Nigel YAU | Founding member of Harbour Runners
Posted by JOHN HANSEN
We all have our reasons, why we ended up being a runner and for most people - being addicted to it.
All different personal stories that we would like to share with you.
So what is actually moving on the running scene in Hong Kong and Asia? We met with founding member of Harbour Runners - Nigel YAU.
- Nigel YAU
- Hong Kong - China
- Co-captain and founding member of Harbour Runners - @harbourrunners
- IG handle @nigelyau
When did you start calling yourself a runner?
"2010. I am always a sports enthusiast. At a young age, I represented the school to play on the basketball court and also on the rugby field. I started calling myself a runner in 2010 when we first founded Harbour Runners."
How does running affect your life?
"I always loved "running" from an early age and particularly in my teens after I saw the Rugby Sevens World Cup for the first time. The speed of the athletes, the creative moves on the field and the seamless teamwork of the players, they all combined in a way sharing the similarities of a dance play. I see running as a physical expression of our creative minds. It is part of my life. In my undergraduate years, I met my current life partner when I was hosting a running event for Nike. I met most of my important friends through running. Physically, it leads me to challenge myself from marathons to the Ironman race.
I always enjoy running by myself as it is something I could do on my own without having to rely on others I guess. Sometimes it is a luxury to just focus on one thing by yourself."
What does the phrase "running culture" mean to you?
"Culture is everything, the food, the beliefs, the values, the design, the music, the ritual, the fashion, the brands, the hand signs, the Instagram and etc. Everything associated with the runners is a part of the running culture. In order to learn the running culture, you must interact and spend time with them."
New running communities are popping around the world these years, why do you think this is happening?
"A good question, I think more and more people experience the positive impact of running.
Running looks cool. Running is honest. Running is a place where you can give 100%. Running enables you to make new friends locally and internationally. Running gives you a safe place to socialize. Running makes you believe you can do more than you think. Running gives you a way to learn your city better. Running makes you healthier and happier. Every community should have its own reason and vision. People see the positive impacts of running communities and in somehow running makes you a better person.
It is that simple. If it makes you a better person, we will do more of it."
Do you have any specific core values for your Harbour Runners crew?
"We believe the city is our playground. We use running to connect and to inspire globally."
A transition can be defined as a training program, where your mileage and speed are build to peak at race day. Have you experienced such a transitions or do you prefer to run with the flow?
"I can see transition in two different dimensions.
Quantitatively, it will be the speed, the mileage and the PB. On the other side, qualitatively, it will be the transition of our emotions and feelings.
One day, we will be tired of pushing our physical limits or we will get old. I think we are more than a running machine, we are emotional beings. We have ups and downs in life and let alone running.
For the quantitative transition, I love ultra distance running, from 50 kilometers trail running to 100 kilometers urban running or a 170 kilometer relay race with a team of four. In 2020, I am training for my half marathon and aiming to finish it in 90 minutes. Most of the time I run with the flow to enjoy some mindful time with myself or with the crews to enjoy the city.
One of favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, wrote a book called: "What I talk about, when I talk about running". So let me ask you; what do you talk about, when you talk about running?
"I talk about all the beautiful memories of my running journey. Every beautiful memory, I co-created with my friends and crews. The new form of urban running races that we created in Hong Kong from #TramDash to #PeakToCoast and #EscalatorDash.
As far as the future I want to keep creating beautiful memories with my crew, inspiring the younger generation to push the envelope of how running is perceived, beyond being a rather rigid, repetitive, and lonely pursuit and at the same time trying to be more creative. I would also like to do more projects with different brands and visit interesting people. It is something I am very exited about to create an interesting life."
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