Run or Die


Today my children produced and issued to me “Run or Die” passport. I don’t know if they were inspired by Kilian Jornet book, which we don’t have at home, or it was just their own fantasy. I would like to believe, that it was natural consequence of our frequent trips to the trail races and their mountaineering experience.

I don’t know why those words penetrated deeply into my mind, but later on I understood that it is the best slogan for The North Face Du Mont Blanc (UTMB). Moreover, it is what UTMB is about – ones runs and dies and the others still running almost dead. Being broken mentally or physically on UTMB is so normal as being punched in a face during boxing match.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t knocked out till the very end of the race. All the distance I felt almost excellent, because of the slow pace and all those mates from glossy magazines and trail movies, which I watched hundred of times trying to imagine myself running among them. And here I was, running with them, sharing the same trail, watching them rising and dying, washing sweat under the same shower. Unbelievable!

I was running like hell, but 30km to the finish line my right knee started to knock me down. Damn, pain crippled my ability to move – I became one of the walking dead. Technical parts became my nightmare, because I couldn’t lift my right foot from the ground.

Probably the wisest decision was just to stop back then, but it was not only about me. My family had sacrificed everything by accepting my dream, so it was not fair to betray them and myself. So, I continued my zombie run, but I was funny and loved monster, because people were cheering and encouraging me all the way to Chamonix. Thanks to them now I am proud “Run or Die” passport owner.

P.S. All the time I dreamed to be the real mountain goat with bell, from real steal, under my neck – the dream come true.


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