August 2009

Cho Oyu Trilogy Expedition 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.



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 over 3 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.

- Elizabeth Hawker

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