Now in its seventh year, the Vertical Rush tower running challenge has become a landmark event in the Capital’s calendar. Originally a Redwood brainchild project, Vertical Rush has to date attracted over 5,600 runners, raising over £1.6 million to help families facing homelessness. Redwood continues to support the Tower’s owner Kirsh Group to deliver the event in partnership with Shelter.
This year Redwood’s very own PJ Appleton joined nearly 1,000 runners, including the global top 10 ranked athletes, a celebrity duo of TV personality George Clarke and X Factor’s Shayne Ward, as well as a professional football freestyler to take on the stairs of Tower 42, London’s original sky scraper.
With a little help from a go-pro camera, his adventure was caught on camera and were featured as part of Estates Gazette’s exclusive coverage from the event, click here to view.
PJ said: “In hindsight, my preparation for Vertical Rush 2015 – of an extra-large Big Mac meal the night before – was probably ill advised. Despite waking up feeling less than spritely on race day, I was greeted by Shelter’s wonderfully encouraging team and the excitement of the event started to build.
“A week previously, Estates Gazette persuaded me to be a guinea pig, to run the event with a gopro camera strapped to my head…I still claim the camera was so heavy it slowed me down by at least three minutes.
“I joined the other participants in my section for a good, old fashioned team warm up. Feeling embarrassingly exhausted from the warm up, I wasn’t particularly confident at the start line but after a toot of the starting horn from celebrity guests Shane Ward and George Clarke, we were off!
“I have never actively chosen to run up 932 stairs before, so it was difficult to know how to pace myself. I learned pretty quickly that actually running was probably only a choice for elite participants. Mine was more of a quick lunge-like walk. With the floors speeding (slowly) past me, the lactic acid in my legs began to burn. But with such a great cause in Shelter to run for and Estates Gazette footage to capture, I managed to run the final 10 floors finishing in a not unrespectable time of 6 minutes 30 seconds. Happy but exhausted I collapsed on the floor enjoying the views from the top and the sense of achievement. It’s definitely one for my 2016 calendar and without a Big Mac the night before, who knows what’s possible!”