Aylesbury tower climber sets sights on Shard after second failed world record attempt (but he had just done a half marathon)

Paul during his doomed 2012 attempt
Paul during his doomed 2012 attempt

An Aylesbury man has failed in his second attempt to break a world record for climbing a vertical kilometre up stairs – but he’s not giving up any time soon.

Paul Smith had hoped to scale London’s 165-metre Tower 42 more than six times in an hour. He thought he had broken the record last year only to discover a miscalculation meant he was five minutes too slow.

And this month’s attempt was an even bigger disaster as it took him one hour 38 minutes.

Mr Smith said: “I did the Silverstone half marathon two days before. I did it at a walk but even walking was too much and took all the energy out of my legs. Within five floors I knew it was going to be a struggle and within 10 I knew the record wasn’t going to happen.”

Mr Smith was meant to have his own dedicated lift to make his way down the building in order to start his ascent again but it was out of order.

He said: “I had to wait for one to come back up while other people were using it.”

A second failure might be enough to put some people off, but Mr Smith is determined that he will become a record holder and is planning to ask the Shard if he can try breaking it there. As the building is taller, it should mean he loses less time going down in the lift.

He said: “I know I need to do a bit more training.

“Even without doing the marathon I don’t think I would have had the pace I needed.

“I think it is doable and would hope it’s doable by me. I need the right place, not to have spent all my energy by doing something silly before and a 5% boost in my performance and I will get it.”

Mr Smith has been raising money for Shelter. You can donate to the cause by going to www.justgiving.com/mileup