The GYSC trial run matches the current tallest!

Last night we had the opportunity to take a selection of people down to Bridgewater Place to trial the stairwell. We purposely kept the occasion small, and invited a couple of people to sprint up the first 20 storeys of the building, matching Yorkshire’s current tallest stairclimb before it is surpassed by the Great Yorkshire Stairclimb!

Sian and Sarah from my UK Outdoor Fitness bootcamp session came down to give it a go, giving them the opportunity to test their tower running legs prior to the GYSC event on November 24th.

We had the event well marshalled, and four of us donned our shorts and t-shirts to be the guinea pigs for the evening. We decided not to time the event, firstly because we want to keep our innovative timing system a secret until the big day, but mainly because it was all about being there and enjoying the experience. Hitting the stairs we had:

  • Emma Griffiths (set off first to see how long it takes to walk)
  • Sian Owen (set off seconds)
  • Sarah Smalley (set off third)
  • Gary Butterfield aka me (set off last)

I’d like to send out a big thank you to the guys above for taking the time out and trialling the event for us, we learnt a great deal and can now take these away to make the GYSC even better next month.

Also, I’d like to send out a big thank you to the management team and volunteers who came down to help us run the show. These guys were:

  • Andy Dodman (my fellow race director and photo extraordinaire on floor 10)
  • Sue, Henry and Emily Dodman (our race starters and time managers)
  • Geoff Render (our time manager on floor 10 to check split times of people)
  • Richard Oldroyd (our photo taker on floor 20, and key marshal taking athletes in to the stairwell)

Overall I think the night went great, many lessons were learned, and thankfully not the hard way, and gave Andy and me the opportunity to experience our first time as event directors.

Really can’t wait for the big day now!

Gary

The four of us in front of an amazing Leeds view on floor 20, 12 storeys lower than the 32 storey event!

Match the tallest stairclimb in ‘God’s Own County’ as a warm up, anyone?!

The current height leader in the world of Yorkshire stairclimbing is the Arts Tower, weighing in at a hefty 20 storeys. It’s part of the University of Sheffield, and a building that Andy and Gary know all too well having participated in its first event earlier this year. The GYSC will trounce this though with a whopping 32 storeys on the November 24th!

For a mere £2.50 (all money raised goes to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre) we’re giving you the opportunity to come and match the Arts Tower Stairclimb by heading to Bridgewater Place and hitting the first 20 storeys, it’s all kicking off this Thursday only at 7:00pm! It’s very rare for access like this to be granted in BWP because it’s a residential tower, so it’s definitely an opportunity not to be missed.

The top of Bridgewater Place in all its glory!

This event isn’t going to be timed, so if you’re interested in hitting it as hard as you can and seeing how you fare against your other competitors, make sure you’re wearing a stopwatch and find other competitors on the G-Rex Fitness facebook page. If you’re a bit of a twitter fiend, you can use the twitter hashtag #GYSC as an alternative.

All participants will be required to complete a pre-activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q) before participating, don’t worry though we’ll give you these on the day.

We’re only granting 30 ‘lucky’ people the opportunity to access this warm up event to the GYSC, so if you’re interested then fire us an email on GYSC@g-rexfitness.com so you don’t miss out, first come first served!

It’d be rude not to come down and test out your stairclimbing legs, so who’s up for the challenge?!

Gary

John Turner takes more than just himself up the stairs, another GYSC Champion!

As part of our GYSC Champions, we’re on the lookout for extraordinary people who are really pushing the boundaries when it comes to hitting the BWP stairwell. You’ve already heard about Dan McIntyre, a two-time cancer survivor who now uses a wheelchair to get around, now comes John Turner!

John and his wife Vicki had been trying for a baby for the past two years, and unfortunately weren’t successful on a number of occasions. Following various visits to their local hospital, they were told that treatment was available to them, but the catch was that before they could take advantage of it they both had to lose weight. As a personal trainer myself I know from professional experience that this is no easy process.

Vicki got the ball rolling by joining the gym, taking steps to improve her nutrition, and regularly took part in group exercise classes. John however was moving in the opposite direction, loving his take away food and too many beers. He needed to get some focus and fast!

Last January, Run for All events held a competition on their facebook page where there was a chance to win free entry into four of their events, as well as free personal training sessions with a local personal trainer. As well as this, the winners progress would be followed by the Yorkshire Post through regular articles, all John had to do was tell them why he wanted to lose weight.

He won the competition, and started to take advantage of the free sessions. The initial health assessment was a massive eye opener for John, having raised concerns about blood pressure and overall health. The excessive take away foods and beers had clearly left a heavy toll on his body, and were quickly advised to ditch these out of his nutrition. To this day, John hasn’t had a single take away, and his alcohol intake has been infrequent, he was clearly inspired!

His first ever event was the Sport Relief Mile in March this year. The sense of achievement that he felt following the event was massive for him, and the satisfaction was made that bit sweeter considering as little as a month earlier he wasn’t able to run at all.

John didn’t just want to complete the event, he wanted to show the world what he’d lost from the competition, and had a ridiculous idea to show it. He decided that to truly push himself, he’d carry all the weight that he’d lost in the process on the events, crazy I know!

The events that John has completed so far are:

  • Sport Relief mile
  • Peak District 5-mile walk (with a 10kg weight vest and two medicine balls in his rucksack!)
  • Carnegie 5k cross country race
  • Leeds 10k
  • York 10k (sub 1 hour 10k, goal completed!)
  • Yorkshire Dales 14 mile walk
  • Lake District 18 mile walk

John’s life has had a complete turn around; to have come so far in such a small amount of time is a true testament to the kind of character he is. He has a new lease of life, feeling the benefits of exercise and has been distilled with more energy than he has ever had before; he’s even converted the spare room of his house into a gym!

The running season is coming to an end pretty soon, and he plans to finish off the season with the Harewood 5 mile cross country race and the Leeds Abbey Dash in November. Once this is done, he’s got one week to transition his legs for the Great Yorkshire Stairclimb!

His total weight loss since the beginning of this epic journey is a whopping 5 stone 3lb, going from 21 stone 4lb to 16 stone 1lb. John has signed up for the Great Yorkshire Stairclimb already, and plans to run it carrying a 32kg weight vest, the exact weight that he’s lost since February. I for one can’t wait to see this man hit the stairs; it’s going to be a sight to see I’m sure, what an animal!

You can sponsor John here, get behind this athlete and watch his make even more progress.

Gary

John in action!