Firemen's big step up
Two Fairlie firefighters are gearing up for the Sky Tower challenge.
Ethan Anderson and Marcus Dixon are training in preparation for the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge, racing up 51 flights or 1103 steps.
The two, who are both builders, have been raising money for the May event which is a fundraiser for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.
They will be competing against 700 other participants from around New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
It's the first time the Fairlie Volunteer Fire Brigade has sent a team, and like everyone else, they will be wearing full firefighting kit weighing 25kg for the climb.
The firefighters gain sponsorship from their communities, friends and families.
The 2013 event raised close to $489,000 and the target this year is $1 million.
Mr Anderson and Mr Dixon thought it would be good to have an input from a small rural town brigade and have already raised more than $2000. Fundraising is going so well they have upped their target.
They have donation boxes dotted around Fairlie and have had a concert on the village green which raised $1400.
Also planned are vintage car days, open days at the fire station and barbecues.
They will also don their uniforms and walk around the Mackenzie A&P show with collection buckets.
Mr Anderson said they were keen to get involved in fire brigade competitions, as the Fairlie brigade does not have a competition team. The Sky Tower challenge was a good start, he said.
They have been running, going to the gym, and are both hunters so used to climbing. Closer to the time, they will train with their gear on.
He said they weren't feeling daunted. "It's more excitement to give it a crack. We're both pretty well looking forward to it."