Sydney Tower Climb Race Report
Sunday 25th August 2019 saw the return of the world famous Sydney Tower Climb. An iconic race in an iconic city, and we could not have had a better day for it. Conditions were perfect with clear skies and temperatures in the low 20’s/high teens.
This year saw the inaugural Sydney Tower Everest Challenge. The challenge was to have two teams of eight, wth each team having to complete a total of 36 climbs per team. This meant that each member did four climbs each before sharing the remaining four climbs between them. At first it was looking like we may have been short on numbers to make two teams, but a couple of last minute entrants saved the day, upgrading from their individual climbs when they arrived! (imagine waking up in the morning thinking you’re doing one climb, and then ending up doing four or more - legends!)
Both teams completed the 36 climbs before the end of the event and it was great to see us all taking on the challenge together. We also had an Everest Base camp near the start line which meant we had a strong SCA team presence throughout the event.
In the men’s elite race, it was a day of opportunity for some of our upcoming stair climbers as international elite Mark Bourne had to pull out at the last minute and also last year’s top three place finishers were absent from the event. The field therefore was wide open, or so it seemed until last year’s winner Matt Curtin arrived and registered with 20 minutes to spare! Matt went on to win the race for the second year in a row in a time of 8:24 with Damien Enderby clinching 2nd place by 2 seconds in a time of 9:02 ahead of Sydney first timer Ed Manktelow in 3rd with a time of 9:04. It looked as if that’s how the overall result would remain until a surprise result in the celebrity race almost took first place with David Lloyd posting an impressive time of 8:25!
In the women’s elite race, opportunity came once again with the absence of Alice McNamara, leaving Brooke Logan to take the title for a second year in a row in a time of 9:31 and 5th place overall. Liz Elton was on form in 2nd place with an impressive time of 10:44 and 3rd place would go to Alexandra Knights in 12:12.
Also worth mentioning was Ember the Fire Rescue Dog and her handler Natalie Brindle from the CFA, travelling up from Melbourne to take part and complete the climb in a very respectable 15:38. Ember certainly stole the show, attracting attention throughout the day and generally being adorable in her SCA race top!
And so that concluded the event which once again was very well organised by Steve Corrie and the team at Stair Challenge Australia, and was a joy to be a part of. A special thanks also to Steve for providing us weary (and slightly mad) Everest Team members with refreshments at the bar of the Swissotel post race - a welcome cool down which extended to all SCA members and was a great way to finish the day, exchanging our battle stories over a bubble or two!