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Thread: A begging bowl thread: World Record Attemp for Shelter

  1. #1
    Simply Paul Guest

    Exclamation A begging bowl thread: World Record Attemp for Shelter

    On March the 1st I'll be doing the UK's first Vertical Mile tower climbing attempt for Shelter, the homeless charity, during their Vertical Rush event at Tower 42 in London.

    By taking part nine times in succession I'll cover 378 floors, 8,280 steps and a total of 5,310 feet; vertically! I plan to finish 1km in under an hour to set an Official Guinness World Record along the way.

    I'd adore it if you were to sponsor me via or - Thanks!

    More info about the event: Vertical Rush 2012 and video of my 2011 climb is on YouTube: The Ascent of Man - Vertical Rush 2011 Tower Run for Shelter.

    After it, and to keep this thread vaguely caching related, I'm holding an a cache meet in London, close to Tower 42:
    GC39WJK - The Skyscraper's the Limit! (City of London) - Come along and see if I survive! (a stiff cola in my case)

  2. #2
    Simply Paul Guest


    And here's the missing T from the title: t

  3. #3
    Simply Paul Guest


    A little bump for this as I've less than three weeks to go and I'm still a long way from hitting my money-raising target

    My current 1 hour 'evil stepper machine' record at the gym is 541 floors and 1476 calories. That's 6,179,716 Joules across the hour; 1.716kW/h. Or a sustained 2.3 horsepower if you prefer..!
    From that Wiki link: "A healthy human can produce about 1.2 hp briefly and sustain about 0.1 hp indefinitely; trained athletes can manage up to about 2.5 hp briefly and 0.3 hp for a period of several hours." - This is the problem with the stepper machine; I don't think I'm superhuman, just yet*

    My local Tesco has agreed to let me walk up their down escalator for as long as I'm able for a bit of extra training, some exposure in the local paper and to do a bit of collecting too. It runs at 'only' 945m per hour (vertical) so rather slower than I'll need to do the actual climb (the 1km in 1 hour for the Guinness Record includes the time taken to come down in the lift five times), but it'll give a better idea of my fitness level than the stepper machine can, as I will be lifting my weight against gravity all the time; something the stepper machine doesn't really do.

    If you'd like to help me help Shelter, the homeless charity, anything you can give via or would be massively appreciated. Sincere thanks if you can drop anything in my online collecting tin. Rattle rattle

    *A resting heart rate of 47bpm is pretty good though. Hard to believe I was this man not so long ago:

    Last edited by Simply Paul; 10th February 2012 at 02:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Simply Paul Guest


    Less than two weeks now and it's getting a bit scary. Today I set a new PB at the gym though, on their evil stepper machine. 601 floors and 1599 calories. I wasn't a pretty sight afterwards

    Tesco escalator climb on Monday. Wish me luck!

    Don't forget, on the evening of the big day I'll be at GC39WJK - The Skyscraper's the Limit! (City of London). If you're in town it would be lovely to see you. :cheers:

  5. #5
    Simply Paul Guest


    A bump for this, with less than a week to go.

    If anything, the Tesco's escalator climb (warning: terrible dress sense) was too easy. I got hungry before I ran out of strength. 1024m up in 65 minutes; a lot slower than I need to do on the day though. It went so well Tesco have agreed to let me try for a vertical mile (1610m, 103 mins) on Tuesday, two days before the real race. I feel confident. Things have gone well at the gym too, with a new Stepper PB of 610 floors and 1615 calories in an hour. Over 2.5 horsepower, apparently.

    Clearly training has gone well. Things look good for the World Record, so long as the lifts don't keep me waiting. Fundraising hasn't worked out as I hoped though, hence this fresh begging post. Sorry if that's dull. I'm trying to spruce it up with stats.

    All the pain (there is some on the stepper machine) and sweat (gallons of it) has been for Shelter. They don't just help the homeless, they help with dodgy landlords too. If I can convince you, please visit either or and give whatever you're happy with; I appreciate times are tough. If it helps swing it, I'll stop posting if I hit 200 - less than the 500 I hoped for, but it's all good

    If I live, I'll be at GC39WJK - The Skyscraper's the Limit! (City of London). I hope to find a shower somewhere between the end of one event and the start of the caching one... <- Not clapping, wafting.

  6. #6
    Simply Paul Guest


    A final update on this: News of my record breaking attempt, which I'm happy to say went really well!

    Despite training injuries which made walking very painful on the Monday ahead of the Vertical Rush event (I'd ran up the Upper Hundreds car park 50 times in succession - a total of 250 floors, 4,000 steps and 760m vertical in 35m30s - on the Saturday. It proved to be too fast!), which meant I had to postpone my planned second climb up Tesco's down escalator (I was going to aim for 103 minutes for a vertical mile rather than the 65min/1024m walk you reported on), I did take part in Shelter's Vertical Rush event on Thursday the 1st of March even though my legs weren't 100%. I'd rested them, tried Deep Heat and Deep Freeze to soothe them and eaten protein-rich foods to heal them... But frankly I was worried.

    I arrived at Tower 42 around 7am on a bright, mild morning, got changed, checked my laces were tight and met with the organisers and timing guys, who explained how the attempt would work. Initially I was concerned about my speed (I'd trained to match my time last year; 6:58) as it took me just over eight minutes to complete my first climb, breathing heavily in the dry air of the air-conditioned stairwell all the way. However, my speed dropped more steadily than I'd expected it to - see the attached file for full details - and I paused after an hour - and five and a half ascents - to record where I was on the video headcam I was wearing, watched by an independent observer from Shelter. It appears I'd passed the 1Km a few seconds earlier, around 59m 10s; which if Guinness confirm the attempt, will mean I sent a new official world record. I've avoided saying it out loud, in case that jinxes things! I need conformation of several factors - the true height of the deck of the top floor included - before I can be 100% certain how long it took me to reach 1Km, but I am confident I covered the distance in less than an hour to set the record.

    I continued on, completing the final three climbs in around 10:30 each (a decent enough speed for a single ascent) and finishing the vertical mile, to the applause of Shelter volunteers, after 1h28m18s of climbing, and 1h39m50s elapsed since the start, including the very efficient lift rides down. Waiting for the lift had been one of my biggest fears but fortunately Shelter had arranged a dedicated lift for me and it all went very smoothly. The charity were wonderfully supportive of my attempt and I hope to return to Tower 42 for next year's Vertical Rush with a fresh endurance challenge. There's always a wonderful atmosphere there, both before the event, at the top of Tower 42 - which has the best views in London. It really is stunning up there - and back down at the hall where everyone gets to see their times on big screens. With a full size Bob the Builder (Shelter's mascot) running around, plus a band outside welcoming those going up and coming down, it has a bit of a carnival feel and is run very efficiently. Shelter certainly know how to make people feel valued. I'd like to thank them, their enthusiastic volunteers, Tower 42 management - I met the building's manager, Barry, at the top - and all the kind people who sponsored me and helped Shelter; it's a day I'll never forget.

    The whole experience was very surreal and it was only afterwards, looking up at the 183m, 600ft tower, that what I'd done began to sink in. I'd covered a total of 459 floors (the top floor of Tower 42 is 42, but that excludes service levels I passed on the way - I counted a total of 51 levels), 8,280 steps and 5,402ft/1,647m vertically. Even now it feels rather unreal.

    The shower I got at Bannatyne's gym at the foot of the tower was really appreciated! And not just by me, I imagine Weirdly, the following morning my legs were fine - I'd expected to be walking like a zombie again - after my experiences earlier in the week - but if anything, they felt better than they had on the previous morning, ahead of the ascent. Strange but true!

    I'm now switching my fundraising attentions to - as after two failed ballot attempts to get into the London Marathon, this year I was picked. So I have the Adidas Half marathon around Silverstone circuit this Sunday to look forward to - hoping to beat 2 hours for the 13.1miles/21.1km - followed by my first London Marathon on April 22nd, which I'm running for The Stroke Association. My father had a series of strokes before he died in 2005, so it's a cause close to my heart. I'd like to complete its 26 miles 385 yards/42.2Km in a pretty steady 4 1/2 hours. So not planning on setting any records there

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Well done!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2003


    Congratulations Paul - here's hoping your world record is confirmed!
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​

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