Fifty in 50 days

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

AWanaka man has set him­self an ‘‘off the scale’’ chal­lenge of com­plet­ing 50 off-road moun­tain marathons in 50 days— back-to­back to sup­port men­tal health.

Mal Law, 54, said over 50 days he would ascend more than 100,000 me­tres— the equiv­a­lent of do­ing Mt. Ever­est from sea level al­most 12 times; 530 as­cents of the Sky Tower; or 27 Mount Cooks.

With no rest days, and lit­tle time to re­cover his High Five-0 Chal­lenge would be a scary, but ‘‘mas­sively ex­cit­ing chal­lenge’’, he said.

‘‘It’s not im­pos­si­ble. Whether it is pos­si­ble for me I am­go­ing to find out. I don’t know whether I can do it, but I am­go­ing to give it a bloody good go and I am ex­tremely dogged— it will take a lot to stop me. If I was go­ing to do some­thing I knew I could do, it wouldn’t be much of a chal­lenge.’’

He hoped to raise $250,000 for men­tal health on the back of the chal­lenge, which starts in Auck­land on Jan­uary 31, he said.

‘‘I have a real per­sonal in­ter­est in re­duc­ing the stigma around men­tal health and I know run­ning and get­ting into the out­doors— and all the things this chal­lenge is about— is a fan­tas­tic way of man­ag­ing men­tal well­be­ing. A lot of run­ners use it for that rea­son.

‘‘The chal­lenge brings to­gether all the things I love— I was brought up climb­ing moun­tains and I have a love for long dis­tance trail run­ning . . . My main rea­son is I lost my brother-in-law who com­mit­ted sui­cide a num­ber of years ago. I was the un­for­tu­nate person who found him and for a long time I wanted to do some­thing ma­jor for that.’’

The Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion helped de­velop pro­grammes and ed­u­ca­tion to pro­mote men­tal well­be­ing, he said.

Laws will pass through Cen­tral Otago and Queen­stown Lakes on his chal­lenge and peaks in­clude: Mt Dun­stan, (Cen­tal Otago), Obelisk (Cen­tral Otago) and Mt Pisa (Cromwell); Breast Hill (Hawea); Knuckle Peak (Wanaka); Brow Peak (Ar­row­town); Ben Lomond (Queen­stown), PT.1005 (Queen­stown) and Long­wood (South­land). Peo­ple are in­vited to join Laws on his marathons.

Visit high50.org.nz

Photo: SHAUN COLLINS, CAB­BAGE TREE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY.

OFF-ROAD: Mal Laws is run­ning 50 off-road marathons in 50 days.

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