904’s Fittest: Sung Ho Choi AKA “Bruce”
Full Name: Sung Ho Choi AKA “Bruce”
Vo2 Max: 65.9
The Iron Horse 100 Miler 16:43
Jacksonville Marathon 2:55
Bruce has completed over 100 marathons, over 35 ultra-races, finished the Chicago marathon 14 years in a row and the Boston marathon 10 times. Since March this year he has completed The Ft. Clinch 100 miler in Florida, The Umstead 100 miler with a finishing time of 17:12 in North Carolina, The Boston Marathon with a 3 hour finish, The North Coast 24 hour race, completing a 100 miles in the snow and wind, The Keys 100 with a sub 20 hour finish in extreme temperatures, The Western States Endurance run with a finish in temperatures reaching over 105 degrees and The Vol State 314 mile road race across Tennessee in an impressive 4 and a half days.
Although Bruce has lived in Jacksonville for quite some time now, he is originally from Korea. At the age of 11 he moved to the United States where he and his family laid down roots in Chicago and to this day still considers it one of his homes. The Chicago marathon was his first and one he runs every year with great pride. The 2013 Chicago Marathon will mark his 15th year participating, where he will be running to raise money for Open Heart Magic, an organization that works to simply bring a smile to hospitalized children. Personally enjoying bringing smiles and laughter to friends and fellow runners, Bruce found it only appropriate to work with a charity with the same ideals.
So, not only for his hard earned talent but also for his contributions to his community is why we have chosen Bruce to be featured as one of 904’s Fittest.
For someone interested in getting in participating in an ultra-running, where would you recommend they start?
I believe that if you want to reach the goals you set you have to train accordingly. I have found that in order to run the distance, I have to train the distance and dedicate the time to do so. Many times runs and work-outs include the family and are broken up throughout the day, even during breaks at work. The first step is to make the time to get out there. I run with a variety of people and paces and incorporate speed training to keep my work outs from becoming boring and it helps to keep me motivated.
When we met you mentioned ultra-runners are a little different and that you often question what they’re running from. What are you running from or for, what inspires you to run the distances that you do?
I am motivated by other runners and my own personal best. I strive to reach new personal records and overcome bigger obstacles. I have run the distances that I have to see if I could and to push myself to test my own boundaries. As far as your question regarding running away, we all have things we are “running” from, but I have turned to running to allow me to have time to think and share a passion with other runners.
I’m sure the knowledge you have from being a massage therapist contributes to the prevention of injuries but do you have a routine or tips that you can share with other runners to help stay injury free while doing long distances?
Each runner is different and has to pay attention to his or her own body. Stretching and cross training help to keep the entire body strong. Of course a good massage goes a long ways!
In a typical week what does your training regimen look like?
When I am training I try to complete between 30-70 miles a week and incorporate weights into my routine. To keep up my cardio, I also work out on the stair master at high intervals.
How about food during your most recent 314 mile run what did a day of eating look like for you?
Anything and everything! I ate Spam, pickles, pickle juice, lots of fresh fruit, Chinese food, eggs, and anything else we could find on the road! OH….and of course the Waffle House! I drink a lot of Coke and water while running long distances. Note: This is how I eat for long distances, not 5ks…
Ok, so everyone knows you as Bruce but your name is Sung Ho Choi. Does that mean Bruce in Korean or how did you come to be known as Bruce?
Bruce, like Bruce Lee of course! [laughs] Sung Ho is actually on of the top 10 male names in Korea.
Bruce firmly believes that what you put into running is what you get back!
He also wanted to give a big THANK YOU to all of the individuals and companies that have supported him along the way, Nathan Performance, 110%, First Place Sports and Jacksonville Running Company!