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One of the few to have survived capture by the brutal Khmer Rouge, Chris was then blown up by a landmine in Mozambique – losing a hand and part of his leg. He has since taken on dozens of gruelling ultramarathons. Leading by example, Chris talks about focus, self-belief, dealing with change and pushing yourself to the limit.
Chris Moon has lived through experiences few have survived, and even fewer would undergo with such impressive fortitude and positivity. He has been imprisoned and blown up, and now takes on some of the toughest marathons in the world.
After serving in the army Chris joined HALO, the Hazardous Areas Life-Support Organisation. He was deployed to supervise former Cambodian soldiers in the task of mine clearance during the later days of the Khmer Rouge. The country, ravaged by one of the most brutal regimes in history, was infamous for the high number and indiscriminate nature of its minefields.
When Chris and two others were kidnapped by Khmer Rouge guerrillas, Chris kept his nerve and negotiated his release, despite being told no one had ever left their captivity alive. Incredibly, he kept his nerve and negotiated his release. Many years later he met his captor who told him Chris’s refusal to be a victim in such desperate circumstances helped change his mind and disobey his orders to execute prisoners.
After Cambodia Chris assumed control of large-scale mine clearance in Mozambique. Walking through a cleared field, he encountered a mine his team hadn’t been able to find. The explosion should have killed him, and doctors back at base said he wouldn’t survive long enough to be rescued. A combination of treating himself and mental and physical strength saw him pull through. He focused on what he had to live for and why it mattered that he make it.
After a spell in hospital (considerably shorter than originally predicted) Chris, having lost his lower right leg and hand, continued to defy expectations. Less than a year later he completed the London Marathon. He went on to become the first amputee to take part in the Great Sahara Run - described as the toughest race on earth in which Competitors run for six days carrying all their own food and equipment. He has since taken on some of the toughest, longest marathons and ultramarathons in the world including running 700km down the length of Cambodia.
Chris has since taken part in dozens of challenges, raising thousands of pounds for charity. He has also studied human behaviour and management, applying his personal experiences to those in everyday life and the workplace. Believing the greatest limits are those we impose on ourselves, whether we realise it or not, he looks at the psychological coping mechanisms people use when faced with challenges, how they work together in a deal, and what it says about leadership. He also looks at areas of health, safety and risk.
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Conference Speaker Chris Moon on overcoming adversity