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A crew of Swift Current firefighters travelled to Calgary this past weekend to compete in a stair climb challenge that raised money for cancer patients.

Six members from the City fire department partook in the event that has so far raised more than $340,000 for Wellspring Calgary.

Karla Cairns, one of the Swift Current firefighters that competed in the competition, said overall the event went pretty well.

"It was good I think, it depends on who you ask," she said. "Overall I think everybody was happy with their times and their performance. Mostly everybody saw improvements from their times in year past, so that's good, I guess that's your ultimate goal."  

For the third-consecutive year, Cairns posted the fastest female stair climb with a time of 14:02, a bit off the record she set last year at 12:58.

Training for the stair climb challenge can be a bit difficult for the Swift Current firefighters as they only have one flight of stairs they can climb at a time before going back down and repeating the process, whereas The Bow tower is 55 floors high with 1204 steps. 

"It doesn't exactly replicate the challenge that we face at the tower there," Cairns explained. "Trying to get that get that same feeling and training effect isn't really possible, so when we go there it's always a surprise to the body to climb it 55 stories consecutively... It's definitely one where you get to the top you have weak legs and your lungs are burning."

In August the fire department lost captain Wyatt Evans to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, giving the fire crew a special reason to participate.

"His brother lives in Calgary and he volunteers at the stair climb and we have a bit of a relationship with him now meeting him through Wyatt," Cairns said. "This year he requested that we get together with him and we had dinner with him the night before and the race day we spent a little bit of time with him... It was nice to kind of remember Wyatt in that way and spend some time with his family, even after he wasn't able to be there himself."   

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