Whanganui firefighter Jay Rickard finished fourth in her category at the 2019 Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge.

The challenge, held on Saturday, is an annual fundraising event for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Firefighters, wearing up to 25kg of kit, climb 51 flights of stairs in Auckland's 328m-tall Sky Tower.

Rickard finished fourth in the female masters category. She first did the challenge in 2015 and was aiming to set a new personal best time this year.

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"I'm happy to report that I made the top 10 in my category, although I didn't quite meet my personal goal of being faster than 19:10," she said.

"Instead I finished in 19:21. This has only inspired me to try again in 2020."

Some of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand women celebrate doing the Sky Tower Stair Challenge.
Some of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand women celebrate doing the Sky Tower Stair Challenge.

Rickard, who is the lead singer in local band Rock Heart Cult, raised $2292 for the cause at a concert featuring her musician friends and plans to organise a similar fundraising event next year.

"There will be more fundraising concert tickets on sale in April 2020," she said.

"Thank you, each and every one of you who supported this fundraising concert. I had a blast, I think you had a blast, you looked like it.

"I am looking forward to holding another evening of music, dancing and good times for the memory and the fundraising banks."

Whanganui volunteer rural firefighter Aaron Whitford, a regular participant in the challenge, set a personal best time of 31:52.

"I'm very proud of his efforts and we both hit our fundraising targets," Rickard said.

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