It's been a long way to the top for this year's Sky Tower Stair Challenge participants.
The annual firefighters challenge normally takes place in May, but was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, and rearranged for this coming Saturday.
Jodi Purdie is the only Te Puke volunteer firefighter taking part in the challenge this year - after tackling the 1103 steps for the first time in 2019.
She will be carrying a (heavier) steel cylinder, but will not be using a breathing mask.
Her goal is to beat her time of 19m37s from last year's climb and says she will draw on the experience of her first attempt at the challenge.
''It's a massive challenge for myself and I know from last year, it's hard. Last year I really suffered on the way up - I almost got to breaking point and wanted to quit, but the feeling I got at the top, I've never felt so elated.
''I want to know, was that just a one-off or something you get every time when you push yourself that hard?''
This year she has learned to try not to look at the floor numbers on the way up.
''Last year I was starting to feel the pain and I looked and I was only half way and my mind started playing tricks on me. This year I'm really going to going to try and avoid looking at where I'm at and try not to count the steps. I'm also going to use music - I couldn't do that last year with the mask.''
One of Jodi's biggest fears is the heat which could be a bigger factor that it would have been in May.
''In May the air temperature outside the tower may not necessarily be too hot, but these hot days we've been getting, I'm kind of starting to worry a little bit. And with no mask I won't be able to get a blast of cold air from the cylinder.''
To try and acclimatise she has been training with her fire fighter's level two jacket.
Jodi has teamed up with Pāpāmoa volunteer firefighter Emma-Mat Sanford for her training and they have been running up Pāpāmoa Hills and Mauao.
''We've been training wearing cylinders - not every time - but we wear them every now and then.''
The challenge is a fundraising event for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and Jodi has set a goal amount of $3000.
For every $1500 raised, her brigade will get two preferred entry spots for next year's challenge.
She says if she reaches her goal it means that whoever does the challenge from Te Puke next year won't have to do it on their own.
Part of her fundraising has been the collecting and selling of batteries such as car batteries and marine batteries. They can be dropped of at Stihl Shop Te Puke or collection can be arranged by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event website includes individual firefighters' fundraising pages where donations can be made.
Jodi says she would have been disappointed if the challenge had been cancelled
altogether for 2020.
''I'm pleased it's going ahead. We had the option to do next year with a guaranteed spot - or do it at the rearranged event. I feel it's something you do in the year in which it was intended.''
Jodi will be wearing a specially designed and painted helmet created by Te Puke artist Noel Walmsley of Envy Art.