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Tough dash up iconic Gherkin tower’s 1,000 steps for ChildLine

PUBLISHED: 13:11 09 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:35 05 October 2010

Runners belt up the 40 flights (top) to get to the top where workmates Heather Murphy, Jessica Freeman, Helen Share and Gemma Campbell (above) took a rest

Runners belt up the 40 flights (top) to get to the top where workmates Heather Murphy, Jessica Freeman, Helen Share and Gemma Campbell (above) took a rest

Carmen Valino

IT WAS real killer running up more than 1,000 steps at the City of London’s iconic Gherkin tower block. But one runner managed the 600ft dash up 40 floors in just 4mins 7secs. The lifts do it in half the time

By Johnny McDevitt Pictures: Carmen Valino

IT WAS real killer running up more than 1,000 steps at the City of London's iconic Gherkin tower block.

But one runner managed the 600ft dash up 40 floors in just 4mins 7secs. The lifts do it in half the time.

Athlete Fabio Ruga was the fastest of the 251 runners taking part in Sunday's sponsored stairwell dash to raise £125,000 for the NSPCC's 24-hour ChildLine call-centre at Spitalfields in London's East End.

Only 10 of them were athletes, including professional coach Gary Marlow, who admits even they found it tough going.

"That was a killer, especially on the legs," said an exhausted Gary. "The lactic acid builds up, so it's a matter of focusing on the steps one at a time.

"It's the turning on the stairs as well which doesn't help. But it was good fun."

The runners reached the top of the Swiss Bank headquarters in St Mary Axe, by Tower Hill, to be serenaded by the London Gay Men's chorus.

Then it was feet up for welcome rest and a shot of bubbly in the top floor champagne bar.


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