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60 Second Q&A with GR-JD ultra runner Henri Lehkonen

Posted by Bill Huang on

He's only been running in Hong Kong for a little over two years but is already making waves with his speed, technical ability and aggressive running. With some big wins like Green Power and Hard As Nayls, plus a stonking 11:35 at this year's HK100, we're pretty sure we're going to be seeing much more of Henri Lehkonen going forward. 

Today, we talked to Henri to get his take on trail running! 

1. Where do you live and where are you from?

I live by the beach in Shek O in Hong Kong, but am originally from Sydney. I have been in Hong Kong for nearly 6 years now.

2. Why did you get into trail running?

When living in Wan Chai a few years back, I found a nice weekend activity was to run over the hills and trails to the beach at Big Wave Bay. Things have escalated a fair bit since then!

3. Favourite race so far?

Hmmm, thats hard to answer! Lavaredo in Italy was fantastic for the scenery and the course so that's up there. I'll probably give a shout to the 9 Dragons 50/50 race too as the two day format made it challenging, different but also very fun!

4. Dream race?

UTMB.... it needs to happen.

5. Best trail racing result?

Hong Kong 100 in 2017 for sure. 26th overall, 3rd highest HK runner and my highest ITRA score to date (743).

6. Best trail memory?

Doing a 100km overnight fun run across Hong Kong from the bottom of Lantau to the beaches in Sai Kung last summer with my GR-JD teammates. We called it the "Hong Kong Transnational." Might give it another crack this summer, but will make sure we don't miss the last train from Sunny Bay to Tsing Yi. 

7. Advice for beginners?

The secret to improving your running is running! There are no short cuts. You can spend all day focusing on gear, nutrition, the latest recovery gadgets and all that sort of stuff, which may produce some marginal gains, but in the end, you are probably best to focus on running regularly and logging miles.

8. Your favourite piece of trail running kit or nutrition?

Sunglasses! I rarely run without them and if I am in a race and the sun comes out and I didn't pack them cause it was raining, I get very cranky and I will quickly blame any performance lapses for my lack of sunglasses ;) Currently running with some uber light 22 gram sunglasses made for running by District Vision.  

9. What it means to you to be part of the GR-JD team?

It's fantastic to run with a group of talented athletes who are continually improving. It's easy to push yourself hard when you have teammates who are excelling in their training and racing and making gains over the course of the season. The team at JD have got us doing a great strength and mobility program which compliments actual running training and definitely increases our running ability whilst helping us avoid injuries. 

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