Hongkong.com launches marathon of the sands feature local team races for Hong Kong SPCA campaign

Gortex and Bolle back SPCA on-line fundraiser campaign on hongkong.com

Hong Kong, April 1, 1999 — Climbers do Everest, divers do the deep sea, marathon runners do the Marathon of the Sands. Internet viewers in Hong Kong and around the world can now support the Hong Kong team as they take part in the gruelling race across the Sahara Desert, through a special feature site on hongkong.com.

From April 4 until 10, 500 runners from over 30 different countries will gather together in the sweltering heat and run, walk or crawl 150 miles across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sands), now in its 14th year, is considered the toughest foot race on earth. This year, a Hong Kong team, made up of Chiu Pik Kwan, Mandy Lo, and Mark Sharp, will be running in the Marathon to support the Hong Kong SPCA's fundraiser campaign to build a new animal hospital in Kowloon.

hongkong.com will provide fast-breaking news and pictorial coverage of the Marathon including daily progress reports from the Hong Kong team members. The bi-lingual English and Chinese language service also includes the history of the event, personal profiles of the athletes, messageboards, competitions, and even a photo gallery and 'personals' web page from the waifs and strays at the Hong Kong SPCA seeking a home.

"The hongkong.com feature is harnessing the communications and interactive powers of the Web as a practical tool to help Hong Kong's SPCA," said Cheung Fai, Web Publishing Director, China.com Corporation.

Said Mark Sharp, Hong Kong team member: "On the serious side, we want to do something that's challenging. We want to promote the concept that as you face challenges in life you have to overcome the problem, you have to use a certain amount of determination and spirit and really dig deep down inside yourself to find your personality - who you really are. Animals have to face challenges in different ways. Animals face cruelty, deprivation. On the fun side, the Marathon is just a complete adventure. After six days, you get very thirsty and the Moroccan beer is great."

Corporate sponsors on the site already include Gortex and Bolle. The SPCA fundraiser site welcomes sponsorship and advertising from organisations around the world - with a special sponsors' page where businesses can donate funds. All advertising and sponsor money will be donated to the Hong Kong SPCA.

The Hong Kong SPCA Fundraiser Campaign can be found at http://sahara.hongkong.com

About Hong Kong's Premier Portal hongkong.com

hongkong.com is Hong Kong's premier bi-lingual portal, bringing the best of Hong Kong to the Web. hongkong.com provides compelling Hong Kong-centered news and information, in Chinese and English covering: business, finance, travel, city guides, shopping, entertainment, film and arts festivals, sports, technology, lifestyle and features, search engines, community polls, message boards and download center.

Produced by Hong Kong people, for Hong Kong people, Hongkong.com is an essential online resource providing an opportunity to interact with an exciting 'cyber city' of 'wired' Hong Kong citizens - keeping their finger on the vibrant Hong Kong pulse via their computer screens. Hongkong.com aims to pioneer Internet development in Hong Kong, explore issues which are relevant to Hong Kong people, and create a portal which captures the spirit, diversity, and essence of life in Hong Kong.

About International Awardwinner

In 1998, hongkong.com was awarded a Standard of Excellence Award from the U.S. Web Marketing Association - the first-ever Chinese language portal to receive this award.


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