Six months ago, Abu Dhabi resident Christopher J. King’s dream of running an ultra marathon in Germany came crashing down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Australian national then started looking for new ways to test his limits.
That’s when he came across a unique fitness challenge website that encourages people to pick any hill or place to climb and repeat it till they scale 8,848 metres — the height of Mt Everest — in one go. The challenge is known as the Everesting Challenge.
The participant can complete the challenge on a bike or on foot and is then ushered into a ‘Hall of Fame’, alongside the best climbers in the world.
After preparing for three months, Chris will attempt the feat at his apartment building in Abu Dhabi — the World Trade Centre (WTC) Residences — on Friday, November 6.
At 5am, Chris will be climbing up 1,946 stairs 27 times to scale a height that’s equivalent to Earth’s highest mountain above sea level.
One climb up the 92 floors will take Chris between 25-30 minutes. Since it is a vertical challenge, it allows the runner to take alternative means of coming back down to the base. Chris will use the elevator to descend each time he climbs the 92 floors. He is hoping to complete the feat in under 20 hours.
“My rest time will be just around three minutes between each climb. I will get this in the elevator … In those three minutes, I can have water, take the required nutrition and sit on a stool to give my legs some rest,” said the climber.
‘Nervous but excited’
Speaking to Khaleej Times a day before the challenge, Chris admitted he was nervous but excited. “I have been doing challenges since I was a teenager, usually raising money for charity in doing so.
“But this one was inspired by Covid-19 … Since we were all locked up in our homes for the longest time, I began taking stairs to my apartment at WTC, which was on the 21st floor, just to get some exercise. This made me realise my potential and I decided to push myself mentally and physically to take up the Everesting Challenge.”
Chris said he climbs an average of 150-200 flight of stairs around five times a week, coupled with a bit of running and leg strengthening exercises at the gym.
The 37-year-old fitness buff, who hails from Melbourne, has been living in Abu Dhabi for the last five years.
Chris will be assisted by a nutritionist and some of his friends, who will motivate him throughout the feat.
“I will use my smartwatch and a fitness recording app from the Everesting Challenge website to record the distance of my vertical ascent.
“The hardest part for me in this challenge is overcome the mental fear that I wont be able to do it. I feel that everyone should find their own challenge. It doesn’t have to be a big one because it is important to set up challenges for yourself to … reach higher.”