Running to his peak of perfection
Raising funds for Mental Health Foundation
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.
428hrs 25 mins time on feet
$435,775 raised so far for Mental Health Foundation (new goal: $505,050)
How to help: fundraiseonline.co.nz/MalcolmLaw or text GOMAL to 2446.