FIVE Sale fire fighters are still recovering after running up 496 steps in the recent Melbourne Firefighters’ Stair Climb.
The gruelling fundraising event invites participants to climb 28 floors of the Crown Metropol Hotel wearing full fire fighting gear, with the challenge being to do it in under five minutes.
Three-time participant Andy Young said the challenge was not for the faint-hearted.
“Yes, it’s very difficult, but it does give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement when you finish it,” he said.
“Each time I’ve participated I say ‘never again’, but six weeks later you forget about the pain and you start thinking about the next one.”
Since 2014, the event has raised almost $1.3 million for the Alfred Hospital Burns Unit, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute.
This year firefighters from the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning joined the challenge and brought the number of runners to about 650, and by Monday the total amount raised was more than $510,000 and climbing.
All money will go directly to Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute.
Andy said he probably should have trained a bit more for the race, with his time of 10 minutes and 58 seconds slightly up on last year’s result.
The Sale team’s best time for the day was achieved by newcomer Sam Cook, who climbed the stairs in four minutes and 54 seconds, just ahead of Jonathon Morgan with five minutes and 13 seconds.
Close behind were Dwayne Gaudion with seven minutes and 22 seconds, and Jacinta Morgan with 15 minutes and 47 seconds.
But Andy said the time was not a real consideration for participants.
“It’s about achieving something, being involved and raising money for a good cause,” he said.