28 April 2021

Region Runners take the stairway to heaven (or hell)

| Lottie Twyford
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Region Runners

The Region Media team after the Geocon Menslink stair run. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

It might seem like an odd (as well as quite literal) way to get your steps in for the day, but a crowd of 50 runners or so, myself included, took on the somewhat crazy challenge of sprinting up 27-storeys of stairs on an otherwise ordinary Friday morning.

But there was a good reason for all of this madness – Menslink.

Geocon’s Stair Chase Challenge for Menslink was held in the tallest building in Canberra – Geocon’s recently completed High Society buildings.

At the end of the event, a total of $15,000 had been raised. The much-needed funds to support local men’s physical and mental health came largely from entry fees, although some donations were given on the day.

Geocon corporate affairs manager Elliot Woods gave some handy hints to runners before they hit the heights.

“This is most definitely not a marathon, it’s a sprint. If you’re going to leave anything in the tank, you’re going to come in last place. Just get out there, sprint your heart out and do not stop.

“You might be gassed at the top, but it’s all for glory,” he said.

Although given that there were prizes awarded for both first and last place, this might not have been such a bad idea.

Taking out the top male spot was Nick Fuller from Raine & Horne with an unearthly 3 minutes 34 seconds, while Brittany Durand from Vantage Strata topped the female category with a time of 4:01. The equally prestigious prize for best effort went to Raine & Horne’s Emily Dean.

The Region Media team ranged between 4:30 and 5:30. Given the average time was 7 minutes – this wasn’t too shabby.

Rumour had it that a few participants may have snuck out of the stairwell at some point.

To ensure the stairway did not get crowded, teams were released with a couple of minutes’ interval between them.

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Once completed, runners were able to soak up the views over Belconnen and the city while enjoying a quiet lunch at the top of High Society.

Of course, before any lunch could be enjoyed, there was a ‘de-puffing’ period of at least 10 minutes for most of the crowd, and maybe even a little longer for those who hadn’t been out training the week before.

Once everybody had caught their breath, there was a sense of great achievement among all the participants. Thankfully, with social distancing in place, there was no need for anybody to get too close to one another after the sweaty occasion.

The way down was much less eventful for all. Who knew riding a lift down 27-storeys would be so much easier on the joints, lungs and legs than sprinting up 27 flights of concrete stairs?

Elliot spoke highly of the work Menslink does in the community and said he was happy to see everybody having fun on the day.

“We think it’s fantastic to support such a great initiative and understand that the great work Martin Fisk and Menslink do wouldn’t happen without events like these.”

If it’s back in 2022, Region Media will be there. A year’s rest – and maybe some training – might be just what we need.

To learn more about Menslink, visit their website.

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