Top times for firefighters
One of the region’s fastest firefighters aced the annual Sky Tower charity climb on the weekend, despite battling his own health issues.
Queenstown Airport Fire Rescue’s Gavin Mason climbed over 1100 stairs in 9 minutes and 34 seconds in Auckland on the weekend to be the third fastest to the top.
After last year’s stair climb, Mason was hospitalised and treated for the rare auto-immune disease drome.
‘‘I did some training trying to get back to previous abilities after the event last year. It was cool to get up there and get it done - made me reflect on the year of adventures and get moving forward.’’
As he was competing for the third time as a top five finisher, he ran in the first wave of firefighters. His colleague Simon Bowden was 29th overall and completed the challenge in 12 minutes 2 seconds.
Firefighters have to wear their full kit and breathing apparatus, weighing up to 25 kilograms, during the climb for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade volunteer Pete Smallfield was second fastest in the region, coming seventh on the weekend. Wanaka volunteer Plinio Nonato got to the top in 11 minutes 19 seconds, placing him 16th overall.
Despite having a stomach bug a day before, Smallfield climbed over 1100 stairs in 10 minutes 28 seconds, one minute faster than he did last year.
Smallfield was happy with the result and he had no strategy but to get to the top. ‘‘Put your head down and go as hard as you can, as fast as you can.’’
Naseby fire volunteer Anton Hood, 18, finished the challenge in 13 minutes 11 seconds, two minutes faster than last year.
Frankton, Arrowtown and Central Otago’s fire brigades also participated in the challenge.
Pete Smallfield and Gavin Mason after completing the Sky Tower Challenge on the weekend.