China’s Jing Liang took second at the 2019 Vibram Hong Kong 100k after sharing the lead for much of the race and taking a wrong turn close to the finish. In our first interview with Jing, learn about his history with running, how he races prolifically because he enjoys it, and how the race went down from his perspective.
Be sure to read our results article for the full race story.
Jing Liang Post-2019 Vibram Hong Kong 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell here with Jing Liang after his second-place finish at the 2019 Vibram Hong Kong 100k. Congratulations!
Jing Liang [with a translator]: Thank you.
iRunFar: Last year you were here. You were the first to cross the finish line but you were later disqualified. Did it feel good to come back here and have great success?
Jing: Actually, what’s on my mind is that being successful is not the end. Losing your ground at the beginning doesn’t mean you lose everything. So just keep the pace, yeah.
iRunFar: You had a good battle through much of the race. You had the lead with Long-Fei Yan and ran very strong together. Was it a hard battle, running with Yan?
Jing: At the beginning, I was in sixth position. I caught up gradually. I was feeling good, until I got lost.
iRunFar: So, during the race, Long-Fei Yan stops because of injury. Then you were in the lead and feeling strong. How did you feel when you realized you were off course?
Jing: I made a wrong turn. I was up and over the pass. Instead of turning left, I turned right. Although I was here last year, I missed the turn. After the wrong turn, after a certain distance, I realized I couldn’t find a sign [course marker]. Then I found out it was the wrong way, so I turned back. With the traffic, I thought the other way was the wrong way, but actually it wasn’t.
iRunFar: Did you want to stop then? What was the emotion you felt when you realized you were on the wrong course?
Jing: Well, it’s life. Things happen. I tried to run very fast to catch Jiasheng Shen but he is such a strong runner. It wasn’t possible to catch him. There is only like five minutes difference at the last checkpoint. It wasn’t possible to make up that gap, Jiasheng is so strong.
iRunFar: Are you happy with your result today?
Jing: When I was at the 80k mark, I was thinking I could probably win. After the wrong turn, I was very disappointed and I was like crying. I tried my best and I was crying, but I couldn’t catch Jiasheng Shen. I was disappointed not to win, but that’s life.
iRunFar: I’d love to know your history with running. When did you start running? When did you start running long distances?
Jing: I started running originally when I was in university, when I was 19 years old. In the beginning, it was just a few kilometers. Later on, when I graduated, I started to run marathons. My best marathon time was two weeks ago, when I ran 2:29 at the Xiamen International Marathon.The Xiamen marathon is one of the gold-standard races in China.
iRunFar: One thing I hear about you is that you race all the time, almost every weekend. Is that true?
Jing: [Laughs] I feel happy when I’m running, that’s why every weekend there’s always a race, or maybe even two.
iRunFar: Do you do short races or long races? I know you won the Ultra Gobi.
Jing: I run all kinds of races: marathons, ultrarunning races like 50k and 100k as well. Even 100 miles.
iRunFar: Do you plan to race in other countries this year?
Jing: I plan to run the UTMB this year. Last year I did TDS. I’m not used to the climate in Chamonix, so I didn’t do really well there. This year I’m aiming to do UTMB.
iRunFar: You said the climate is different for TDS. Where do you live in China?
Jing: Anhui province, in the middle of China.
iRunFar: Well, congratulations on your great run. I hope to see you again.