Focus on Athlete: George Ming, 200 marathon finishes

Genghis Khan Festival organizing committee has had a short interview with George Ming, who is a very famous runner in Hong Kong these days, for he has completed his 200th Marathon recently, a number that doesn’t include the ultra-distance races of more than 42.195km and the trail runs. This year he comes back to GK grassland marathon, now let’s get into the wonderful running world of George Ming through the following Q&A.

1.When and why did you begin to run?

A: My first running race was in spring, 2005. It was a small race and I just participated in the short distance of 8-10km. After that,I began to run half marathon. And the first full-marathon in my life I finished is Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on February 12, 2006. Before I started running, I rarely did some aerobic exercise in my spare time, and my weight once reached 81kg. It is a little heavy for my legs, and my knees were under high pressure. That made me hurt when I walked or went down and up the stairs. Iwent to the hospital to have an examination, the doctor told me that I was 13kg overweight, so he suggested me to lose weight by doing sports.

I have no idea about other sports except running, because running is the easiest sport I can do. Running is easy to prepare, I just need to buy a pair of running shoes and did not need to spend too much money. I just could insist on running 15 minutes at first, then I ran longer and longer, and it helped me to decrease 7kg of my weight. It seemed that I shrunk these days. But I got really fascinated by running and started to participate in lots of running races after that.

2.How long do you spend achieving 200 marathons? Is there any difference after your first marathon and your 200th marathon? Talk about your performance, mood, etc.

A:It took me 10 years to finish 200 marathons, my hundredth marathon was finished in 2014, and the two hundredth marathon in 2016. I think most of us are worrying about if we can finish the 42.195 km when we run our first marathon, but after you have finished it, you will be very excited and have more confidence in yourself. My first marathon result was 3:31:19, and as the following marathon I finished one by one, I become a pure runner not for the result but just for happiness, and I didn’t wonder if can finish those races any more.My 200th marathon result was 5:54:40. I treat every long-distance running race as a process of thought and lots of runners would gather together to form a small running group before the race.

3.You took part in the grassland extreme marathon and MTB in 2011, and this year you’re back. In your opinion, what appeals to you most in Xiwuqi?

A: Typically, the marathon is organized in the city and we run on the concrete road,so Genghis Khan Festival is very fascinating to me that I can run on the grassland. That’s attractive to all runners as we can run free on such a beautiful track, which makes us feel it is a completely different kind of marathon. What’s more, the local culture was also amazing, and the committee provided Yurt service to participants so that we all enjoyed a happy journey at that time.

4.We are surprised to find you laughing happily during every event, no matter how long the track is: marathon, 100KM, even 400KM. It’s stimulating! How can you perform so greatly?

A: I am not an elite runner and never run so fast. I always tell myself that running marathon is just a sport in my life, not a competition. I do believe that if we run with no pressure and just enjoy the process, we will put our heart down and then can embrace every kilometer. It could not better than to be a happy runner.

5.You keep on running marathons, cross-country races, and even self-supply races each weekend, 2 days in a row. Can you share your training plan or running notes with us, especially your running gear, nutrition and other supplies?

A: I’m still working, so I don’t have so much time to make special training plan or write notes. I just go running after my working time casually. Regarding race supplies, I just listen to my body, if I am in a good condition, I would not bring lots of supplies with me and allow my body to accustom to the tough courses.

6. Most events are not held in the place where you live. How can you make a balance between work, hobby ?

A:Aha, I have a very understanding and thoughtful boss, his support makes this possible, I can apply for a day-off as long as I finish the assignment of my work as well. So my time is flexible.

7. You almost achieved all running events held in Hong Kong and Taiwan. So what pushes you to run in a strange city?

A: My motivation to go running in city by city is the sight seeing in a new place. I enjoy embracing the world and my life by foot.

8. As an experienced runner, what do you think should be prepared well when running on the grassland?

A: The committee would arrange abundant energy nutrition at drinking stations. Taking that into consideration, for the runners themselves, I think they should pay more attention to personal care such as wearing sunscreen, bringing a sun protection skinsuit, etc.

9. Talk about your feeling when you run on the grassland for the first time in 2011. And what is your ambition this year?

A: It is very comfortable running on the grassland andI felt surrounded fully by green. In 2011 it was still twice the half marathon lap, but since 2012 it is said the track has become one big lap, so I am looking forward to running longer into the grassland.

10. What’s your best race experience, worst race experience and funniest race experience?

A: The best race I experienced is Zhenxibao 100km long-distance running race in Hsinchu country, Taiwan last January. The weather changed and the temperature dropped suddenly. For the safety of all the participants and the volunteers, including the ambulances, the event committee changed the course and cancelled the mountain road so that the race distance decreased to 75km. But it started to snow after 4km, so we ran a completely snowy marathon. It was said that it was the first marathon held in extreme weather around Taiwan.

I am very lucky as I haven’t suffered a bad marathon until now, just that several marathons have a lack of water supply.

As the funniest one, I think the seven days Desert Marathon can be mentioned. All the runners should bring food and water they need by themselves, we should overcome the extremely hot weather and run with weights. It is very tough but really unforgettable.

11. Finally, we’ll appreciate it if you could give us some suggestions or wish.

A: More drinking stations are necessary, that should be set every 5 km. However, I do understand the transportation on the grassland. (P.S., For George participated in GKF in 2011 and now there are enough drinking stations. We’ll set a drinking station every 5km before 30km and every 3km after 30km this year.)

Hope everything goes smooth in the GKF event this year, and I’d like to meet the beautiful grassland just like before.

George in 2011 Genghis Khan grassland marathon

George completed 250 km of the Sahara challenge in 2008

George did Zhenxibao 100KM in Taiwan this January

The 200th marathon in his life this year