Stair climbers need pizza lovers to back cause

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORY COOK

Climb­ing 51 flights of stairs is not the lot of the av­er­age Wanako­nian, who would be hard pressed to find more than three con­sec­u­tive flights any­where in the vil­lage.

Eight Wanaka vol­un­teer fire fight­ers have put their hands up for the 1103-step mis­sion at Auck­land’s 328m-high Sky Tower in May, to raise funds for Leukaemia and Blood Can­cer New Zealand.

It is the 11th an­niver­sary of the climb mod­elled on the famed Seat­tle climb in the US, and last year brigades raised $915,000 for the char­ity.

Team cap­tain Glen Thurston formed the Wanaka team in Novem­ber.

Thurston, a fit­ness trainer, is putting five team mem­bers through their paces at his gym.

He in­tends to cut out three marathons in Fe­bru­ary in support of Mal Law’s High-50 cam­paign (50 marathons in 50 days).

Other team mem­bers are also run­ning marathons, ex­cept bri­gade sec­re­tary Ralph Fe­gan who will at­tend the event as ‘‘ camp dad’’.

‘‘I’ve tried to get him train­ing, but he said ‘Bug­ger that’,’’ Thurston said.

Thurston hopes the team will be do­ing the climb on the back of at least 6000 piz­zas, but they won’t be eat­ing them – or at least, not all of them.

That’s where the av­er­age Wanako­nian can as­sist the cause and take part in the bri­gade’s pizza fundraiser, Thurston said.

Last year, Thurston’s Sky Tower team raised about $3000 for the char­ity and this year, they want to up the ante and raise $12,000 to se­cure spots for all eight squad mem­bers.A three-per­son Wanaka team fin­ished fourth last in the climb, with Thurston the fifth fastest in­di­vid­ual over­all, with a per­sonal best of 10 min­utes 18 seconds.

Photo: BEN READ/FAIR­FAX NZ 630396712

Do­ing the tower on pizza: From left, Wanaka Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade mem­bers with Francesca’s own­ers: Alex Pereira, Glen Thurston, James Sta­p­ley (Francesca’s), Mark Strang, Jodie Rains­ford, Belinda Sta­p­ley (Francesca’s), Al­lan Carmichel, Ar­douin Baker, Jimmy Connolly, Justin Stow­ell, Ralph Fe­gan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.