What got you out running/walking for the first time?
My kids were in Turlock swim team back in 2012, and they practiced at Pitman High swimming pool several times a week. I was mostly sitting and chatting with other parents while watching the kids swimming and waiting for them to finish. One day, out of boredom, I went walking on the high school track just outside of the swimming pool fence, and I felt good. So I quit sitting and kept walking. After a few days into walking, I somehow decided to jog for 30 seconds, and that was all I could do at the time. It took a few months for the 30 seconds to become 5 minutes, but from 5 minutes to 30 minutes continuous running, it only took about a few weeks. That is how my journey to explore and extend my limit start. All my walk/run were all done on a 400-meter track loop before my first ever half marathon in November 2012 at Big Sur.
What’s a song that helps pick up your pace?
I don’t listen to music when I run anymore. But music does help to pick up the pace. I have a few workout music soundtracks of some modified songs with speed setting of 120 to 150 beats per minute. Seem to work. Also, there are fitness music apps I used back to the time I did road running. They have a lot of selection to listen to.
What is the race medal you are most proud of and why?
The medal from my 2nd full marathon in Wuhan China, 2017. Wuhan was where I was born and raised. Marathon was a relatively new thing in China, and that was only the 2nd year of the event. Most of the population (10 million) there still didn’t think a full marathon could be run by a regular person. Out of the 6,000 full marathoners, only 10 percent were from the local, and less than 1,000 were women.
I ran the Modesto full marathon as my first full marathon three weeks before my run in Wuhan. When I got there, my sister refused to take me to the expo to get my bib. She said firmly, that I was not going to run. She drove through the full course the day prior to my arrival, and she believed that I was going to run and die. It took some effort to convince her that I would be just fine.
I ran five hours forty minutes the next day in the pouring rain, I ran through my old schools, childhood playgrounds, shopping malls, bridges, river, and lake. It was a wonderful journey with memory flashing back while I ran. In the end, I got the medal, which was beautifully crafted and contain a bit of real gold.
After the race, several of my friends started to get into walking and running, and they became more and more active and finished their own races. My sister is talking about running a half marathon in 2020, hope I can go back and run with her.
What is your dream race or location for a run?
My father grew up in a small remote village. In the 1950s, he had to walk a full week from his hometown to the capital of the province to take the college administration test. He told us many times of how he walked through mountains (single-track it should be), carrying limited foods and supplies, and slept at the wild to get there. He forgot everything after the long journey, but he did so well with the test and got into one of the best universities in China. I really want to run that course he was on. I don’t know if that is still possible though.
What is your favorite trail to run?
Dipsea. It has everything, beautiful sceneries, a great challenge, fresh air, water refill, and the mid-run snack/meal place at Mill Valley.
What’s your favorite race distance?
Half marathon. It is still my most comfortable distance. Hope one day I will enjoy full marathon distance more.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or that you have seen on the trail?
When I was running Way to Cool 50K, Robert Root was shouting behind me. There was a bit of distance between us, and I couldn’t hear well. I ran back to him, only to find out he wanted me to run faster, he was yelling, “Run, the sweepers are behind us!”
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not running?
I enjoy my job in the IT field, and I enjoy working at our family business. Yeah, a workaholic you can tell. I also enjoy cooking and bible study.
Who are your running heroes?
The runners in this community. I can’t possibly list everyone’s name here, but we have all sort of heroes around us. Some runners are fighting with health issues. Some are pushing their limits and showing us amazing capabilities. Some not just run, but also serve the communities with endless enthusiasm. And almost everyone, just so friendly, encouraging and supportive. Nothing is easy! All the efforts are amazing.
Who inspires you?
Runners older than me inspire me always. They set examples that I can still do so much!
Describe the moment you realized you were a “runner”.
I still don’t realize myself as a “runner” yet, but I have a moment realizing I belong to the trail. I took a long break, three months off running and trails. At my first training after the break, when my foot landed on the trail, I felt the strong connection instantly. I felt that’s where I belong.
What are your goals?
Keep running to 100 years old. Not that I’m striving to live long by running, I meant, I want to be able to run as long as I live.
What’s your favorite beer (or other drink if you don’t drink beer)?
My favorite beer was the one I drank after Fourmable 35K in 2018. I drank again after AR25 this year, it was equally good!! Want a favorite beer, I got to run!