|   Interviews

Sept 2019 - Derek Kwik (Hong Kong)

1. Derek, please introduce yourself.

My name is Derek Kwik and I am based in Hong Kong. I am just a below average runner who thoroughly enjoys pain and misery by competing in the toughest, most extreme multi-day ultra-marathons. You will never see me on the podium but you will always see me cross the finish line, maybe faster than you.

2. You were in our inaugural GlobalLimits race in 2012, in Cambodia, since then you participated in all race locations of GlobalLimits: Cambodia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and now Albania. Which one is your favorite race and why? What the toughest race and what the most memorable moment.

The toughest race by GlobalLimits was easily Albania. The challenging course, mountainous terrain and heat really makes you focus on getting to each check-point.  Cambodia was very wet, muddy and humid but not too different from my home in Hong Kong. Sri Lanka was very flat but I started the race with a torn hamstring and each day was a nightmare for me but I never quit. Bhutan was also mountainous but the cool weather made the course do-able. The most memorable moments were a surprise visit by my wife at a check-point in Bhutan on the 55km long day. I was so happy that I ran even faster and Stefan commented that I crossed the day's finish line "earlier than usual". In Albania, my wife surprised me again but this time arriving with our new born son and in-laws at the campsite. I could not stop smiling.

3. You are one of the most experienced multi-stage race runners, what are your advices for new comers who want to participate in multi-stage race, or preparing for one?

My first multi-day race was in 2000. Albania was my 20th. I have run deserts, jungles, mountains and everything in-between. Advice for rookies? Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into smaller chunks. So just focus on getting from one check-point to the next and before you know it, you will be at camp. Train to finish. That's it. Five years from now, no one is going to remember what place you finished. All that people remember is whether you finished or not. Once you get into the habit of finishing, then you can get into the habit of improving. You will always have a "shit" day or days but remember that you will always have a "good" day or days too. Have fun because this is what you want to remember when you are back to work, the toe nails have fallen off and the skin is growing back on the soles of your feet.

4. How do you manage your daily life with your challenging job, your family with 3 (very young) kids and running?

I work in finance and I have 3 kids under 3 years old. Every weekend is a negotiation with my wife - what is certain is that I need train for 3-4 hours and I need to help in taking care of our children. Most important in making this happen, is my wife. She understands what defines me and I understand what makes a family. She has been to every single finish line since we have been together