Chris Mohn, an alumni student at Bethany Global University, set out in 2017 to do what others would call impossible. His goal? To complete the world’s highest altitude marathon at Mount Everest in a competition called “Mountopia” sponsored by Dynafit. This contest is seen by most as an opportunity to have a grand adventure, but it was so much more than that to Chris.
Five years ago, Chris was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease, which is a persistent bacterial infection that can cause excessive fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and cognitive dysfunction, among other symptoms. Just two years ago, Chris weighed in at only 116 pounds and his body was so weak that a short half-mile run wore him out to the point of exhaustion.
Chris, however, determined not to let Lyme Disease control his life, has worked hard to restore his health and build up his strength not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Now, Chris completes his daily workouts using an altitude mask to prepare for the high elevation – these workouts include weight training, calisthenics, and running an average of 34 miles per week!
When asked why this particular competition is so important to him, Chris stated that “winning the competition isn’t all that important to me really. What is, however, is accomplishing my goal/dream and physically training and preparing myself for something I would have never dreamed that I would have been able to do, due to the Lyme Disease, and also to praise and glorify the Lord for giving me this second chance at life”.
When he was not preparing for the marathon, Chris spent his time in work and classes at BGU in training to become a full-time missionary. Chris believes that, by fulfilling this dream to run a marathon at Mount Everest, he will be fully equipped to fulfill his dream of becoming a full-time missionary. This is done in three key ways: the sharing of his testimony, learning the importance of hard work, perseverance, and diligence, and developing a dependence on God for strength and endurance.
“I just want people to know that you can be a Christian and full-heartedly serve and love the Lord and still go out there and live life and accomplish your dreams and goals.”
– Chris Mohn
As Chris wrapped up his sophomore year at BGU, he turned his focus to fundraising for his Global Internship in the Republic of Georgia beginning in his junior year in the fall of 2017. His aspirations for his time on internship were to: “hear and follow God’s will for me while I’m there, that I would grow deeper in my reliance on Him so that I will find my strength and courage in Him wherever He calls me or whatever He has for me to do”.
Chris hopes to continue competing in many more extreme-style marathons such as this. He states that:
“[These marathons] have become rather addicting actually. It’s kind of an exhilarating rush when you start to plan out your next goal. It also consistently amazes me what our bodies can do when we take the time to train them. I have my mind set on a few things”.