Wyan Chow is the defending champion of the Vibram Hong Kong 100k, though she wasn’t planning to race until just a couple days ago. In this interview, Wyan talks about how she was supposed to be adventuring in South America but had to return home early because of a travel snafu, how she’s planning to race for fun since she’s been training for mountaineering not running, and how her racing year went since her win here last year.
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Wyan Chow Pre-2016 Vibram Hong Kong 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Wyan Chow before the 2016 Vibram Hong Kong 100k. Hi, how are you?
Wyan Chow: Hi! Hello! So far so good.
iRunFar: So far so good. You won the race last year, but your plan wasn’t to come back and run this year, no?
Chow: No, actually I planned to travel this month, but I lost all my luggage; so I needed to come back home and join the race.
iRunFar: So you were in South America trying to summit Aconcagua. Last year you talked about how you love mountaineering. It really is one of your passions. Was Aconcagua one your highest mountains you were going for?
Chow: Yes, this one is my highest mountain, but during the bad weather and very strong wind, I waited in base camp more than two weeks. The weather didn’t change, so I finished.
iRunFar: You were supposed to go to Patagonia the week after to run or vacation?
Chow: Yes, I planned to go to trekking and camping and also maybe take some pictures and introduce it to my friends.
iRunFar: When did you decide to run Hong Kong 100k?
Chow: I lost all my luggage during the trip, so all was gone. I just only have money and passport—no clothes, no shoes. It was all gone. I was very sad, so I needed to come back home.
iRunFar: Does that also mean you have no specific preparation for this race?
Chow: No. Maybe I have a little bit because I climbed a mountain at high altitude, but it’s quite tired for climbing. Maybe I will just enjoy and always keep smiling and loving and making people happy during the race.
iRunFar: You did that so beautifully last year.
iRunFar: Early in the race I was with you, and you were smiling and having a good time.
Chow: Yes, I like to smile. If I smile, you smile.
iRunFar: And that makes you happy. And you can run easy.
iRunFar: Do you do that for a specific reason?
iRunFar: What races have you run since last year’s win?
Chow: I did Transgrancanaria, but I didn’t finish it. The other was [Ultra-Trail] Australia 100k. I finished 10th.
iRunFar: You were talking earlier today at a press conference we had about so many people that will be on the course cheering for you.
Chow: Yes, I also cheer other people.
iRunFar: Do you enjoy and get a lot of energy from the people on the course? Does having people along the course cheering for you give you a lot of energy?
Chow: Yes, this is a very big encouragement. Last year, I don’t know why, but all the volunteers and participants knew my name. They call me, “Wyan Chow! Wyan Chow! Keep it up!” Yeah, something like that. I think it helped me to push myself harder and also I feel more enjoyable. I think this time maybe I not prepare well, but I also want to cheer the others and really appreciate the others that cheer for me.
iRunFar: Wyan, good luck on Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing your smiling face on the course.
Chow: Yeah! Enjoy the race! Keep smile!
iRunFar: You, too.