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Stairway to heaven

15 Nov 2011

Stairway to heaven Image

A colourful and enthusiastic crowd was drawn to Eureka Tower on November 13 for the 2011 Eureka climb.

The fitness fanatics were sent up first. Mark Bourne won the elite male category in a record time of 8:22.

Amazingly, in the female elite category the same athlete posted the two fastest times. Not content with her first winning time, Alice McNamara decided to have another crack, and posted the second fastest time as well.

Just as awe-inspiring was double-amputee athlete Dwayne Fernandes. This was his second Eureka climb and he completed his race in under 25 minutes.

There was a mix of emergency services also competing, with the added challenge of wearing their safety gear while trekking up the 80 flights of stairs.

Even a smattering of superheroes were up for the task, including Supergirls, Spiderman and even a gender-confused Xena: Warrior Princess.

Eureka building manager Peter Jones was pleased with the turnout, saying: “The 2011 Eureka Climb was the biggest and best to date with just under 1900 competitors walking and climbing their way to the top.”

Because the event is so unique and so physically and mentally challenging that it becomes a feature on many athletes calendar. Mr Jones says the event is well on the way.

“The event is quickly becoming Southbank’s most recognised event,” Mr Jones said.

It was a great result for the event’s charity partners with more than $230,000 raised for Whitelion and Interplast.  Money raised was up 40 per cent on the previous year.

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