Stepped up to challenge
By Cathy Asplin
If you’re ever trapped several stories up in a building on fire, pray for Glenn Anderson to be in the rescue party.
The Te Awamutu firefighter - in full firefighting kit including breathing apparatus - climbed a staggering 47 flights of stairs in around 11 minutes as part of the ‘Vertical Challenge: Climb for a Cure’ event in Auckland.
His time of 11:19 for the combined 100m run along the street, followed by a climb up the 1029 steps of the Sky Tower was the fastest in the ‘donned’ section (carrying, but not using, breathing apparatus).
With 22kgs of gear on it’s not surprising it was a hot, uncomfortable experience.
“It was pretty damn hot, but it was actually more fun than training and we had a good support crew cheering us on.”
Firefighter Anderson picked up a gold medal for winning the donned section and second place overall behind Steven Callagher of Orewa (10:50). Both slashed the previous best time of 13 minutes.
Over 90 firefighters from around the North Island took part in the vertical climb to raise funds for the New Zealand Leukemia and Blood Foundation.
A team of six from the Te Awamutu Volunteer Fire Brigade successfully completed the donned section after training for two months on stairs at Fonterra Te Awamutu and Te Rapa. All were ranked in the top 10 times (see results below) and well inside the 32 minute limit.
As well as putting in a massive physical effort to complete the challenge, the team also raised the second largest amount of money for the foundation and picked up an award for their tally. Over $1400 was contributed from Te Awamutu - making up just over 10% of the total $10,000 raised.
TE AWAMUTU RESULTS
Climb for a Cure Donned Section times/placings: Glenn Anderson 11:19 (1), Corey Neilson 13:51 (4), Ian Campbell 14:00 (5), Mathew Bannister 17:26 (8) , Karl Tutty 17:27 (9), Grant Mitchell 18:16 (10).