London Skyline 2007

Duncan James and Lee Ryan from (the more recent) Blue will join a race to the top of 920 steps in tower running challenge Vertical Rush next week.

Runners will be tackling the heights of London’s original skyscraper, Tower 42 – meaning Vertical Rush also holds the title as the tallest tower running challenge in the UK. Funds are being raised for Shelter.

They compete individually or in teams to climb the 42 flights of stairs in the fastest possible time. Setting off in hourly slots, runners, including celebrities, elite athletes and running enthusiasts, will be timed as they make their way to the top to enjoy spectacular views across the City. Among them will be Duncan James from Blue, who is running the tower for the first time with bandmate Lee Ryan.

I can’t wait to take on the Vertical Rush challenge, and I hope I can get up there in a decent time. I’ve been training hard so if I can beat Lee to the top that would really top it off.

Shelter does an amazing job every day helping homeless families to find somewhere safe and stable to live. I’m really proud to be taking part in such a great event that means they can be there for the millions of people who need their help. – Duncan James

With this year’s race taking place on Shrove Tuesday, celebrity chef Jason Atherton will be serving up a pancake breakfast for the first ten runners to reach the top of the tower.

The number of people turning to Shelter for help is at an all-time high, this year’s Vertical Rush will be the biggest ever fundraising event in the charity’s 47 year history. Around 1,500 runners are taking part, aiming to raise up to £500,000 in vital funds to help the charity’s advice services as they struggle to meet demand.

At a time when the charity’s work is so crucial, we are delighted to be hosting the sixth annual Vertical Rush in aid of Shelter. London’s original tower running challenge, the event remains the biggest of its kind in the Capital’s calendar. We are especially excited about this year’s event which is set to be the biggest fundraiser yet, best of luck to all our runners – it is a lot of steps! – Barry Rushmer, General Manager of Tower 42

In the past five years 4,500 runners have taken part in Vertical Rush raising over £1.2million to help families facing homelessness.

[Picutred: London Skyline July 2007, Tower 42 (back left). An ATV/Doug Lambert photograph]

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