Tower chal­lenge gets vol­lies fired up

South Waikato News - - Out & About - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Mem­bers of the Pu­taru­ru­vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade will join 750 fire­fight­ers in the Sky Tower Stair Chal­lenge.

Ten mem­bers of the bri­gade have been busy training for this Satur­day’sev­ent, the big­gest team to en­ter in the bri­gade’s third year com­pet­ing.

Mike Mccann said rac­ing up 750 flights of stairs to rais­ing money for Leukaemia is a cause close to his heart. Par­tic­i­pat­ing three years in a row, Mccann ded­i­cates each chal­lenge to his cousin who died of the dis­ease.

The bri­gade has raised $4600 and hopes to reach $5000 be­fore the big day.

Kim­berly Bruce said the men­tal and phys­i­cal chal­lenge of be­ing a fire­fighter is sim­i­lar to what is needed to com­plete the race.

‘‘With the breath­ing mask on you can’t get oxy­gen to breathe some­times so it feels like you’re go­ing to suf­fo­cate.

The goal is to see each mem­ber cross over the fin­ish line.

Re­cruit An­gela Gra­ham said it’s been a big jour­ney to get to the start line over the last six months.

‘‘There’s been a lot of ef­fort and time and we’ve all put so much into it.’’

Training ses­sions have in­cluded trekking the Hakari­mata ranges reg­u­larly in full kit which weighs 25 kilo­grams.

‘‘Now we’re just pulling ev­ery­thing to­gether like chang­ing our training com­pletely, run­ning in run­ners from gum­boots,’’ Bruce said.

Eight months of gru­elling training have fi­nally paid off with the fi­nal count­down only days away.

‘‘There’s a level of ex­cit­ment. The whole bri­gade is amped.’’

Do­na­tions can be made at fire­fight­er­sclimb.org.nz

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