamelia's account further in the blog.
Such an amazing effort absolutely inspirational. Very well done Chamelia!....
This is Chamelia's Story: "Well how did we even come up with idea running this beast of the miler? Well Jimmy (Phillips) was supposed to go to Switzerland for a race but had to cancel at the last minute due to the new quarantine rules , and he come up with the idea of running 200 km on the flat. Well 200 km flat is going to be really hard and running on the flat is not my thing so I suggested we run the 9 BUFFALOES ?
It would be fun and Marc Nauer also agreed with the suggestion , but added perhaps we try the "Reverse Jono" combo . So Jimmy started gathering information and quietly I texted Jono (Woodhouse) to get more details. The next day, Jono added us to the "9 Buffaloes" community group chat. Coincidently Chang had run the 9 buffalos just a week or two before. This helped our confidence because someone had run the 9B in summer. So the 3 of us got really busy with planning, water drops and so on. The plan was we would stay together and finish together.
The 15 September arrived and we were nervous. We planned to start at 6 pm and do the LT 70 reverse because hopefully the weather would be cooler. Sadly it was not, it was hot even at night, with barely any breeze. We stayed together to around 50 km or so and then Marc started to chaff and as the night went on the chaffing become so bad, no amount of chaffing cream could help. He was really in pain but kept pushing himself.
Kelly came to meet us early morning at about 4 am with food and fresh shorts for Marc. However, the chaffing had become so bad they did they didn't help much but he made the climb up Lantau Peak and like the beast he is, down to Pak Kung Au.
We felt sad for Marc, as he was really looking forward to this 9B so he left us two nutters as we headed back to MuiWo to finish our LT 70 and grab a quick hot coffee. Marc met us there to change and prepare our bag for the next leg the TransLantau 100km. Joe joined us for some KMs and Jono and Nikki Han came along too.
I feel so honoured and happy to be running alongside the queen of the trail and I had more and more energy in me. The sun started to come out slowly and it was surely roasting every inch of us. I struggled to climb Sunset Peak and Nikki was trying to push me and I felt bad because I slowed her down.
My struggle was bad and I felt shivering in my arm and leg and Jimmy was just few hundred meters ahead of me. I texted him to tell him I needed to cool down under the tree for 10 min or so and Nikki ran back down to check on me.
I told her to please go ahead, I just needed a few mins to cool down. I was running out of water and I was so pleased to see Steve Phebe come back to get me and cheer me up and he gave me some if his water. I felt a bit more alive and he reminded me there is a tap on top of sunset were I can cool down. This helped me push myself a bit and I finally reached the goddess of tap water. I let it run on the top of my head all the way to my body saving only my shoes. I saw Jimmy waiting for me and he too was having mild heatstroke as we pushed slowly down to Pak Kung Au. Steve fed me with hard boil egg and dried mango ..... thankyou Steve!.
Finally we got a rest!
After a quick 20 min nap we continued our journey. Steve kept cheering us which was a really huge help and I tried to stay focused as to push to much in this heat would be a disaster. Jimmy's blister went from bad to worse and neither taping or cream seemed to work and we had no more tape left anyway.
We arrived at Shek Pik and Steve had to say goodbye. We continued our journey one step at the time and I saw Jimmy dragging his feet and I felt worse. I knew he was waiting for the right time to tell me but at that time he was still pushing himself in every way. Finally we arrived near the Buddha and we were hungry and the sky looked like it was about to explode and a thunderstorm warning was issued. We made our way to the Buddha for hot noodle soup.
Rain and lightning started just as we were having noodles and I expected the worst. At the same time the 9B Buffalo community group chat and GR group chat were asking how we were doing and if we were safe? We reassured everyone we were. The rain slowly calmed down and we started moving but the lighting was really scary so we folded our poles and hide them for safety. We reached the wooden stairs or (donkeys trail) and this was where Jimmy told me he can’t push further. My heart sank but he had pushed himself this far and was really suffering with his feet.
My answer was "oh no!! . I was holding back my tears and I had mixed feelings as we had come this far together and we had suffered a lot.
So I asked myself A : should I continue for my two running mate and finish this challenge? or B: go home and feel sorry to myself?. BUT....DNF not in my vocabulary!!!. So I choose "A" knowing I would be alone out here I was going to be the only soul but I wanted to finish this for Jimmy and Marc even if I had to run or crawl I knew I would be ok if I could just just keep moving.
We reached the wooden staircase and the concrete is very slippery and I fall down more than once … so I took off my shoes to run down the wooden staircase ( donkey trail) in just my socks which worked pretty well yeee haaa. Jimmy explained everything before we parted and gave me whatever he have left, spare headlamp etc.
So here I am all alone, Naoko texted me to see if I wanted some food sent to Tai O . Wow!, yes, I told her I’m heading to Tai O and yes, I am hungry. At Tai O village the phone rang and Elliot (Froidevaux) also asked if I was with someone. Thankyou Elliot, for that call which gave me more positive energy to keep going and I receive a text msg from Nikki HAN. She said, if I needed any help to just reach out to her. I felt even more the love and I feel so much energy in me to keep going, and Naoko was waiting for me at TAI O with yummy rice ball, banana and chocolate milk, pocari. I felt the love from everyone and thank you Naoko. She even tried to run some kms with me but the dogs in the village were going crazy and I was worried about her safety so I told her to go back to her car and go home instead.
On her drive back to to Ngong Ping she very kindly hid a few drinks for me. I was finally back on the trail where the trail is covered with over grown grass twice as taller as me and full of spiders. I started to sing and cough just to make some noise to entertain myself. I lost all my fear I just didn’t turn my head to whatever I heard.
Finally I got back to Ngong Ping and the Big Buddha and there were a few dogs waiting for me. They blocked my way, barking like mad. Fortunately they probably smelt dog in me and they backed off!. I was about to climb Lantau Peak for the second time. I hadn't slept for two nights this time so I was really careful about the climb. I knew Kelly (Scott Morris) was waiting for me at Pak Kung Au with hot congee. "One step at the time and breath" is what Chang wrote on the group messages so I just did that. I finally reached the top of Lantau Peak with a big smile. The finish is not far away and I knew I would make it. I ran down and I saw Kelly just before I reached the bottom of Pak Kung Au.
Filming by Kelly Scott Morris!
"I feel so happy with the scary part over. It's is not far away, but but still far away, I kept telling that to myself at Pak Kung Au.
I looked at my watch, 35 hour , again I have big smile I can do this and when Marc meet us again somewhere on the South Lantau Trail to Nam Shan, I looked at my watch again and I have big smile as it’s going to be last Chi Ma wan . This is where the final pain and suffering started and the sun started roasting me again. The trail looks flat, not a big climb and yet it is a silent killer and my body started to dismantle slowly but surely. Kelly was very patient and was pushing me in every way he could. I was running out of water, I was hungry etc etc and every little stream I passed I dipped my T shirt or bandana into it, anything to help me cool down .
Kelly kept saying "not far, not far away, I was drooling for an extra cold Coca Cola, with slice of lemon, the messages just kept pouring in from both the 9buffalo community and the GONE RUNNERS CLUB. Finally I was out of Chi Ma Wan and was pushing myself down, running towards the coca shop. Yeeehaaaa, I feel alive!...not far away, not far away, so I kept on pushing myself all the way to Mui Wo. I made it, I made, and I saw Marc, Jimmy, Jono and Marc's mother and one other lady, sorry I didn’t catch her name.
Thank you everyone, with all the support of the 9Buffalos community, such a great community. Your tremendous support, with all the messages pouring in just wooowww!, make me feel over the cloud. Also the GONE RUNNERS, thank you with all the love and support and those messages played a big part in this challenge.
Thank you Jono and Chang for this crazy challenge and NIKKI HAN for supporting us and Steve Phebe. Last but not least, my two running mates Jimmy Phillips and Marc Nauer for showing to me what this sport all about and for coming back to Mui Wo to wait for me. You two are truly legends, thank you once again.
To Kelly, thank you very very much thank you and you are always there for me through my crazy challenges supporting me all the way. You captured every moment of my suffering and I owe you big brunch.
Thank you once again everyone for your messages and support. That's what kept me going . Be a turtle and you will get there eventually! Love Chamelia"