The annual Tower Race up the stairs of Puaka-James Hight was held on Tuesday this week. It’s an exciting tradition that students have enjoyed since 2005. The race begins with a 200 metre sprint around the base of the Puaka-James Hight tower, followed by a 53 metre vertical climb up 264 stairs – all 11 levels to the top floor of the tower.
The event was sponsored by The Edge again this year and they encouraged students to do the race in fancy dress with a prize for the best dressed competitor. This year that prize went to Alastair McDowell who completed the race fully equipped with mountain climbing gear including a full tramping pack. However, he didn’t like the sound of his time, two minutes and 25 seconds, so he decided to do the race again without the mountain gear, finishing with a more pleasing one minute and 40 seconds the second time around.
The stars of the race were Patrick Turner and Kathryn McLardy, who set new records for the fastest male and female times, both beating the records they set in 2014. Patrick finished this year’s race in one minute and 25 seconds, beating his previous record by four seconds. Kathryn crossed the line at one minute and 58 seconds, beating her previous record by an impressive seven seconds. That is some seriously fast stair-climbing!
The organiser of this year’s race, Sam Garmonsway from the Rec Centre, said “this year’s event ran a lot better than previous years’ races, which was contributed to in a big part by the amazing volunteer staff from the library and the Rec Centre.”