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My enduring passion is for the mountains and wilderness. Having trained as an environmental scientist I have somehow fallen into the world of ultra and endurance running. My dream is to encourage people to realise the sanctuary of the mountains, the richness of our environment and our responsibility to protect it, and the value of challenging yourself both physically and mentally.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Alone, in the clear air and searching sunlight, we are afoot with the quiet gods, and men can know each other and themselves for what they are.
A.F. MUMMERY


In three short weeks we leave for Kathmandu and it will be the start of our Cho Oyu Trilogy Expedition. Three short weeks and a world away ….. a world away from the familiarity of these Alpine mountains in Europe, from friends and from family. But before I can focus completely my energy on Cho Oyu and the journey ahead, there are a few things to think about.

In a little less than 2 days I will be standing in the Place du Triangle de l’Amitie in the centre of Chamonix. Alone with my thoughts - at the start line of my 3rd The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - alone with my own hopes, expectations, fears and doubts. Excited and yet trepidatious. The spirit of the Ultra Trail is a special one - the moments of camaraderie with fellow runners, with the volunteers, with all the supporters - something to be treasured. The cries of ‘bon courage’ keeping you going long after you thought you were finished. But still there are moments of feeling entirely alone. Alone in the sense that it is only us that can make our race. Those hours ahead are the unknown. But somehow in the unknown we will come to know ourselves deeper, to know ourselves for what we are. Race or no race, there is no victory except the joy that you feel if you let your run ‘flow’. And so each of us can feel that ‘victory’ ….

Our Trilogy Expedition too … so much is the unknown.

What does it mean to me at this moment?
‘Belonging. A dream. On foot to the summit heights. On the run across the mountain trails. Simplicity. Focus. Solitude and camaraderie. The arrival and the in-between. The preparation and the unknown.’

But for sure we will find the clear air and searching sunlight?
And there we will come to know each-other and ourselves for what we are.

4 comments:

ALAN LUCKER said...

Congratulations on an excellent 2nd place. Well done.
I agree it is a very special race, I have'nt done any others that come close.

Alison said...

Hi Lizzy
I just found out that you came second this year. A great achievement especially after perhaps a year which hasn't gone quite to plan. Cho Oyu should be fun and hopefully you won't find any landslides trekking back to Kathmandu. x

Chris said...

Well done at the UTMB. I hope you were pleased with your run. I think I might have seen you in Zermatt last Friday. I was wondering if you have any hints or tips for hiking from Jiri back to Kathmandu? I will be in Nepal in November.

Koji said...

Congratulations!
Was just checking your site for some new quotations!
Do you know when you will be back in Kathmandu after your expedition? Billi might be there and I will too. Would be nice to meet.
Rich