Blog | 3 December 2018

Maria*, a refugee from East Africa, arrived in Hong Kong five years ago. She joined RUN’s programmes two years ago and is currently studying creative writing, as well as refreshing her accounting skills.

Maria and three other female refugees approached Virginie earlier this year with their goal to complete the iconic Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race in January 2019. Here is a poem penned by Maria as she and her fellow athletes prepare themselves physically and mentally for this challenge.


Sprinting, walking, running

Sprinting, walking, running
whichever pace I take
The ground is mine to step on
heart pounding fast like
The piston of a Locomotive engine
The journey has just began

There is no desire to stop
There is no desire to slow down,
But am slow, and I desire to be fast
Not to finish first, but to endure to the end

Snakes, monkeys, you name it
Nothing will deter me from this
And this is what I have found
A new thing that was never on my mind
Am not yet there, but I have began

It’s not an activity
It’s not a hobby
As the truffle are found by the dog
So is the passion for hiking,
Dulcius Ex Asperis

Breaking you mentally and knocking you off the trails
It’s not an easy hike
Up the hills, rough stony trails
You mumble and wish for a smooth path

Butterflies flitting their wings
Streams of waters riveting your soul
The beauty of nature, refreshes you
A hobby, and habit you create
The steep hills, and a thousand steps
All worth it,

100km ultra trail race
These words give me a chuckle
Everyone makes it look easy
Will I make it! do I have what it takes!
If a beaver can gnaw a tree to the ground
I may try to bend the twigs

And when the day comes, I shall dance
It may be out of rhythm
It may not rhyme
But I shall move my body till the music stops
Am not yet there, but I have began


* Name has been changed