Big test nears for firefighters

AMANDA PARKINSON
Last updated 05:00 21/04/2014
Southland Times photo
BARRY HARCOURT/Fairfax NZ
Te Anau Volunteer Firefighters Fine Mahina and Doug Robbie competing in the Flying Scotsman running event at the Te Anau-Manapouri Airfield on Sunday get a shower courtesy of the Manapouri Brigade. The pair were running in full kit including breathing apparatus in preparation to running in the annual Sky tower stairway climb in Auckland on May 17.

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It's a test of endurance, but compared with those they are raising money for, they will find the pain only fleeting.

Southland firefighters will again participate in the Sky Tower Stairway Climb, which aims to raise $1 million for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Four Te Anau volunteer firefighters used the Flying Scotsman run, an event at Te Anau's Tartan Festival yesterday, as a training exercise to prepare for the gruelling 1103-stair climb in Auckland on May 17.

The group ran in their fire resistant clothing and breathing apparatus, all up weighing 25kg.

Te Anau firefighter Doug Robbie said the team had trained with weights on their backs for several months.

"Yesterday, though, was more about getting out and shaking the bucket to raise a few more dollars for the cause," he said.

Robbie said they aimed to raise $5000.

"It is good to be able to do something for charity. We have already raised all our flights and accommodation," he said.

They aren't expecting to win, but hoped to do the run in 12 minutes.

Riverton volunteer firefighters will also take part in the charity climb, along with more than 700 other firefighters from throughout New Zealand.

Every day, six people in New Zealand are diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition.

The national charity supports people living with and families affected by different types of leukaemia and blood cancers.

 

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