Monday, February 11, 2013

The (Badass) Running Angel...Returns


When I ran the Providence marathon last May, I had the good fortune or meeting John Wayne Lui.  Actually, it went beyond a meeting.  I had seen him running near me, sometimes solo, sometimes with other people, always a little bit ahead or behind me depending on the water stops.  At around the halfway mark he got a read on the pace I was trying to hold and decided he would scoop me up, so to speak, and run with me to the finish.  And that was all done with a look and a nod between the two of us.  Maybe a smile.  But no words.  When the race was over; first, I turned and hugged this running angel, made sure he was real, and then I asked him what our time was.  No joke.  It was such an incredible experience.  And, really, there were not enough ways to thank him for what he did for me.  In two weeks, I will be running the Hyannis marathon on Cape Cod.  To my great surprise, I have just learned that John will be coming up to run it as well.  Wait, what???  Once again, we get to run together, and we're shooting for my goal time - a time he seems perfectly happy with and ready to help me hit.  I am so pumped and, as my teammate continues to remind me, ridiculously lucky.  Melody Parry Jones, a fellow runner and author of the 'Will Run for Margaritas' blog, did a bio on John last year that is worth sharing.  His story is so unique and inspiring.  On top of that, he's a total badass - primarily for being the youngest person to complete a marathon in every state in under 4 hours.  For real.  So, today, I just want to highlight this cool cat.  Thanks to Melody for letting me share this bio.  And thanks to John for being so awesome.

Athlete Bio: John Lui

This year, John became the youngest person to run 50 marathons in 50 states in less than 4 hours.  Each marathon is a different story, a different experience, of the people he’s inspired along the way (scroll all the way to the bottom to read about his favorite memory).  He’s also a Marathon Maniac (duh!) and hoping to run marathon #100 by March 2013.  John is such an inspiration to the running community, I hope you enjoy getting to know him better.        
Name: John Lui
Age: 24
Location: Washington, DC
Years Running: About 6 years.
Favorite race distance: I only run marathons.
PR: Marathon – 3:12
How did you get into running? I strictly wanted to lose weight. A few things have changed, and now I’m addicted to running marathons.
How many marathons have you run? 75. I hope to run my 100th next March in DC.
Do you cross train or lift weights: Absolutely. I lift weights about 5-6 times a week. I also Crossfit.
How do you find/make time to train: There is always time. In my honest opintion, it’s all about priorities and time management.
Favorite place to run: All the way up Massachusetts Avenue NW, and all the way to the DC/MD border… and back down.
Favorite/most memorable race: I love the DC marathons simply because all of my family and friends can come out to spectate and cheer.
Favorite pre-race meal: Indian, Mexican, Chinese. I have experimented with it all.
Favorite post-race food: Something light. I am trying to watch my figure.
Favorite quote: “I just felt like running.” – Forrest Gump
Best running advice: Don’t forget to cross-train. It’ll help protect your joints.
Running accomplishment I’m most proud of: I am currently the youngest to run a marathon in under four hours in every state.
What races are you currently training for? I am not training for any particular race, but I am scheduled to run more than 20 marathons this fall.
You just completed 50 marathons, in 50 states.  Tell us about the journey, and what made you take on this {massive marathon} journey? The journey took about 19 months. It began in Philadelphia, PA in November 2010 and ended in Valentine, NE in June 2012. I went on this adventure because… I just felt like running. Also, you only live once (YOLO).
You’re the youngest person to complete 50 marathons, in 50 states, in under 4 hours.  How does this make you feel?  What does this mean to you? It feels great. I took down notes after every marathon, and now I can share a mini-story about every single race. Some of my favorite ones include running and working with complete strangers to accomplish their personal goals.
What are your next plans?  Any more marathons in your future? After my 100th next March, I will transition into triathlons, and more specifically, the Ironman.
You made new friends at almost every race, what’s your favorite story/person you met? Her name is Rebecca, and we met in Providence, RI. From her blog: At around the half, out of nowhere a running angel appeared quietly next to me and flew with me all the way to the finish line. There were no words exchanged while we were running but I could tell he knew I was trying to hold on and he made it clear that he was willing to help me out. Because of him, I had the will to keep up my pace for the last 10K when my body was telling me it wanted to stop. We crossed the finish line together and I immediately hugged and thanked him.
Listen to this:

Miracle Mile - Cold War Kids  Miracle Mile - Single - Cold War Kids 

1 comment:

  1. Running angel indeed, and all-around inspiring guy! I'm so glad he's going to run your next race with you, what a help toward running your goal time!