Hong Kong ultra runner Wong Ho-fai completed an epic run from the north of Japan to the south, but it was one week in particular that stood out as an incredible feat.
After passing Tokyo, Wong worried that time was against him. So, he ran 500km in seven days.
“There was loneliness from Tokyo to Hiroshima,” he said, “but I let it subside by focusing on myself, and ran about 500km. I didn’t plan it, I just went fast. I was lonely, but I used the time to reflect. I was lonely but I was also afraid time was running out, so I was driven by fear, which made me more alert.”
Wong, 35, started his 3,250km run in Wakkanai in northern Japan on August 18 and arrived in Okinawa after 73 days of running at the end of October, and has since been relaxing in Japan and trying to readjust back in Hong Kong.
“I’m living a parallel life,” Wong said. “Part of me is living in the past, in Japan. Part of me is living in the present, in Hong Kong and a third part of me is living in the future, imagining running across America.”
Wong has long dreamed of running from coast to coast across the US, and has been building towards it with a 1,400km run around Taiwan and now across Japan.
Wong is trying to not get ahead of himself by spending time on his own and meditating.
“I try to live moment by moment, just like in Japan,” he said.
The start of the mission in Japan was delayed and so Wong set off too fast and injured himself. He was forced to rest, but the break gave him time to meet one of his heroes, ultra running legend Scott Jurek who told him “there is magic in suffering”.
Since returning from Japan, Wong has been getting rid of a lot of his belongings. He dreams of a life like he had during the run.
“I try to live as simple as I can,” he said. “After throwing away a lot of my stuff, I feel better. I feel much lighter.”