Q&A: How Ultramarathoner Jeff Lau conquered his coldest, most gruelling race yet

·2-min read

Jeff Lau’s experience in completing the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra, known to be among the world’s toughest ultra races, goes to show that despite how perfectly one prepares for something, it might not all be smooth sailing.

Since its launch back in 2020, Under Armour’s “The Only Way Is Through” strives to motivate athletes all around the world to put in the work and get better. The campaign’s main focus relays the belief that the only way out of a hard spot is to muddle through it. The story of its brand ambassador — ultramarathoner Jeff Lau — is a prime example of this belief.

On an extremely cold morning in mid-March, Jeff Lau stood on the grounds of Överkalix, having just completed the gruelling Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra race. The gruelling 500km foot race took place on snowmobile trails in Swedish Lapland, where runners travelled on rivers, lakes, and through forests in temperatures that dropped to -30 degrees Celsius, over the course of 10 days.

Jeff Lau at the Montant Lapland Race, which completed in Överkalix. Photo credit: @shadowkuo_photography
Jeff Lau at the Montant Lapland Race, which completed in Överkalix. Photo credit: @shadowkuo_photography

Jeff Lau embarked on the race to raise money for the Malaysian Aids Foundation’s (MAF) Paediatric Aids Fund, which helps children living with or affected by HIV stay in school and thrive through education and social support. As a Red Ribbon Youth Icon who was appointed by the local health ministry, he has also taken part in several international ultramarathons to raise funds for MAF, including a solo 250km sub-Saharan seven-stage race. Jeff Lau has also achieved the coveted title of being the first Malaysian to successfully complete 2,260km of the Swiss Ultra DecaTriathlon.

After having braved some of the most extreme weather conditions and unsettling sleep systems during the gruelling Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra, Jeff Lau expresses that completing the race gave him a satisfying feeling that goes beyond all of his expectations: “It was gruesome, but I’m thrilled I managed to finish the race on time!”

Through the entire ordeal, Jeff Lau was clad in cold gear technology from Under Armour, specially designed by the brand to enable one to push themselves to the limit. Providing weightless warmth to athletes, Under Armour’s ColdGear solves a common problem with layering to keep warm, as the added clothing weight increases energy expenditure. Under Armour’s lightweight fabric sits next-to-skin while still keeping the body’s core temperature warm, making it ideal for long-term activities.

We catch up with Jeff Lau to talk about the training process involved in preparing for the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra, and his personal experience of completing the race, and how Under Armour’s ColdGear helped him withstand the weather through it all, and ultimately brought him to the finish line.

The post Q&A: How Ultramarathoner Jeff Lau conquered his coldest, most gruelling race yet appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.

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