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Embracing the Peaks and Valleys - Lessons from the HK100 Ultra Marathon

I recently completed the HK100 Ultra Marathon, a grueling 103km race through Hong Kong's breathtaking yet challenging terrain. With 5,300m of elevation gain and unexpected 30-degree heat in January, it proved to be a test of physical and mental endurance. While I fell short of my 16-hour target, finishing in 17 hours and 19 minutes, the journey taught me invaluable lessons applicable to both the trails and the twists of everyday life.

1. Enjoy the Moment: The Journey is the Destination

In the midst of challenging ascents and scorching heat, it became evident that the key to enduring any struggle is to find joy in the moment. Life, like an ultra marathon, is a journey filled with highs and lows. Embrace each step, relish the scenery, and understand that the experience itself is the destination.

2. Surround Yourself with Positivity and Energy

The camaraderie among fellow runners played a pivotal role in overcoming the toughest stretches. Life, much like an ultra marathon, can throw unexpected challenges. Surround yourself with positive and energetic individuals—those who uplift you when the going gets tough. Their presence becomes a source of strength, pushing you to achieve more than you thought possible.

3. Adaptability: Change the Target, Achieve the Goal

Sometimes, the path to success requires adjusting your course. In the face of unforeseen challenges, be willing to adapt. Change the target if needed but stay focused on the ultimate goal. The ability to pivot and reassess your strategy is a valuable skill both on the trail and in the journey of life.

4. Express Gratitude Along the Way

In the intensity of the race, gratitude became a guiding force. Take a moment to appreciate those who support you—whether friends, family, or strangers along the way. Expressing gratitude not only acknowledges their contribution but also fosters positive connections that can make a significant impact on your journey.

5. Keep Your Eyes Open: Enjoy the Journey

Amidst the physical demands of the race, the beauty of the Hong Kong countryside was ever-present. Life, like the ultra marathon, is a journey that demands your attention. Keep your eyes open to the opportunities, challenges, and the beauty that surrounds you. Every step is a chance to learn, grow, and appreciate the incredible journey.

In the end, the HK100 Ultra Marathon was more than a race—it was a metaphor for life. Through enjoying the moment, surrounding myself with positivity, adapting to change, expressing gratitude, and keeping my eyes open, I not only conquered the trails but also gained insights that will resonate in both my personal and professional spheres.

For more reflections on life's journeys and adventures, visit my blog at [].


Jo Lodder is a trail runner, business leader, and philanthropist. He's the co-founder of JNW Asia, a property marketing company based in Hong Kong focused on Niseko projects, and a master agent of SnowDog, a hospitality brand. He's also became the first person in history to complete the HK5Trails in Hong Kong with the Run for Freedom challenge to raise money for charity.

With a passion for helping others and a drive for success, Jo inspires through his love of adventure and entrepreneurship.

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