'Malcolm Law has dealt with loss and adversity, and has overcome it in an extraordinary way. One Step Beyond proves that while the human body may have its limitations, the human spirit is truly boundless.' - Dean Karnazes, author of Ultramarathon Man. Malcolm Law is an ordinary man who took on an extraordinary goal. Many said it was impossible - even Mal himself doubted whether he would succeed. But he had a secret weapon: he carried a photo of his late brother, Alan.
In November 2009, Mal set out to run New Zealand's seven mainland 'Great Walks' in seven days (the equivalent of nine mountain marathons), to ease an ancient pain, to honour Alan's memory and to raise funds for others battling leukaemia, the cruel illness that robbed him of his only brother.
What followed is an uplifting story of determination, courage, out-and-out hard yakka and, ultimately, triumph. We share the endorphin-fuelled ecstasy and the agony of doubts, fears, blood, sweat and tears that became Mal's life for nine months. Vividly written and disarmingly candid, One Step Beyond is a story that will astound, enthral and inspire.
The Great Walks:
• Lake Waikaremoana, Te Urewera National Park - 46 km. Recommended walking time: 3-4 days.
• Tongariro Northern Circuit, Central Plateau - 45 km. Recommended walking time: 3-4 days.
• Abel Tasman Coast Track, Abel Tasman National Park - 53 km. Recommended walking time: 3-5 days.
• Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park - 78.4 km. Recommended walking time: 4-6 days.
• Routeburn Track, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks - 34 km. Recommended walking time: 2-4 days.
• Milford Track, Fiordland - 54 km. Recommended walking time: 4 days.
• Kepler Track, Fiordland - a 60 km. Recommended walking time: 3-4 days.
This is my type of book. It is an inspiring book that had me in tears (of grief and joy) and laughing out loud. Malcolm Law is an amazing man that ran seven of New Zealand's Great Walks in seven days. I have walked the two and a half of these tracks when I was at my fittest each was a challenge. To have run one of them would have been a huge challenge for most people but Malcolm chose to do seven in a week.
The first half of the book tells of the training and preparation he puts into this challenge and his motivation. He talks of loss of his brother to leukaemia as a child which inspired him nearly 30 years later to embark on this challenge raising funds for the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation. He also talks of the logistics involved in such undertaking as well as the support and obstacles he meets. The second half is the challenge itself.
I found this book was very easy reading. It was well written and at times I was in suspense as he eluded to things that were going to happen. It was quite a compelling read and finished it in just two night and I am usually a slow reader. This book really spoke to me especially having done some of the walks. It had me questioning what my next challenge should be to get me off my ever widening backside. I will be recommending this book to several of my tramping companions and others i know that love our beautiful country.
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NOTE: Originally reviewed in 2014 as a hardcover, the 2015 reviews are for the softcover edition.
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