parkrun profile: Yaton Tang (Hong)

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Name: Yaton Tang, better know as Hong

Number of parkruns: 119

Favourite parkrun other than Wycombe:

Bushy because it is where it all started and when I made the pilgrimage, there were over 1500 people there and seeing so many people at a parkrun was just incredible.

Why did I start parkrunning:

I wanted to run faster and a friend told me to do some shorter, faster runs and 5km would be good, then told me about parkrun. Although I had registered, I didn’t run my first months after because waking up for a 9am run on a Saturday morning was just too early! But once I started there was no going back.

Number of volunteers: 60 including Wycombe Rye junior parkrun

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Favourite volunteering role and why:

Marshal because I love seeing the speed of the fast guys and encouraging the slower runners. I like marshalling at The Split, seeing runners twice and can say they are over half way. At the juniors I like barcode scanning, saying well done to the children and calling out their names makes me smile.

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:

Leap year parkrun at Wycombe has to be top. There was a Facebook post saying it was on and nobody will go home with dry feet. I didn’t know what it meant until I did my warm up lap, but credit to the RD and volunteers, it went ahead and probably most people enjoyed it even it was flooded. Funniest would be when I made the cover photo of the run report when I was a volunteer as I picked a high vis!

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What does Wycombe Rye parkrun mean to you:

It means a great big family that everyone gets on with no prejudice. I love going down on a Saturday seeing and meeting so many people, and if it were not parkrun, I would never have met. I also love we are all inclusive, everybody is welcome including buggies and dogs. I couldn’t believe what was happening on my first parkrun when I was overtaken by a buggy on the last straight.

What do you miss about parkrun:

I miss the people, saying hello to everyone, having a chat before and after and comparing our runs. I miss not being able to run on Saturday morning which have been part of my life for the pass 3 years. Also on Sunday morning too when the children are so eager to run their 2km.

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What running are you doing now:

I ran a lot during the first part of lockdown, running most days but got injured, maybe because of running so much. I now run less often, maybe 3 times a week. I have done a virtual OCR in the woods and am doing a 5.6km time trail challenge with a group of friends. We’re all happy so running life is good.

What is the best bit running advice you have been given:

Keep running, do not stop, just slow down. It can be so much harder to restart when you are tired.

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:

I did the London marathon once and would love to do it again, the crowd and noise was just the best. People shouting my name made me feel special and like a pop star. I will get a ballot place again....I hope.

What run would you most like to do in the future and why:

London marathon because I have unfinished business with it. When I ran it I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, I was too cocky, thinking I was a good enough runner but how wrong was I! I didn’t respect it and it chewed me up like no other race and said take that. So I would love to run it again to proof to myself I conquered it.

What is the most essential/favourite piece of kit and why:

My Garmin watch. It tells the time, pace and everything I want and need, no need for a phone.

What is your favourite/funniest running memory:

My favourite and proudest memory was at The Big Half 2019 when I saw a runner fall with exhaustion and thought I cannot leave him. I saw his jelly legs in front of me and knew he wasn’t going to make the finish which was only a few hundred metres away, so another runner and I picked him up, each holding an arm and took him to the finish where he can get the help and care he needed.

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