21 August 2011

UTMB Epiphany

Greetings from Chamonix!

This blog post was composed during my connecting flight several hours ago. Perhaps, the long flight and lack of sleep have taken its toll on me. Getting emotional at certain times is nothing new to us.

I know I sound incoherent. This has something to do with the Japanese movie I saw onboard Qatar. The title is PEAK - the rescuer .

It is the story of a "mountain man" and rescuer named Sanpo who loves the mountains and risks his own life to save others in danger. There was this part when he asked a rookie mountain rescuer Kumi what she should never abandon in the mountains. Kumi answered trash and Sanpo agreed. However, Kumi could never quite figure out the second answer. After Kumi discussed the illustrious life of her father who was the former captain of a Japanese group of  rescuers and lost his  own life during a rescue mission, Sanpo posted again the same question to Kumi who could still not answer it. Sanpo said the things we should never abandon or leave on the mountain (a metaphor for life) are trash and LIFE. And Sanpo proceeded to tell Kumi to live her life like her father did who lived his life hard or to the fullest.

So I could not help but be teary-eyed while  watching this part of the movie and the similarities of the settings to UTMB. A well of emotions just built up inside. Several things crossed my mind. Foremost of which is asking myself why do the things i do. Like why be away from my family and friends just to run some crazy distances and risk unnecessary dangers, travel several thousand miles, spend some  resources and just finish a race most people can never understand in their lives? Is it because it is the new or" IN" thing now? Why all go through the troubles?

This movie finally answered these questions - I run ultras because I want to live my life hard or to the fullest the way I know how.

Are you living your life hard or to the fullest under the obtaining circumstances? You alone my friends can truly answer that.
Jon (descending to Geneva airport over snow-capped mountains)


You would not believe it but temperature is between 30*C to 36*C! Unbelievably massive but Mont Blanc is covered with snow. Perhaps weather will get colder later tonight. I am wasted from the trip. So an extended rest tonight is a must. It's 5:30pm here. Got some pictures here but I don't know how to upload it for my blog via Iphone. You'll hear more from me and Simon, who is flying from Berlin tomorrow night to Chamonix. This is all for now.


  1. goodluck atty and sir simon!



  2. looking forward to more utmb blogs.:D - Josaw

  3. haven't visited your blog in a year (or more, i think!) best of luck, atty. jon - to you and simon! have fun and keep safe! - marga

  4. All the very best to you at UTMB! Have fun and take care! Race strong and safe! Weather on start day seems to predict dropping temps and a thunderstorm! Hope the forecasts are wrong though!

    Paul, Malaysia