Local Firefighter Climbs Into The Record Books
March 19, 2006
By KOMO Staff
Firefighter Climbs Into The Record Books
MILL CREEK - A Snohomish County firefighter set a new world record Sunday for the most vertical feet ever climbed on a stair climber machine in a 24-hour period.
He climbed the equivalent of more than nine miles straight uphill. That's like climbing Mt. Rainier more than three times in a row.
For most people, just spending half an hour on a stair climber machine is exhausting. For Bill Ekse, 30 minutes is nothing.
There were a few moments when things got a little shaky for Ekse over the weekend.
"I had six hours left to go, I was having trouble eating and I was real cold," Ekse said.
But he didn't stop. He fought the pain and at 1:42 on Sunday afternoon his grueling 24-hour effort came to an end with a few simple words: "You got it, Bill," said the timekeeper as cheers erupted around him at the Mill Creek Town Center Central Market.
Ekse didn't put himself through all this just to get his name in a record book. He had inspiration.
His climb was in memory of his best friend, Chris Petterson, who died of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma eight years ago.
Ekse always wanted to do something special for him, so he turned the climb into a fundraiser for the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society. He raised nearly $4,000.
"The Lukemia and Lymphoma Society does a tower climb every year, so I decided to take it one step further and raise some money in his honor," Ekse said.
Crowds of friends and passers by gathered to cheer him on throughout the day-long effort.
Ekse didn't just hop on the stair climber this weekend on a whim. He's been training. Heavily.
He practiced frequently on a stair climber machine at his fire station. "I got up to eight hours," he said in the days before the record-setting weekend.
All the training led up to Saturday afternoon when he began his climb. His legs pumped up and down on the stair climber through the night and into the next day, with fellow firefighters there to support him.
"There's no way I could be out here right now if it wasn't for all the brothers and sisters I have in the fire service," Ekse said after about twelve hours of hard climbing.
Sunday afternoon with only a minute to go, Ekse looked like he could have kept on climbing for hours. His friends and family were whistling and cheering and just a few seconds later he finished with a new world record.
"I did a little bit of work today, but you guys did all the work," he said to the crowd after popping open a bottle of champagne. "Without you guys I never would have had the money to make this successful and this is what it was all about. In Chris' name, thank you so much."
"A Snohomish County firefighter " somebody has to be busy actually protecting the county.
He is a darn good guy also...
Im too fat and lazy.....
At least you're honest!
FIRST TIME HE'S BEEN HONEST. you should hear some of the 'creative statements' that come out of this guy's mouth on the phone/radio.
That is not true...
I dont get "creative" with the customers....
The guys/gals on the other side of the Radio...
My fellow Condo salsmen/saleswomen....