Volunteer firefighters Isaiah Smith and Matt Janssen from Paraparaumu Fire Station are taking part in the gruelling Sky Tower Stair Challenge in May, raising money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.
The Sky Tower challenge involves running up 51 flights of stairs in the Auckland Sky Tower, climbing 1103 steps with 25kg of gear on.
Joining the fire service when he was just 17 years old, Isaiah has been at the station for nearly 10 years and completed the challenge for the first time last year.
Joining the fire service when he moved up to Kāpiti a few years ago, Matt started training at the end of 2019 and became qualified in June last year.
While their experience is different, both firefighters have personal reasons for entering the challenge.
"The whole reason I joined the fire service in the first place was to support the community, to be there to help," Isaiah said.
"It's part of my personality, I just want to help people - plus I can't turn down a challenge.
"So when something like this comes up, I just want to do it."
Going through a number of health issues when he was younger, almost having his leg amputated when he was 13 years old, and told by doctors that he was never going to walk, Isaiah is keen to constantly prove them wrong.
"Joining the service as a firefighter, playing sport and doing this kind of thing - I really like to be able to prove people wrong, that I can go out there and push these boundaries," he said.
Isaiah is no stranger to pushing the boundaries, having smashed the Paraparaumu station record when completing the challenge for the first time last year.
"I did it in 15.15 last year, beating the record of 16.25.
"My goal this year is to do it in less than 14 minutes.
"It's also for a good cause and there's a personal aspect to that as well."
Watching a close personal friend battling leukaemia recently, has added motivation to their fundraising efforts.
"I have a close family friend who has leukaemia and has been struggling through it.
"Last year his kids came and stayed with us for a couple of months while he and his wife were in hospital.
"Seeing him struggle with that definitely made it a personal motivation to raise money too."
Signing up for the challenge for the first time, Matt is nervous about the challenge but keen to give Isaiah a run for his money.
"It's a great challenge, my plan is to make Isaiah sweat a little.
"Even though he set a new station record last year he thinks he will beat me.
"But if I keep the pressure on him he might get a bit nervous."
Joining the fire service to get involved in the community, Matt is all about helping people.
"I joined because I had moved up from the city, didn't know anyone and thought it's a great way of trying to get to know the local community and meet some people.
"But I also work in mental health. I really like helping people, have done since I was a teenager.
"If something comes along and I'm able to do it then I will.
"With the Sky Tower Challenge it's also about pushing yourself physically and mentally and is probably the most physical and mental thing I'll ever do besides having a kid.
"It will be crazy, but I think 'why not?'.
"Helping people is like a drug. It's for me, it's for them, it's for everyone."
Just beginning their training and fundraising, the pair have joined up with Rebecca Casey from Strive2bFit who is providing them with free exercise classes to get prepared.
Together the pair has a fundraising goal of $5000 and will be out and about in the community over the next three months to raise money to provide crucial support to blood cancer patients around New Zealand.
Look out for them fundraising over the next few months or donate by visiting www.firefighterschallenge.org.nz/t/paraparaumu.