Seven day days after I ran up, the Eureka Tower I find myself at the base of the Stanford Hotel Vertical marathon. Why am I here so quickly after my last run? Because back in April at the Sydney tower run up the Fast German, Thomas Dold asked me about my climbing schedule and told me to make this race. So am here staring at the start line, in my Sponsor T-shirt, High school shorts, golf glove for grip and earphones on ready to take on Tower number 5. Unlike before I look up this building and do not think myself to be mad. I have realised this is part of who I am, Dwayne Fernandes, Tower climber!
3,2, 1, go! The race is on. I have been placed in an elite tower climber race. The lineup included racers from all over the world and myself, these people are the quickest and best of what they do, tower climbing. As they bolt off into the stairwell, I follow behind the first five floors go by so quick, the second five floors go by so quick, I start to think, this is my fifth world first. The good people at Stanford Hotel invited me here to take part in this good race. I keep moving keep a good pace, it’s hot over here, but that’s expected, I keep going the stairwell reminds me of New York, flight of stairs, platform, flight of stairs, platform. My music keeps my rhythm, I keep on going to keep on climbing, the next 20 floors I start to slow down and I think of Hong Kong and the heat. I keep my hand on the rail and pull myself up, I use that rhythm and use that routine.
As the music keeps playing in my feet staggers along, I remember the fun organizes and friends that I’ve made along the way it all and all the climbs I have done. I turn my mind back to this race, and I find myself 40 floors up, with 30 flows to go. My rhythm is low my asthma is back and is attacking my confidence. I breathe and I remember I’ve done this many times before and this is the smallest of the towers that have climbed. Sure, it is a 741 feet tall and is one of Southeast Asia’s tallest hotel, but I’ve done hotter and I’ve done tougher towers so I keep climbing and breathing.
The rhythm of the staircase changes there no longer any platforms. It now has a very Sydney Tower feel to it and I enjoy it and keep climbing, and I pull myself up the stairs go green in colour, and I know I am coming close to the top of the 1336 stairs. I think of my training; stairs, swimming, stairs, gym rinse and repeat. I recall how effective it was to get me to this level, sure I am tired, sure this is not the fastest time ever, but I’m happy I have trained as much that have to get myself to at least this level where I am climbing in another country, sponsored by good people for a weekend in Singapore.
I turned the final corner inside the building a final flight of stairs takes me to the roof, I climbed looking exhausted however with music still in my ears I danced my way to the finish line. In 18:21mins, I am at the helipad of Singapore Stamford Hotel.
I am greeted by a dignitary who puts a medal on me I grab a bottle of water drink it down I get myself a man hug from Thomas Dold and see the Kiwi runner Melissa Moon up here relaxing, I believe she’s the fastest female up this tower. I’m happy it is all over for 2010. I have a wonderful time, mixing with the crowds taking pictures and meeting the good organizers of this event like Karen Chan. They treated me so well over here, at the award ceremony, they gave a certificate an espresso machine, I am thankfully.
Dwayne “Funky” Fernandes