A collaborative affair

Hyun Suk Jang finished a 100-mile challenge run over the weekend and she did it with a lot of help from family and friends. Jang, in the middle, can be seen holding the belt buckle she earned. Photo courtesy Mark Hubbell

Park Pacifica resident Hyun Suk Jang spent her Saturday running. She jogged along the coast, around giant redwoods and dodged weekend traffic through the peninsula and San Francisco before making her way back to her Pacifica home. When it was all said and done, she had run 100 miles in a single long loop through two counties.

What is next for the 44-year-old classically trained soprano and mother of two?

“Probably clean the garage,” she joked.

Jang, who is known to all as Suki, won’t stand still for long. Sunday was a day of rest for Jang, but by Monday she had managed 100 squats.

“I was very sore yesterday,” she said 24 hours after completing the achievement known as the Yeti 100 Challenge Run in which participants log their mileage virtually and record it with an established trail-running organization. “Today it’s like a dream. Did I really do that?”

She did and many friends she met through the tight-knit local running community can attest to it. Some were on hand to help pace her along the way or to provide aid stations. She was aided by 30 people, from organizations like Pacifica Runners and She Runs this Town. All wore masks — including Jang.

It began at 10 a.m. on Saturday. She started down Highway 1 in Pacifica and continued well past Half Moon Bay. She traveled eastbound on Highway 84 through the redwoods and into Woodside. Then she found her way north through Redwood City and San Mateo. She traveled along the bay shoreline in South San Francisco and up into the city of San Francisco. She ran along the Embarcadero, through the Marina District, over Crissy Field and to Land’s End. Then, she turned south again and ran along the Great Highway to Skyline Boulevard. The final side roads took her across the 100-mile mark and to Mori Point Park.

By then it was 11:15 a.m. … Sunday. She had been running for 25 hours, 15 minutes and 30 seconds — an hour and 10 minutes ahead of her goal.

Jang, who is Korean, says running allowed her to meet other like-minded people, which can be difficult for an immigrant. It’s also a way to connect with family; her children often run local trails along with her.

“We have lots of conversations and a lot of family time,” she said. “It’s so great for the health, not just physically, but mentally. It helps me to loosen up the stress so I can go back to whatever I need to do.”

Jang used the run as an opportunity to raise money — $775 at last count — for the Black Girls Run Foundation, a nationwide organization dedicated to getting Black women and girls running as a way to promote health and combat a growing obesity epidemic. She says she was motivated to help the organization because it’s Black History Month, but also because of the nation’s ongoing work toward social justice. And she wanted to pay tribute to Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot and killed while jogging in Georgia last year.

Jang says her achievements wouldn’t be the same without community.

“I have the deepest gratitude to my family and friends who supported me,” she said. “Without them it was a personal challenge, but it was more meaningful because my friends and family supported me.

“It just made it so joyful,” she said.

This version corrects Jang's nationality.

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