Elaine Fung loves running the trails in Vancouver, BC. Just watch her video below as she and her friends bound along the rugged North Shore Mountain trails and you’ll be longing for the great outdoors. Even more impressive, she has done a 50km trail race and plans on running two more this year!
How long have you been running? Since the spring of 2012. I had a few spurts of running many many years back but it never stuck though.
Why did you start running? I joined a Tough Mudder team with some friends from my Muay Thai kickboxing school. I was fit, but needed to get into running shape to tackle the 18km course. I never enjoyed running, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself. Because I had a decent fitness base, I was able to get into running much more easily than any previous attempts. By late fall of 2012, at the encouragement from my good friend, Ed, we started running in the trails and that was what really made me embrace it.
Where do you usually run? I always run outside. I’m lucky to live in Vancouver. The climate is mild, the rain isn’t as bad as everyone thinks and we have access to an amazing waterfront route in the city. But what’s really special about Vancouver is that there is an incredible network of trails a very short drive away.
Do you run with other people or by yourself? My runs in the city are usually by myself. But my trail runs are with my running group, We Run Mas. We’re a collection of newish trail runners with ultra-marathoning aspirations. I guarantee I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
How do you motivate yourself to run when you don’t feel like it? I’ve signed up for a couple of 50k races this year already so I really have to get the work in or otherwise I’m in trouble. And what really gets me out the door for the group runs is that they’re always fun. My running group is incredible!
Challenges you’ve faced with running? I’ve had my share of injuries. In fact, I’m coming off an injury right now! I landed awkwardly on a downhill and sprained my left foot. But last January, I had to deal with a minor back problems as a result of car accident and had to lay off for about a month. And then, soon after, I lost another month to runner’s knee.
Have you done any races or events? Do you plan on racing in the future? I have done a couple of 10ks, a 14k trail race, a couple of trail half marathons and a 50k trail. This year, I’ve already signed up for two 50ks with plans to do possibly a third, a couple of trail halfs, and probably some shorter trail races. I like having a race on the horizon because it helps keep me focused.
Other running goals? I want to clean up my technique and incorporate more balance, strength and speed routines. I would love to start running some destination races in the future.
Brag about yourself – What are your biggest accomplishments? Without a doubt, my biggest accomplishment was finishing the Squamish 50 trail ultra. It is one of the most gnarliest and challenging courses you can find in North America. I came in under-trained because of the injuries I’ve had to deal with but I was at least healthy. I felt really good up until about 30k in and then I hit a wall and pretty much stayed there for the next agonizing 10k. I managed to catch up and pass two people in the same boat as me and that gave me a boost. For the final 10k, I knew I was fighting a cutoff and just had to power and push through despite all the pain and doubt I was experiencing. When I crossed the finish line, as the majority of the muscles in my legs began seizing up, all I could think was, “Never Again.” But here I am, ready for more!
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