Anyone that knows me, knows that when I start something, I finish it.

I recently learned, however, that there are times when stopping can be the best way to win.

On 26 August, I set out on the Mountain Trail of the Matterhorn Ultraks – a 32km race in the Swiss Alps. The annual challenge sees runners compete over a course with a climb of 2,000m. I had undertaken the race for the first time last year; I had always been a runner, undertaking several marathons, but got the bug for trail running after several friends introduced me to it.

Aside from the appeal of a new physical challenge, I was attracted to Ultraks’ eco-friendly ethos. I am very environmentally conscious, travelling by green or active transport wherever possible, recycling and reducing waste. As an active member of the Saffery Trust Corporate Social Responsibility team, I also support the firm in its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and encourage other team members to do the same. The CSR team is a fantastic way for my personal interests and professional responsibilities to align.

When I found out that Ultraks is organised with nature in mind, I was excited to sign up. Runners are urged to leave nothing more than footprints along the course. The route is marked by a small number of flags, which are removed by a team following behind the runners. By the end of the day, the landscape is left without any trace of the large-scale event.

I was determined that this year I would match, or beat, my previous time - but nature, it seemed, had other plans.

20km in, I was happy with my progress, but was growing conscious of the increasingly poor weather conditions. For most of the route, the surrounding forest had offered me shelter, but as I started the final ascent, I was confronted by the elements.

Suddenly it was just me and the mountain. There was nothing to protect me from the blistering cold winds gusting up to 80km/hour or the relentless sideways rain pelting me from all angles.

As thunder boomed and lightning streaked across the sky, I became acutely aware of how small and alone I was against the vast landscape. Although I had friends taking part, we had separated as we progressed at different paces. I began to wish that one of them had been by my side to offer companionship and a level of security; being alone felt incredibly daunting.

As a trustee, we often use the analogy that our role is to weather the storm with our clients, whatever that storm may be. After attempting to weather my own – very literal – storm, I had a glimpse of how it may feel to be on the other side of the trustee-client relationship. I had prepared as much as possible, yet factors outside my control had presented me with a challenge that seemed insurmountable. This can happen to any of our clients, where family matters, market movements or unprecedented challenges interrupt their plans. It is far easier to make it through these moments as a team than alone.

I continued to a mountain restaurant, where two of my friends were also taking shelter, and we discussed the best course of action. My friends were more experienced than me when it came to trail running, and I trusted and valued their insight and experience as we concluded that it was too dangerous to continue the race.

Again, I was reminded of my relationship with my clients. As trustees, we draw on the collective experience of our teams to find the best solutions for our clients and offer them our advice. We take our time in building trusting, long-lasting relationships with our clients to enable them to be comfortable in trusting that we will guide them in the best direction.

Our clients, too, will sometimes find themselves in situations where continuing down a certain avenue may not be the best course of action. For example, where an investment they wanted to make falls short of our rigorous due diligence processes, or the purchase of an asset is found to be too high-risk. We support our clients through these challenges as they arise and help them to find suitable alternatives to allow them to meet their objectives.

While I understand this can be frustrating, much like my frustration as I took the cable car back down the mountain, it can also be rewarding to know that you have taken the prudent course of action.

I have no regrets over stopping my race. It was the right thing to do in the circumstances. (But I might sign up for the 49km route next year to make up for the lost distance this time!)