Firies step up to the challenge

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Frankton firefighter Jamie Harris

Fresh off the plane from New York, Queenstowner Jamie Harris is about to jump on another to tackle a sky high challenge.

The Frankton firefighter flies to Auckland this weekend for the Sky Tower Stair Challenge, his 11th crack at the event.

He’ll be joined by 25 other firefighters from around the Wakatipu in climbing 51 flights of stairs to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

It’s a cause close to his heart.

The grandson of a former workmate had leukaemia, and is now in remission.

Four members of the Frankton brigade are taking part, and have nearly raised $10,000 between them.

Last year Harris notched up a personal best time of 13 minutes, 58 seconds.

He trains at Snap Fitness two to three times a week, and also hits the hiking trails around Queenstown.

This year he says he’ll be happy if he goes under 15 minutes.

“You only know on the day, you might be feeling like a box of bunnies, or under the weather.”

Harris flew back from New York on Monday after taking part in his fourth New York City Memorial Stair Climb.

It honours the hundreds of first responders who died as a result of the September 11 World Trade Centre terror attack.

“You can’t put into words what the firefighter family is like, until you experience that camaraderie and unity,” Harris says.

You can donate to the cause at firefightersclimb.org.nz

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz