Run­ning to his peak of per­fec­tion

Rais­ing funds for Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Wanaka’s ‘‘chief nut­ter’’ Mal Law is not due home for about a week, as he rests in the North Is­land af­ter com­plet­ing an au­da­cious 50 moun­tain runs in 50 con­sec­u­tive days.

Law bat­tled a chest in­fec­tion and knee in­jury early in his adventure, plus lost a close friend and key sup­porter, the late Steve Combe, who died in a he­li­copter ac­ci­dent in Fe­bru­ary.

To­wards the end of his chal­lenge, Law’s team had to con­tend with Cy­clone Pam, af­fect­ing their choice of North Is­land peaks.

So at var­i­ous points, Law cropped his orig­i­nal goal to run a marathon ev­ery day, although he con­tin­ued to bag peaks daily.

By the time he fin­ished on Satur­day he had com­pleted 1664 kilo­me­tres, av­er­ag­ing over 33km a day, with many of his daily runs a marathon or more.

On Mon­day, Law was still try­ing to process the enor­mity of what his team had achieved.

‘‘It has still not hit me fully. I have been high on adrenalin most of the time and just start­ing to feel the ef­fects of that,’’ he told the Mir­ror.

Law vowed not to shave dur­ing his chal­lenge, but was threat­ened by his sup­port crew chief and wife Sally on Sun­day: ‘‘it’s ei­ther the beard or me’’.

So what now for Wanaka’s fundrais­ing mad­man?

Law laughed: ‘‘I’ve made a com­mit­ment not to do any­thing or think about a fu­ture project un­til I re­alise the fundrais­ing goal for this one. So I will beaver away un­til I’ve got $505,050. That must look like a good num­ber.’’

Law’s ini­tial goal was $250,000, but that was quickly sur­passed as his runs cap­tured the na­tion’s at­ten­tion.

Af­ter reach­ing $400,000 last week, he de­cided to press on and raise half a mil­lion.

In the mean­time, the Laws are look­ing for­ward to a break at Karekare, near Auck­land, be­fore driv­ing back to Wanaka some time next week.

‘‘Sal, she’s pretty tired too. It was not an easy job for her. We are both re­lieved it is over. But to tell you the truth, most of the hard times were in the month lead­ing up to it,’’ Law said.

In that month, Law pub­licly ex­pressed doubts he could com­plete his goal and ad­mit­ted he was hav­ing panic at­tacks.

How­ever, his team of sup­port­ers and run­ners ral­lied around and re­as­sured him they would do the run­ning if he felt un­able to con­tinue. At no stage did Law have to run alone.

‘‘For the most part, the 50 days were fun. We be­came like a fam­ily af­ter seven weeks of living in each other’s pock­ets,’’ he said.

Law de­scribed his five hour, 59 minute marathon at Auck­land’s Ran­gi­toto (The Dual) event on Satur­day as ‘‘amaz­ing’’.

‘‘They re­ally laid it on at the fin­ish line. It was quite an emo­tional re­u­nion with Sal and my son [Beinn, 15]. They formed a guard of hon­our, an arch­way with their arms. It must have stretched more than 100 yards, hun­dreds of peo­ple in it. Mu­sic was play­ing, they were cheer­ing, do­ing high fives. It was an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing.’’

Wanaka char­ity run­ner Mal Law has com­pleted his 50 in 50 chal­lenge for the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion. Sup­port­ers in­cluded the Mackenzie Col­lege Hil­lary Chal­lenge team, who tack­led Mt Beuzen­berg near Tekapo with Law on March 4.

1664 km

82,020 el­e­va­tion

428hrs 25 mins time on feet

$435,775 raised so far for Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion (new goal: $505,050)

How to help: fundraiseon­­colmLaw or text GO­MAL to 2446.

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