When News reporter Emma Judd signed up for this year’s Great South Run, she knew she’d need some help. As personal trainers Dawn Grant and Max Eacott, from Portsmouth-based 24/7 Fitness, put her through her paces, she’ll be writing about her progress each week.
‘Hi Emma, it’s the Spinnaker Tower here. We’ve been reading your column and wondered whether you’d like to walk up the tower’s stairs.’
It’s an odd thing when your phone rings at work and it’s something unexpected.
It means you’re likely to agree to do stuff, without really considering the consequences.
The consequences, this time, came in the form of a 590-ish step challenge in a cold, windowless spiralling staircase extending more than 110m into the sky. Deep, deep joy.
The record for the climb is 2m 20secs, according to the tower record keepers.
I trained by getting on a stepper on the bottom deck of the tower, thanks to 24/7 Fitness.
So when Friday came and I took to the stairs, my time was roughly eight minutes.
Now I should point out I was hampered by a locked door at the bottom of the viewing decks, but I did then manage to run up the last three storeys.
Dizzy, claustrophobic and gasping for breath, the view from the top of the tower has never been so – literally – breathtaking.