Paul steps up to the mark in tower block record attempt

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A MAN who climbed the equivalent of more than 450 floors of a London tower block is believed to have set a new world record.

Paul Smith, 40, of Aylesbury, took on the ‘vertical kilometre’ challenge in aid of homeless charity Shelter, completing a total of 1,647 metres vertically of Tower 42 in London, in just over 59 minutes.

“It feels amazing,” he said.

“It was a lot of hard work on the day, but I just kept going. I felt a bit relentless – after all the training I did, I just couldn’t let myself down – I couldn’t have done much more though, as I did start to slow down after a while.

“Originally I had hoped to break the world record for the fastest vertical mile, but having spoken to Guinness they explained that the world recognises kilometres more than miles, so I was to complete that. Although I did just over a vertical mile.

“The whole experience was very surreal and it was only afterwards, looking up at the 183m, 600ft tower, that what I’d done began to sink in.

“I’d covered a total of 459 floors – the top floor of Tower 42 is 42, but that excludes service levels I passed on the way – I counted a total of 51 levels, 8,280 steps and 1,647m vertically. Even now it feels rather unreal.

“Weirdly, the following morning my legs were fine, I’d expected to be walking like a zombie again after my experiences earlier in the week but, if anything, they felt better than they had on the previous morning, ahead of the ascent. Strange but true!

“I’ve avoided saying I’ve broken the world record out loud, in case that jinxes things.

“I need conformation of several factors, including the true height of the deck of the top floor, before I can be 100 per cent certain how long it took me to reach 1km, but I am confident I covered the distance in less than an hour to set the record.”

Paul raised more than £200 for Shelter.

He is now fundraising for the London Marathon this summer for The Stroke Association.

“My father had a series of strokes before he died in 2005, so it’s a cause close to my heart,” he added.

To sponsor Paul, visit www.justgiving.com/marathonandon