The countdown is on for the 2017 Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge.
In 30 days the Hunterville Volunteer Fire Brigade team of three will climb 1103 steps, 51 flights of stairs, with 25kg's of kit to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).
Husband and wife, Tash and Murray Richmond, have taken on the challenge for the first time with work-mate Jacklyn Robertson.
Mrs Richmond said she had always wanted to take part in the event and it didn't take much convincing to recruit Murray and Jacklyn.
"It is just a really good cause and awesome to be involved in something bigger than our wee station...LBC gets no government funding and it's just really cool that all the money raised goes directly to LBC," Mrs Richmond said.
LBC said everyday six children and adults in New Zealand are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition.
All funds raised will be used to support LBC services for patient and family members support. This includes running support groups, programmes and hospital visits. LBC also provides funding for research into finding cures and better treatments, raising awareness of the diseases and advocating on behalf of patients.
Mrs Richmond said their team started training in November last year completing a range of exercises to get fit and build up leg muscle.
"Murray is in the air force so we were lucky to get some steel BA sets, which is heavier than our firefighter kit...we do walks with that gear on, go to the gym and basically climb stairs wherever we can.
"After the first training, which was running up and down the rugby grand stand, I couldn't walk for two days...now it's easier but you need to keep on top of it to build that momentum," Mrs Richmond said.
Over the last two years the event has raised over $1 million due to the efforts of brigades across the country.
The fundraising target for the 2017 event is $900,000. With 900 firefighters taking part in the challenge this is a target of $1,000 per firefighter.
The challenge will be timed individually as well as in a team.
Ms Robertson said last year the fastest female completed the challenge in 13.57 minutes and the quickest male cracked 8.46 minutes.
"We are all aiming to get in done in 20 minutes but really I'm just hoping to get to the top in one piece."
Donations for the Hunterville Sky Tower team can be made through the Hunterville Sky Tower Team Facebook page or by following this link: Hunterville Volunteer Fire Brigade