Sunday, August 2, 2015

Runner Profile: Yuanchao Cheng

Say hello to this ever-smiley friend of mine who is better known as Yuan (among us). He's pretty shy, I think, but with an ever-ready smile on his face, you'd be sure to spot him from a mile!

I have to confess that I have been dying to ask him whether his polka-dotted shorts was his favourite running attire, so ...

1. Tell us, Yuan, are these your favourite pair of running shorts? :D

(YT: If you don't know what I'm referring to, it's this one, but lately, he hasn't been wearing it so often!)

Haha. Yes they are. I’m a very boring man at my daily life. So I want to try something different while running, like wearing some colorful fancy pants...

At the 2015 TNF100 Australia.

2. It feels like the last time I saw you was when you were running towards the finish line at the 2014 Surf Coast Century 100KM. Since then, you have been hopping from one ultra event after another. What has been your most memorable event so far?

I would say 2015 Two Bays Trail Run would be the one. Even though I have done a couple of 100k events, this year’s Two Bays 56k was the hardest one I ever ran. It was the only one I had a goal to achieve from the beginning to finish. So I pushed myself very hard and hurt me a lot...


3. How long have you been running?

Nearly 3 years. I stopped smoking in Feb 2012 and noticed that I had put on too much weight. Suggested by a friend, I started running since Sept 2012.


With the family at Tarawera Ultramarathon 2015.

4. What's your favourite food? Do you follow a strict pre-race diet regime?

I grew up in North China, where noodles and dumplings are the traditional food over there. So I still love noodles and dumplings, even all kinds of breads more than rice.


No, I don’t follow any pre-race diet regime. I even had fish and chips for dinner before Great Ocean Walk 100 (GOW 100) (Siqi Wu’s idea).


5. What do you think about when you're running long distance?

During a race, I usually just focus on my body and the race itself, like my running form, pace, nutrition, hydration etc. At training, I just purely enjoy the moment to be alone, I'm not thinking too much.


With the family after completing the 2015 Surf Coast Century 100km.

6. You and your family take part in the parkrun quite regularly. Are they as passionate about running as you?

No, they are not as crazy as me. My wife runs 3 or 4 times a week, only 5-7ks  with her dog .My son, Andrew only runs at Saturday mornings' parkruns. I believe we will be doing more parkruns together when my 6 year old boy can run the whole 5k.


7. When and where can we expect to see you again for the rest of the year?

I think I joined too many events last year and pushed myself too hard. Since early this year, I started getting sick frequently. So this year, I’m trying to join less events. For me, there's only one left for rest of the year: Ultra Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF), which is the one I’ve dreamed of for a couple of years. I used to climb up Fuji summit when I lived in Japan. I'm so excited that I will run a loop around it this time.

After UTMF, I will probably have a long break, of course not out of running, but will spend more time with the family, going hiking or parkruns, etc.



With some of the Surf Coast Trail Runners at the 2014 Two Bays Trail Run.

8. Where in Melbourne would you recommend me to go for the best noodles or dumplings? :D

Haha, for me, my wife makes the best dumplings in Australia!

Good luck and all the best in conquering UTMF this coming September! Looking forward to hearing about your experience and achievement.


Other SCTR runner profiles:
The Wild Wombat Boys
Gregor Hartnell
Jon Lim
Dion and Liberty Milne
Caroline Bertrand
Kirsten Maplestone
Erin Vaughan and dad, Tony
Chris Roberts
Matt Hosking and his 100 Mile debut

And why I interview runner friends. :)

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