Running has been a part of my life for years. Whether it was through the woods as a child, on the soccer field, or around a track, I have always loved to run. It’s been over the past 8-10 years that I’ve become more involved and passionate about trail running For me, time on the trail is real, grounding, and even liberating. Every run is a mini adventure that can be pure fun or a grueling, extensive test of endurance or, more often than not, a combination of both of these. In either case, I crave it and find accomplishment after each and every run.
It was around the time of my 30th birthday that a cardiologist explained that I had neurocardiogenic syncope, a condition that affects my heart's ability to pump the correct amount of blood. When he told me I was going to need a pacemaker, I felt scared and uncertain about the future - not just in regard to running, but how I would live my life. As I learned how to live with this, I found ways to do better than get by, I learned how to thrive. I found that stimulating my heart and pushing my endurance levels actually helped my condition. Running surfaced again and this time was life giving. It became more and more a staple in my life, and as I developed into a stronger runner, I decided to pursue one of the ultimate tests of endurance and take the leap into ultra running.
One of the most notable world stage ultras is the UTMB - the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, a 100 mile ultra that circumnavigates Mont Blanc, passing through France, Switzerland, and Italy. Running the UTMB, while normally an event for the most elite runners of the world, has been a dream of mine, and, after a year of sacrifice and effort completing 3 qualifying ultras in Arizona, British Columbia, and Oregon, I finally have achieved my dream and obtained entry into the August 2018 race. My official acceptance was confirmed after both qualifying and supporting Soutien Orphelinat Pangala, a French orphanage. (http://assopagala.eklablog.com)
When I started running, it was very much an individual endeavor that had as much to do with my mental and spiritual health as it did with my heart’s. Over the past year of competing in ultras, I’ve realized that running at this level is actually a team sport. My coach has provided guidance and preparation, friends have traveled and supported logistics through the race, and I’ve been embraced by the running community as strangers offered their help and became good friends.
More than ever, to be successful in the UTMB, it is critical to have a core group at the race with me as a support crew. They will selflessly provide crucial aid such as nutrition, fluids, resolve gear issues, input on course conditions, and much-needed motivation at points throughout the race. Now, with tremendous gratitude, I am asking you to join my larger team both in personal and financial support. I have the means to get myself to the race, but need assistance in covering the travel expenses of this critical team which consists of their air fare, ground transportation, lodging, and meals. Your contribution will go toward essential travel expenses to offset the sacrifices they are each making to support my effort and my dream. Any funding received beyond the amount needed to cover these expenses, will be given to the French orphanage on whose behalf I’m running.
Thank you for your generosity, your support and for being an honorary member of my crew.
Click on UTMB for an incredible glimpse into a recap of the best moments of the 2017 UTMB.
DonationsSee top donations
- Jon Tschetter
- Amanda French
- Erin Doll
- Jennifer Bray
- Andrea Geary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more