Making a mountain out of a marathon

Making a mountain out of a marathon

I'll never climb Mount Everest.

I have come to accept that.

So I did the next best thing - I joined the Swissotel Vertical Marathon at Swissotel The Stamford along with 2,163 others on Sunday.

I'm not saying that completing the Swissotel Vertical Marathon, which started in 1987, is anything like scaling the world's highest peak, but it's probably the closest a 47-year-old slacker like me will ever get.

For one thing, Mount Everest is 8,848m high, while Swissotel The Stamford is only 226m tall. On the other hand, Mount Everest doesn't have a Ya Kun Kaya Toast in the basement (I assume).

So if you really want to simulate climbing Mount Everest, you would need to climb Swissotel The Stamford's 73 storeys 39.15 times and go without kaya toast.

I'm sure the three members of Team Singapura Everest 2015 who took part in the vertical marathon were aware of this.

Unlike me, two of them - Mr Muhd Hilwan, 27, and Ms Nur Yusrina Yaakob, 26 - are actually planning to climb Mount Everest in 2015 to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday.

But I saw them climb the 73 storeys at Swissotel The Stamford only once. I don't know if they had any kaya toast.

They told me that as part of their Everest training, they climb the stairs of a 40-storey HDB block in Toa Payoh a few times a week.

Similarly, I had trained for the vertical marathon by climbing the stairs of my 16-storey HDB block in Choa Chu Kang a few times a week.

I was wary of chancing upon amorous couples at the staircase landings... uh, let's say, enjoying a private moment.

So I was careful to make as much noise as I could with loud breathing and heavy footsteps to warn any mid-coitus lovers that I was approaching. Once, I heard some scrambling on a floor above me, but when I reached there, I didn't see anyone, which was a relief.

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