I moved to Hong Kong around twelve years ago, in a time when I wasn't running. I am from New York originally and ran 1500 at university, but like many people, fell out of running for a time after school.
In Hong Kong, reading the local papers, I realised that I could compete again with success if I got off my butt and did a bit of training. Now, a 36-year-old club-level runner, I've represented Hong Kong in two World Championships and I haven't come last!
After a handful of years as a track runner here I decided to look for new challenges and moved up to the marathon. My first was London and hit by anaemia, I struggled. Actually, I've struggled in every marathon I've run - I've never not had to stop and walk - and I'm looking forward to my first "enjoyable" one. Or maybe the pain is part of the enjoyment...
These days I don't run as often as I'd like. I've just opened a new branch of my custom publishing business in Shanghai (not a runner's city, thanks to traffic and pollution) but I try to get out on the weekends and I still harbour hopes that someday I'll have a more relaxed lifestyle and be able to focus on lowering my marathon personal best (2:27) once more.
What I do do though is serve as race director of the "China Coast Marathon", staged for the past twenty years by my club, the Athletic Veterans of Hong Kong (Avohk). We're an Aims marathon on a tough but scenic course, and the strength of the race are the volunteers who cheer every runner home.
If you've been to Hong Kong only briefly, you may not know that it's a great running city (despite our recent decline in air quality). Most urban areas are surrounded by hills that are parkland and can be accessed (by a mountain goat) within 15 or 20 minutes. And if you spend any time here, you turn into a mountain goat!
If you come to Hong Kong, check the Avohk website or contact me for advice on where to run.
Run The Planet would like to thank Roberto De Vido from Hong Kong for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight.