Hong Kong banker Michel Lowy on the comeback trail after cheating death in storm-lashed Lantau peaks race a year ago

Belgian co-founder and CEO of boutique investment bank was left fearing he’d be paralysed – if he survived at all – following horror slip. He talks about his return to racing and his changed perspective

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2016

By Jeanette Wang


The seemingly simple fact that Michel Lowy was able to be interviewed for this article is actually a miracle. Even more amazing: following his brush with death last year after a nasty fall during a trail running race, the 46-year-old Belgian recently teamed up with three colleagues to finish second in the corporate category of the Barclays Moontrekker Moonlit 30km trail race on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island.

Yet a little more than a year ago, Lowy, CEO and co-founder of boutique investment bank SC Lowy, was lying heels over head on a steep mountainside in Lantau, head and upper body wedged between two trees, unable to move. The Brussels native had been competing in the 2015 Action Asia Lantau 2 Peaks race in the face of an approaching typhoon, and with the No.3 strong wind signal hoisted.

Amid gale-force winds and heavy rain, about 3 ½ hours into the 23km trail race seasoned runner Lowy slipped off the wooden steps of the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail and landed head-first, falling seven to eight metres. He passed out – he reckons for a few minutes – and when he came to, he had a “crazy pain” in his neck and could not move his limbs.

“The first thought for me was: ‘I am never going to be able to run, walk and play with my kids again because of this stupid race’,” says Lowy, a father-of-two who has been living in Hong Kong for 11 years.

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