[Interview] Alessandro Sherpa: Penang Hash Run 2018

Has run Alessandro Sherpa-01

The 5th Penang Rainforest Hash Challenge Extreme is a 28km route from Balik Pulau market passing through four water-points ending at the Teluk Bahang Dam. With more than 200 participants, this challenge is to encourage young people to lead a healthy lifestyle and appreciate nature.

1. How did you come to know about the Penang Rainforest Hash Challenge? What is it that keeps drawing you back to join it?
In June 2016, I set up an office in the region and for almost one full year I was based mainly in Penang. When I moved to Penang I was looking for ways to expand my connections and one of my engineers invited me to join the Penang Rainforest Hash runners, a mix of people from all walks of life, who every Saturday, would come together to run for several kilometers on the main hills of the island, before meeting for dinner. There, I found more than a group of friends, more than a family, and I am still very close to all of them. When they confirmed that the Penang Rainforest Challenge was going to take place on the 14th of December 2018, I immediately did my best to ensure that I could run it, to make all of these friends proud of the runner that I have become, thanks to them.

2. Emerging as the champion once again, how would you rate your performance in this challenge?
Even though I am used to running long distances, for me, hash runs are always tough. When it is a matter of climbing vertical, muddy hills, you need to face the challenge with the right attitude and endless stamina. I am happy with my performance, considering it was at the end of a very long and difficult season.


3. I understand that you just won the “Asia Trail Master Champion” title too and that must have been very competitive. Are you satisfied of your performance this whole season?
I won the ATM title in Japan just a few days before the Penang Rainforest Challenge, over a direct battle for the championship with a Spanish elite runner. 2018 was a great opportunity for me, it challenged my determination and motivation in every way. An injury in February affected every single day of 2018, and this was compounded by a bad fall on the rocks in September. But happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to manage them. I am very happy with how 2018 turned out.

4. How do you keep yourself in tip top condition as a runner while juggling with work? Do you have any personal tips for beginners?
Self-motivation, sense of sacrifice, clear goals and surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people. I have to thank my business colleagues, sponsors, running buddies, my coach and last but not least, my family who taught me how to chase a dream, how to fight and how to succeed.

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