Saturday, July 11, 2009
Mad trail runner Mal Law - photo: 7in7.org.nz
If you've been reading this blog for long, you've heard about New Zealand's "Great Walks" - a collection of 8 hikes and 1 river journey that have been selected for their stunning scenery and diversity as targets for wilderness tourism here in NZ.
I've done a few of the walks myself - The Milford Track, The Routeburn Track, The Tongariro Northern Circuit - and many people both Kiwi and visitors make a point of getting through all of them in their lifetimes.
One man, however, is planning to put us all to shame. He is hoping to become the first person to complete the 7 Great Walks on the two main islands in 7 consecutive days! (He will skip the Rakiura Track on Stewart Island and the Wanganui River Journey.)
The madman's name is Malcolm (Mal) Law, and he is doing this as a fundraiser for Leukaemia and Blood New Zealand. He's attempting to raise $50,000 in total, and he's got some support crew and some sponsors on board to help out.
Is it possible? I can't imagine how, but this guy seems like if anyone can do it he can. He has already done the gruelling Coast-to-Coast race, the Mizone Endurazone Race (the entire length of New Zealand!), The Kaweka Challenge Mountain Marathon etc.
To give you an idea of how big a challenge this is - here are the recommended walking times for the Great Walks he's doing:
Tongariro Northern Circuit - 4 days
Lake Waikaremoana Track - 3-4 days
Heaphy Track - 4-6 days
Abel Tasman Coastal Track- 3-5 days
Routeburn Track - 2-3 days
Milford Track - 3-4 days
Kepler Track - 3-4 days
Total distance: 359.7 km
He's going to attempt all of that in 7 days including transport between the tracks. Good luck Mal! If you want to learn more about his 7 in 7 challenge you can check out the website: http://7in7.org.nz/ He's still looking for sponsorship, and of course donations. The challenge will begin on November 29, 2009 and finish on December 5 at the annual Kepler Challenge.