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In March, fearless chefs Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton joined 1,200 other contenders for the fourth annual Vertical Rush, a tower run in aid of housing charity Shelter.
Tower running involves individuals and teams scaling the stairs of a building – in this case, the City’s Tower 42 and its muscle-boggling 920 steps – in the fastest time. Aikens and Atherton (pictured with Gary Rhodes, the event’s official race starter) clocked up very respectable times of 6m 23s and 9m 58s, respectively.
How did Atherton take defeat by a fellow chef? ‘There is always friendly rivalry, but we’re all good friends,’ he told Square Meal. ‘The reality is Tom’s very fit. I still consider myself fit but Tom kicked my ass and I took it graciously.’
Ever the trooper, Aikens was back at the pass as soon as he’d caught the lift back down. ‘I was in the kitchen straight after the race and worked through till 11pm,’ he said. ‘The only thing that hurt was my throat from the air conditioning.’
Visit shelter.org.uk/verticalrush for more on Vertical Rush.