Running up 2,500 flights of stairs to the height of Mount Everest
I never actually said I’d run.
I always used the words walk, climb or go, as in “go up the stairs”. But, here I was, day one, running.
It all started with a blue print of the Royal Geographical Society in London. I worked there and I popped down to the House Office on my lunch break to get some old sketches of the building. I dug out a ruler, dropped a tape measure over a balcony and punched some numbers into a calculator. The result? Five hundred and thiry.
Mount Everest is 8,848 metres high. The Royal Geographical Society (RGS), from basement to attic, is 16.7 metres. By going up (and down) the stairs 530 times, I figured I would be ascending the same height as Everest and so began another challenge.
I marketed it with the phrase “More pounds = More pain”. Every one pound donated meant another ascent. Naturally, I had made absolutely no preparations except to celotape a ticksheet to my chest so that I could keep track of my ascents and draw attention from passersby who might donate.
Five days later I’m on the staircase of my tiny little flat, ruining an otherwise peaceful Saturday morning for the guys who live downstairs. I’d given myself five days to do the challenge but had neglected to take any time off work and hadn’t even gone into the office on the Monday. So, when the building got closed on Friday evening and I got booted out, sweating profusely with a dilapidated A4 sheet covered in biro stuck to my t-shirt, there was only one option: finish it off at home.
And I did.