CPIT tutor faces Sky Tower challenge

CPIT tutor faces Sky Tower challenge

CPIT carpentry tutor Mick Cooke is preparing to run, or quite possibly stagger, up the 1,103 steps of the Auckland Sky Tower on May 19 in full fire-fighting kit.

At least he knows what to expect, having already completed the Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge in 2010 to raise funds for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC), which supports cancer patients and their families.

Mick is one of five volunteer fire fighters from the Cust Brigade returning to again take up the challenge of climbing 51 flights of stairs wearing up to 25kg of fire-fighting kit.

“I have taken part in the event once before and found it one of the toughest physical challenges ever!” he said. “Once again I am joined by Edward, Sean, Johnny and Aidan with the goal of not only finishing but trying to beat our previous times, and of course to raise money for a great cause!”

The Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge has become a national tradition, attracting 120 brigades last year. The winner clocked in at 8 minutes 45 seconds but Mick says the event is about more than breaking records.

“The camaraderie is superb and everyone is there for the same reason. There is a lot of support, so when you’re exhausted and on the fortieth floor, you’ve got guys stopping encouraging you to keep going. When I stood at the ground floor and looked up, I did wonder what I was doing, but then I saw people wearing photos of loved ones they’ve lost to cancer and I just thought ‘yep, let’s go’,” Mick said.