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 “The desert is alive! You can feel it while running.” He said, with his eyes blinking.

This is Terry J. Benzie, a superior runner as well as an experienced attendant of SUPERACE ultramarathon. He had joined the 2013 SUPERACE, Taiwan station (the very first SUPERACE race in the world!,) 2014 Inner Mongolia station, and 2016 Angkor Wat station.

For the 3 SUPERACEs he has completed so far every one of them is a special memory for him; however, the Inner Mongolia station, the magic of desert,  is especially unforgettable.

 

 

The Lively Desert

 

The desert, seems to be so quiet and absent of live but is really quite alive!  He said. “You pass over one sand dune and then another and you’re not sure how far you’ve run, and how long the distance have left beyond the next hill. Contrary to what people think, the landscape isn’t monotonous but keeps changing from moment to moment. The views change. The situations change. The moment changes..”

Once in a while, he could unexpectedly find a camel or some other creature. Eyesight is often blurred. “You couldn’t see too far, not even across a sand hill ahead; therefore, you can neither think too far nor expect too much. Instead, you get more focus on yourself, every motion of your run.”

 

 

 

How He Met SUPERACE Ultramarathon

 

Terry J. Benzie got top rankings in SUPDERACE races. But he wasn’t professional at trail running at first.

That was after a 12-hour ultramarathon race did he come up the thought of taking a stage-race challenge. Then he found SUPERACE, Taiwan station.

 

 

 

 

The well-organized, unique races kept him tempted to do another race when his time allowed. But memorable experiences don’t mean having no struggle and pain. In the 2016 Angkor Wat station, he was struck by food poisoning. The terrible stomachache even knocked him down to the ground in day 2. He persisted and arrived at a small village. Local kids welcome him with naïve, pure smiles and curiosity to those foreign runners. The smiles of those poor but happy kids and the pain of him, a person with far more financial resources was an interesting contrast to Terry which he often reflects upon.

 

 

 

 

As an Office Worker Runner

 

As a full-time worker in a big company, keeping finding enough time to run is a challenge for him, just like most of us. So he schedules his time precisely in order to make time for running. Morning is his favorite time. While the streets are still in peace, air is still fresh outside. “This is the period of time that truly belongs to yourself.” he said. He frequently wakes up by 4:30am and run both to and from work nearly every day. “You get the chance to exercise,save money and avoid the crowds of public transportation. When you really figure it out, the time spent run commuting isn’t that much longer than doing it in more traditional means. I can’t think of any reason not to do it.”

 

 

On the weekends, he does longer runs either by himself or with friends from the New Taipei Marathon Association (永和慢跑), a club he has belonged to since 2012,

 

 

Good Gears for Office Worker Runner

 

While every tiny bit of time is precious, proper running gear that can help him save time are definitely his preference.

After his initial SUPERACE he found SUPERACE clothing. Now he has a wide variety of SUPERACE gear. “A couple of pairs of tights, compression shorts, water resistant shorts, a few jackets and leg sleeves…….” He counted.  “Quality is important and SUPERACE clothing is one of the best values on the market.” He said.

 

 

 

A pair of shorts (T-Hot Shorts) is especially one of his favorites. He took it out from his backpack to show me and recalled, “Last summer after a particularly hot marathon, everything was soaking wet; however, the pair of shorts actually dried before I had the chance to collect my gear and change..” Now, the shorts have become a good mate of Terry’s to many places, working and traveling. Other than comfort, being quick-drying and lightweight are features that ensure he packs them wherever he goes. For instance, when he run commutes in the morning, the shorts easily dry by the time he needs to return home, saving him from needing to bring another pair or run home in wet clothes.

 

 

 

 

Life of Running

 

“When will you stop running?” I ask intentionally, but the answer is obvious. Running is not just part of Terry’s life, running is his life, I think.

 

 

 

During our interview, Terry shared his amazing experiences with great passion. “Running changes me.” He said. He’s now thinner, happier and easier to get along with than before he found running. Outside of scheduling for his daily training, he also travels for/by running. He attends lots of races in many places and countries.  He even creates the unique way of family vacations as he now tries to schedule an ultra or marathon during each trip. He plans to bring his entire family to join an upcoming SUPERACE with his son serving as a volunteer if he isn’t yet old enough to participate.

From Terry I learned, running can make trips more memorable and make lives different. Now Terry runs 20-25 hours each week. “I don’t really foresee a time in the future that I don’t run.” Terry answered.

 

 

 

Terry’s Gear Recommendation:

 

■  THot® Collections:

Windblock Lightweight Running Jacket │ https://goo.gl/KDvbC3

2in1 Running Shorts │ https://goo.gl/54FvrV

■  Water-Resistant Running Shorts │ https://goo.gl/HWE8zf

■  Compression Calf Sleeve │  https://goo.gl/BjZ4C1

 

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