China’s Miao Yao and Min Qi each won the 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k. In the following interview, Miao and Min speak about how each of them got into running and where they want to go next given their success, their relationship together outside of running, and how the race played out from each of their perspectives.
Read our results article for the full race story.
Miao Yao and Min Qi, 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k Champions, Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar, and we’re here in Hong Kong. It’s the finish line of the 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k. I’m with women’s and men’s champions Miao Yao and Min Qi. Congratulations! And we also have Lawrence here who’s going to be translating for us today.
First, I want to ask Miao Yao, how does it feel to be the champion of such a competitive women’s race?
Miao Yao: [with Lawrence translating] I felt pretty surprised to win this race. I expected to finish in around 11 hours, so today it feels unexpected to win this game [in 10:40:52].
iRunFar: Well, you finished a lot faster than 11 hours, didn’t you? You were running ahead of not only the women’s record pace, but also the men’s record pace for a long time today. Were you running by feel, or by heart rate? How were you judging your effort?
Miao: I ran according to my own pace and condition, but not affected by anything else.
iRunFar: This is our first time interviewing you, Miao Yao. What’s your background in running? I understand it includes both a little bit of ultra trail and a little bit of road running?
Miao: I have been trail running for years, and have done road running for four years.
iRunFar: I got to speak to a few members of the Chinese media around the race today and they said that you were unstoppable last year. And now you’ve been unstoppable at an international race in Hong Kong. What are you going to do with this from here? Do you plan to compete internationally now?
Miao: I’m willing to take part in more and more international trail running races. I’m very willing to do it.
iRunFar: Is there a particular race that you’re thinking about?
Miao: The Hong Kong 100k was the particular race that I wanted to do most.
iRunFar: Fantastic! Congratulations again to you on your win today. We’re interviewing the two of you together because you’re a couple. You are runners together and, then, a couple in life as well?
Min Qi: When Miao Yao got to the finish line, I was so touched that I almost cried. We trained together and we both tried pretty hard. We know it’s not easy to cross the finish line.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your race today Min Qi. You had a race today from wire to wire, from start to finish, with another runner pushing you along. What was it like to fight so hard all the way to the finish of 100k?
Min Qi: Every time I take part in a competition, I run according to my own condition. I just wanted to try my best, and whatever the result is, it’s good to me.
iRunFar: Did you find any mental challenge? I know you come from road running, where marathons are over in just a couple hours. Did you find any challenge in the mental part of battling for more than nine hours today?
Min: I think it would be pretty hard for me to get a better finishing time, but I will try my best and intend to come back next year.
iRunFar: So at the finish line of this race, you’re already thinking about doing this again next year.
Min: As long as I don’t get injured, I will come back, because I want to try harder.
iRunFar: One last question for you: this race has a lot of very diverse parts to it. There’s a lot of road running and flatter running in the first half. And, then, the last half has most of the hills, most of the stairs, and most of the rocks. How did that play out for you today?
Min: I was coming to this trail to train before the race, just to adjust to the route.
iRunFar: Congratulations to both of you. Since iRunFar covers international races around the world, we look forward to seeing you race again somewhere around the world. Thank you.