Dubai Marathon 2012

I’ve been back in Dubai for a few weeks now and my training program for Mount Everest is in full swing.

Today I ran the Dubai Marathon, which is quickly becoming one of the more popular marathon races around the world – no least because of its US$250,000 price for the winner!

I managed to run only a handful of times since my return from Aconcagua, so for me the race was just about finishing it. The race started at 0700 this morning in the shadow of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, in +15C temperature, which for those of us used to the +30-40C temperatures felt a bit nippy.

I was a bit worried about not having had much time to train. I had to explain to a few friends that mountain climbing is very different and that I would have preferred to run uphill with a heavy backpack on – not on a flat ground ;-)

Anyways, I finished the marathon in just about 4 hours which is far from a great time, the Ethiopian winner logged 2 hours 4 mins, but it was good training and I look forward to training properly for a marathon later this year after I return from my remaining expeditions to Mount Everest and Denali.

The phone call I didn’t want to make

I had to make an uncomfortable call to my dad tonight.

I need to send off the body disposal form i.e. what do I want to be done with my body if I die on Everest and the body is recoverable, before I leave for Antarctica on Thursday.

I think I caught my dad a bit by surprise, describing the worse-case scenarios on the mountain and asking for his input with regards to what to do with the body…not a call that any child should have with their parents, really, but in this case, a necessary evil.

Catching up with Mighty Eagle

Spent the day in Helsinki and visited Slush Helsinki, a start-up event at Kaapelitehdas.

Caught up with several old friends, including Peter Vesterbacka, now the Mighty Eagle of Rovio, the company behind the hugely popular Angry Birds game. I co-founded an internal start-up with Peter while we worked at HP a bit over 10 years ago…hmmm….makes me sound a bit on the old side.

Caught overnight flight from Finland to Dubai – although Lufthansa decided to re-route me and my wife with Air Berlin and Emirates instead of Lufthansa, because their flights were so badly late.

Halti Helsinki Store opening in Finland

Had a busy day meeting partner companies in Helsinki, so it was great to take the evening off and attend the opening of Halti’s new store in central Helsinki with Delanii.

The store looks great and the location is perfect!

The event was cool too and we had a lot of fun listening to stories from Pata Degerman as he was helping me prepare mentally for what lies ahead when I head to Antarctica. Thanks Pata!

Gearing up with Halti

Had an exciting morning picking up gear from Halti, a premium sports gear manufacturers headquartered just outside Helsinki and one of my partners.

The gear looks great, so many thanks Kalle!

In the afternoon, passing by a window, my otherwise wise wife thought that I resemble Tintin, the cartoon character. Judge for yourself!

Body disposal

My wife Delanii has climbed several mountains with me and she’s also been very supportive regarding my Seven Summits project.

However, today she showed first signs of worry as IMG, my guide company for both Vinson Massif and Everest, sent me some forms to fill, including a body disposal form.

It may sound macabre, but the fact is that people die on Mount Everest regularly and therefore these kind of preparations are needed.

Normally, your body will be put in a crevasse or buried in a respectful manner by your expedition team, unless its feasible (not often in the Death Zone above 8000m) to bring the body down for cremation by Buddhist monks or in some cases, for repatriation to home.

Whatever one chooses, the document is pretty effective in highlighting the dangers involved in climbing high mountains!

Legos are good to go!

Visited my dentist at Drs Nicolas & Asp today to make sure I’m not going to lose any fillings while on the mountains. Pressure at high altitude sometimes makes fillings pop out and a mountain is a bad place to start dealing with this kind of problems. Luckily, my dentist gave me an all clear, so my legos are good to go!

Parent’s never stop worrying for their kids

Spent last night in Hyvinkaa with my parents. They’ve been very supportive of my Seven Summits project despite thinking that I should still consider a beach-holiday instead!

Being the practical thinker, my dad insisted that I should get life insurance sorted out, so visited a Finnish insurance company this morning and they promised to insure me despite the unusual interest of exploring some of the most remote locations on the planet.

I think my parents are confident that I’m well prepared, well-supported and have a pretty sensible approach to decision making even in strenuous circumstances, but I think they’ll still worry until I get back home!