Marathon, Veni, Vidi, Vici!
Moon Sam-sung (Department of Sports Industry, 4th year)
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“At least I ran all the way” is a famous quote by Murakami Haruki, a famous novelist who gets motivated to write through running. Moon Sam-sung (Department of Sports Industry, 4th year) is also a runner who doesn't believe in quitting. Although he injured his fibula (a bone parallel to tibia) 5 weeks before the Seoul Marathon, held on March 19th, Moon decided to run all the way, and he won the Master’s division.
Career as a runner
Moon started his career as a runner at the age of 10. Moon was Jung Jin-hyuk's training partner for about 7 years. Jung is currently a marathon runner at KEPCO. Living ust a few meters away from each other in the same neighborhood, Moon was able to run alongside Jung, while holding to his dream of becoming the best runner in Korea. “My partner Jung has been the greatest gift that I could ever hope for. Thanks to him, I was able to win the biggest tournament in my middle school years twice in a row,” recalled Moon. The concept of a running partner is of great importance since partners motivate each other to reach their fullest potential and achieve the best in a shorter period of time compared to training alone.
One tip that Moon gave when dealing with injuries was to never stop exercising. Even if you are injured, according to Moon, workout routines must be kept although not to your fullest capacity. “Your running ability will eventually return once you are able to train again. There is no need to be pressured mentally even though others may be training harder than you are,” said Moon. He claims that marathons all come down to mental strength after the 35km mark. “Anyone can train to run up to 35km. It’s after the 35km mark that people fail,” said Moon. He likens that stage as “not being able to eat anything for one week, being out of breath, and hammers being thrown on the legs with every step."
Hard work pays off
The 2017 Seoul Marathon was the first tournament where Elites (Korea Athletics Federation Runners) and Masters (Non-professional runners) started the race at the same time. Moon won the Masters division this year. Right after entering Hanyang University in 2011 on a full-scholarship, Moon quit his career as a professional runner due to a knee injury. After five years of inactivity, Moon started preparing for marathon running again last year. “Although people warned me not to run in this race, I wanted to try my best due to the hard work that I had put in my training sessions.”
During his period of inactivity, Moon worked as personal trainer and recently started working as a coach at 'Bang Sun-hee Academy'. After completing military service, he tried saving up money for university by working as a personal trainer. “As I worked, I realized that I should eventually attend university and get a degree,” said Moon. He started running half marathons last year, and, in order to be ready for the full marathon, he had to lose about 10kg. “I prepared for the Seoul Marathon for about 100 days, and I was proud to win the race and prove my skills as a coach,” said Moon. In the first month, Moon trained on sprints, the second month on endurance, and the last month on both speed and endurance.
Although it has been a hard race so far, life itself is a marathon, and Moon plans on preparing for the realization of a bigger dream. “I want to participate in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 along with my former partner Jung,” said Moon. With such vivid dreams, we have yet to await Moon’s next step as a professional runner.
Kim Seung-jun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Moon Hana
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