I was born on the earth goat of Chinese calendar year in Jakarta, Indonesia. I was just not popping out into the world and ran. But I remember since I was a kid, I have been running around, like a squirrel drank a can of Red Bull. (I hate energy drink tho)
Growing up in Jakarta, running was never been a culture. We didn’t even have a proper pedestrian in many sections of the city. Also since the late 90s, the pollution was getting pretty bad, the traffic was like swirling spaghetti and the motorcycles were running around like mosquitoes in Tanzania. I don’t think it’s not only unhealthy to run in the city, but also it’s more like survival exercise.
Back then, I was more into team sports and mountaineering. I think, in between 1994-1997, I have summit more than 10 peaks in Indonesia and 8 of them is over 3000 meters mountains. But I was definitely not an endurance athlete.
I used to consume a lot of alcohol and smoked too many cigarettes back then. I remember, when I was pursuing my MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006, I barely ran 2 miles.
My first 10K race was in 2008 at Nike Human Race, in Randalls Island, NY. I was dying at the finish line, although I managed to finish under an hour. Living in NY, where NY marathon route is just a few minutes away by subway, it is hard not to get inspired. Since then, my roommates (Ade and Nadine) and I had a little obsession to finish NY marathon. We started to run a race almost every month. Together we did our first half marathon at 2010 Bronx Half Marathon and our first marathon at 2011 Chicago Marathon.
In 2012, we got qualified to run NY marathon. Unfortunately, we got hit pretty bad by hurricane Sandy, and the marathon got cancelled. Under Dan Hernandez influenced to join his 50k race in Savannah, GA, I decided to run my first ultra in January 2013. I thought it was only 5 mile-ish more from marathon. Since then, I run a trail ultra-marathon race every month and trek a couple of high mountains every year.