High Five-0 Challenge Day 46 - The Pinnacles: A few of his favourite things

The following is taken from the High Five-0 Challenge Blog

It now takes a lot more than a pretty view from the top to get Mal excited about a big climb. The view from the Pinnacles wasn't "pretty" though – it was mindblowingly beautiful, the kind of stuff that really amazing landscape paintings are made of.

Getting there, however, felt like a mission almost beyond Mal's currently abilities. Almost.

"My body is tired. My mind is tired. The first five hours were extremely difficult," Mal confesses. It didn't help that he was in closed thick bush for most of that time. "I think I might be claustrophobic," says the man who's earned the right to exaggerate as much as he wants. "I was really struggling in there. I'd just had enough and wanted to get out of the bush."

Everyone could tell he was a little bit grumpy and, if they hadn't noticed it in the first couple of hours, they sure noticed it at the point when Mal caught up with the group that had been waiting for him only to see them take off again straight away. "They'd had a rest and I hadn't and that made me a bit grumpy."

The support runners worked hard to cheer Mal up, even coming up with songs that I'd love to reproduce on here but won't because this is a family-friendly website.

Things started looking up a bit once Mal got out of the bush and into the open trail. Simon Wickham, a good friend of Mal's and supporter of the challenge, had planted some of Mal's favourite motivational quotes along the trail to keep him going. He wasn't even supposed to be there but decided to surprise Mal with some of his favourite things.

It was pouring with rain as Mal and the team made their way up to the summit. Each kilometre felt like the longest kilometre ever and he kept worrying about slipping on the wet rocks.

At one point, he spotted a sign guiding him towards "the best custard in New Zealand". In a chilly bin, on ice, he found a bottle of fine vanilla bean custard. He's not sure whether he was supposed to have saved it or not but he ate most of it right there (sharing it with the support runners because he still has manners).

At the hut, he found Simon with Tiramisu. The difficult day was turning into a day filled with all his favourite things. And Simon wasn't done yet.

"We got to the summit and Simon gets his iPod out with portable speakers and starts playing one of my favourite songs, REM's Beat a Drum. It was my wedding dance song with Sal," Mal tells me, quickly glancing at Sal and adding "which I definitely hadn't forgotten about".

"I was rejoicing in the whole thing. It was mindblowing!"

From then on, all Mal had to do was concentrate on getting down to the bottom without slipping on the rocks – a much harder task than it sounds.

"By the time we finished, I was pretty poked. But there was everything at that finish line: balloons, a picnic with pizza, wine, beer, cake, bubbles... it was a fantastic way to finish with the whole campground to ourselves."

The day that started off really difficult ended up being a day full of Mal's favourite things.

"I think this is the pattern now, I'm really going to struggle at the start of the day. But everyone was so determined to have fun, it ended up being a really good day."

Progress so far:
1453kms run
73,205 metres climbed
380h16 total time on feet

Mal is attempting the most audacious feat of endurance ever attempted on New Zealand soil - running 50 mountain marathons & climbing 50 peaks in just 50 days!
He and his support runners are aiming to raise at least $400,000 for the Mental Health Foundation NZ.
To follow his epic journey & see more photos visit https://www.facebook.com/high50challenge
To donate online go to Mal's fundraising page http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/MalcolmLaw/
Or you can text GOMAL to 2446 to donate $3 to the Mental Health Foundation

Made possible by the generous support of Partners Life, without whom none of this would be happening.

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