Mark Steacy is the crown prince of Malaysian ultra running.

What is your name?

Mark Steacy.

What is your favourite colour?


What is your favourite word?


Who is your favourite musician?

Thom Yorke.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My ability to eat lunch when most people are having breakfast.

What talent would you like to have?

To be able to time travel.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A toss-up between getting a distinction in my master’s dissertation, or winning my first ultramarathon (having never run a marathon before), nine months after “starting” running.

Who are your heroes in history?

Those who the history books do not consider “heroes”—the cannon fodder, those who had to fight in vain, those who were slaughtered mercilessly for the mere act of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Those who the current social media generation do not consider “heroes”—people who are going around trying to make a positive difference to the world in whatever way they can (rather than those who are just in it to seek fame).

What is your idea of happiness?

Working towards a meaningful goal that is just out of reach.

Where would you most like to live?

Anywhere with trees and fresh air.

What profession would you like to attempt?

Third-level education and research. (That way I’d have access to bigger libraries.)

What is your greatest extravagance?

Garmin Forerunner 945—I don’t really do extravagant.

What is your most treasured possession?

My books.

Why did you start running?

Initially, to lose weight—I was 80 kg, and now I’m down to around 60 kg.

What does running mean to you now?

It’s something that allows me to start off each day in a positive way: to be able to give me the headspace to deal with what is coming during the day ahead; to “still” my mind; to overcome obstacles and keep myself grounded. (Running an ultramarathon in hot and humid conditions is a good reminder of just how inadequate we can be against the elements.)

What do you like about Stazza’s Stable?

The camaraderie and support from fellow Stablemates.

What is your motto?

Less certainty, more inquiry.