One Step Beyond is a great story and an easy read, but watch out as it’s likely to encourage you to go for a run if you take it for holiday reading.
Malcolm Law, self-described average man with average running abilities, sets himself the challenge of running Seven Great Walks in seven days. Most of these runs are 40 – 70km long, so essentially he’s running more than a marathon a day for 7 days.
In part it’s a homage to how he feels at peace when outdoors in the fresh air and away from the office, but Malcolm also still feels the pain of his brother Alan who died of leukaemia when they were children. His inspiration is to run the seven walks in seven days for charity and raise money for a leukaemia related charity.
Friends, family, sponsors and complete strangers gather behind this idea and make it into a force to be reckoned with, garnering support for travel between the tracks, support runners for each leg, video to catch the highlights, and supplying food and accommodation for the 7-in-7 team. This feeling runs throughout the book, and the reader can’t help but feel many a warm fuzzy at the Kiwi way of pitching in behind a good cause.
As a fellow runner, reading this book was a delight with the way Malcolm describes the feeling of running on mountaintops with spectacular views, through luscious New Zealand bush, and the feeling of peace and calm that comes with feeling healthy and fit on the trails. The chapters where Malcolm describes running each of the Great Walks one by one are a pleasure.
One of the great ideas in this book is to set your goals high and you might surprise yourself with what you can achieve. With this in mind, Malcolm sets an initial goal of raising $50,000 for the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation, and ends up raising over $85,000.
Running seven marathons in seven days was also above expectations, he wasn’t sure he could do it – the blisters, the pain, the mental strain… “I had gone beyond what I had thought myself capable of. If I can do what I’ve just done, then anything is possible. Today my horizons are wider and my ambitions grander, all because I dared to go one step beyond what I really thought I could do.”
Reviewed by Amie Lightbourne, Awards Manager for Booksellers NZ and keen runner.
One Step Beyond
by Malcolm Law
Published by Penguin Books