In rounding out our Chicago Marathon Running series of Narratives powered by Nike, we had the pleasure of getting into the mind of Vietnamese runner, Huyen. Huyen has been an avid runner and we wanted to bring to light why she feels strongly about making her way to Chicago to run the Chicago Marathon. This Futures prompt allowed Huyen to really put herself in running shoes and give us a full recount of everything she would think and feel when running the race. Read her full interview below and don't forget to shop our full TONL x Nike Chicago Marathon Running Series Collection!
Why do you have desires to run the Chicago Marathon?
It’s one of the world majors and a couple of good friends had really great races out there, so wondering how I would perform on a much flatter course compared to the NYC marathon.
What adversity (if any) have you experienced while training for past races?
I would still consider myself a beginner runner having started running competitively only in 2015, but there were quite a few adversities training for past races. From personal challenges, the mind game happening inside you, to training through tough weather conditions (or let’s say the winter and snow) to people, other teammates, coaches telling you that you’re not fast enough or that you don’t train hard enough, it’s been and —
this is probably the beauty of running —
it will always be a challenge to work through those adversities, but I’ve learned to take them as motivation to train even harder, to stand tall no matter what, to trust myself and my body and to rise above.
Describe what it would mean to you to cross the finish line 🏁
Crossing the finish line of the Chicago marathon would mean the world to me, since it would be my 3rd marathon after having run the NYCM and Berlin Marathon. Every single one is so special because it has new challenges and as always, you want to improve and be better. But most importantly, whenever I finish a race, I’m just so incredibly grateful for my body, for a moment you feel superhuman and that feeling is priceless.
To me running became so much bigger than only pursuing personal goals and personal records. Growing up, I didn’t have as many female Vietnamese or Asian role models and now, when I see around, I still don’t see as many women of color in various spaces—be it in running, in my work space, in the health and wellness industry, in the sports industry, or even in the art and publishing world! Now, even if I don’t feel like running, or stepping out, I know that me showing up and participating in certain races (or at certain events, days) makes a difference for the younger generation. Now, when I step outside and go for a run, I ask myself: what is my legacy and how can I promote health and wellness, but also increase the exposure for women of color? Running and moving my body and showing the world that I can and you can too is my way of activism.
And yes, I think of Olympia, and I also think of creating my own table, my own company where I can elevate women of color and pass forward opportunities.
You've read the Narrative, now use it as inspiration! Download the FREE "TONL x Nike Chicago Marathon Running Series" below!