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Tom tackling Auckland’s Sky Tower for charity

May 6th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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ON FIRE: Firefighting fundraisers from Mount Manganui Fire Station ready to go, Jonathan Johnson, Shane Hutchison, Tom Ackland, and Karl Taka. Photo: supplied

VOLUNTEER fire fighter Tom Ackland (24) is racing up Auckland Sky Tower’s 51 floors with all his gear on this month.

Ackland along with 420 fire fighters from New Zealand and Australia will be participating in the annual Sky Tower challenge May 22.

In the past four years the event has raised over $150,000 for the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation and everyone is hoping for an even greater turnout this year.

The fire fighters with be conquering 51 floors and 1103 steps.

The challenge starts in the basement of the building where they will climb four floors and circumnavigate the tower on the ground floor.

They will then re-enter the tower and climb to the 44th floor where they again circumnavigate the tower before racing the last seven flights to the finish.

The event is on to get the fastest record times for men’s, women’s and teams’ sections.

Tom is hoping to get into the top 10 times, and will have to pick up his training game if he wants to succeed as he believes he has not been training enough.

“I have been ascending to the top of Mount Maunganui a bit, but over the next three weeks I will be making a real effort,” Tom says.

The builder read in the paper two years ago the need for volunteer fire fighters and now he is on the call of duty with his pager to keep him alarmed of any fires in the Mount Manganui Area.

“Since I’m not going to be the next Dan Carter, I would keep fit and strong being a volunteer instead of a rugby head.”

Ackland has been qualified for over a year but has been going to the weekly training for two years.

The money raised in the Sky Tower climb will be dedicated to supporting patients, research, information, awareness and advocacy in the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation.

Editor’s note: Tom Ackland is the writer’s brother.

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