What a 2015 Wyan Chow’s had and it’s only the first week of March! From relative unknown to winning the Vibram Hong Kong 100k (post-race interview) to joining The North Face team. This weekend, she’ll be running her longest, most mountainous race to date at Transgrancanaria. In the following interview, Wyan talks about her exciting 2015, how she connected with The North Face, and what she’s thinking going into TGC.
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Wyan Chow Pre-2015 Transgrancanaria Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Wyan Chow before the 2015 The North Face Transgrancanaria. How are you, Wyan?
Wyan Chow: Hello! Nice to see you again.
iRunFar: Yeah, it’s good to see you again. I saw you two months ago in Hong Kong.
Chow: Two months, yes.
iRunFar: A lot has changed. When I saw you last time, you had just won Hong Kong and you were just getting known around the world. Now you are a The North Face athlete. How did that happen so quickly?
Chow: Yes. Because of the win at Hong Kong 100. Then I want to try to have a ranking in UTWT. The North Face brand is supporting me to do it. So I joined as a The North Face athlete.
iRunFar: Did one of your fellow runners in Hong Kong help make that happen?
Chow: Yes, Stone [Tsang] introduced The North Face brand to me and they thought the image was quite good. I have a big smile also. Now they support me.
iRunFar: Excellent. So they helped get you here and also you’ll go run TNF Australia?
Chow: Yes. I decided to also do Australia 100, and then if I can get good results then they will also support me to do one more or two more races. So just support me to do what I want to do.
iRunFar: That’s great. I think it’s important for people to realize that in a series, whether it’s UTWT or Skyrunning or whatever, you may have a bad race, whether you’re tired or sick or travel. We can’t be perfect all the time. So you have ideas in case a race does not go well.
Chow: Yes. Yes.
iRunFar: Here, you’re in Transgrancanaria, is this going to be your longest race?
Chow: Yes. I haven’t done more than 100k before. This one is 125k. Also, the up-down is more than 8,500 meters. I try my best. I like the weather and the environment. I’m so excited! I see many, many world-class athletes here.
iRunFar: You seem, as we say in the U.S., like a kid in a candy shop.
Chow: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
iRunFar: You’re getting to meet all these other athletes from all over the world. Could you imagine this two months ago?
Chow: I cannot because when I tried to Facebook the Transgrancanaria on Facebook, I saw my picture with the other world-class female athletes. I’m so excited because I haven’t imagined I could be a world-class one just inside the picture, inside the picture. I win!
iRunFar: Are you smiling in that picture by any chance?
Chow: Yes! Yes, I always smile.
iRunFar: You have such a positive attitude. It’s great. You’re excited for this weekend. How do you feel? How does your body feel? Are you ready to race?
Chow: My body feels… I’ll just do my best and then wearing a smile is very important.
iRunFar: When did you arrive in Gran Canaria?
Chow: Two days before on Tuesday.
iRunFar: Was the travel hard?
Chow: Yes, quite hard because it takes around 22 hours to come here.
iRunFar: Have you done much international travel in the past or no?
Chow: I have but not quite this long. This is one long 22 hours.
iRunFar: But it’s exciting.
iRunFar: You said the course will be longest race you’ve run. You’ve not run this much elevation or climbing, no? Maybe 6,000 meters in some of the races in Hong Kong?
Chow: Yes. TNF Hong Kong 100k is around 6,300 meters.
iRunFar: So about the same amount of change per kilometer, but this race is longer and has a little more climb. The climbs and descents are maybe similar.
Chow: Yes. I know the last part around 25k is a downhill section, so I’ll just save my energy for halfway and then the end of halfway, I’ll try my best.
iRunFar: Early on you’re with so many great athletes, do you think you will be able to control how excited you are to not go out too fast?
Chow: I follow my heart rate also. I just follow my heart rate and my condition. After halfway of the course, then maybe the sun is coming up and the weather is hotter, and I don’t know.
iRunFar: That will be an advantage for you because you’re coming from Hong Kong where it is warm whereas many of the runners are from North America or Europe winter. So best of luck, Wyan, and it’s good to see you again. Have fun. Keep smiling.
Chow: Good luck!