Mal Law

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There's no rest for Mal Law. He runs inhuman distances, climbs to impossible heights, every day.

He's in training for the Partners Life High Five-0 Challenge for Mental Health. It's a big name for a huge challenge.

Starting on 7 February 2015, Mal will be running one marathon a day through (mostly) wild, remote areas all over New Zealand, incorporating at least one peak into the route, every day for 50 days.

In total, he'll traverse 2,200km of rugged New Zealand terrain and climb more than 100,000 vertical meters and he's doing it all to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

Mental health is a cause close to Mal's heart. He lost his brother-in-law to suicide, and has personal experience of depression.

"I'm only too aware of the privileged position in which I find myself – I have the time and good health to give to organising epic adventures and it would just seem morally bereft (and not just a little self-indulgent) if I didn't use this as an opportunity to do a bit of good in the wider world," he says.

"Besides, having a cause I'm passionate about provides me with massive amounts of motivation to keep going when things get tough."

Raising awareness of mental wellness

Fundraising, however, is only one part of Mal's goal. He wants to raise awareness of how we can all keep ourselves mentally well and to spread the word about the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

He connects regularly with a hugely supportive group of runners, people who lift him up when his spirits fall, and inspire him to push onward when he's tired.

"Hearing those vital words of encouragement when I think I can't go on any longer makes me realise the fundamental importance of not trying to battle life's big challenges alone," he says.

He's clearly a man who knows the benefits of keeping active, even if he takes it a little further than most.

Mal generously gives his time, support, and advice to the countless people who turn to him for help on their own running challenges, and is finding that that generosity is returned.

As for taking notice: "Running in wild places as much as I do gives me lots of opportunities to take notice - to stop, draw a deep breath and soak in the beauty of our natural surroundings.

Additionally, he keeps learning, "I am learning something every day about my own body, what it's capable of, how to get the most from it; but also I am learning all the time about how to be an effective fundraiser and advocate for the cause of mental health."

"I get to keep myself mentally healthy while doing my bit to promote mental health as a wider cause – how lucky am I?!"

For more information

About Mal Law
About Mal's business Running Wild
 
High Five-0 Challenge Facebook page and website