Mercer Island firefighters joined hundreds of fire departments from around the world in conquering all 69 flights and 1,311 steps of the Columbia Tower on Sunday as part of the Scott's Firefighter Challenge.
The annual event requires participants to tackle the grueling climb in full firefighting gear and supports the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising money through sponsorships, individual and department fund-raising, and entry fees.
Mercer Island's top finisher was Tommy Guttu, with a time of 14:31—or an average of 13 seconds per flight. Guttu finished 43rd out of a total of 1,433 participants and ninth in his age division.
Andrew Drobeck of Missoula (MT) City Fire placed first, finishing the tower in 10:48, or 10 seconds a flight average. The top female finisher was Georgia Sanz Daniels of Graham Fire & Rescue, with a time of 14:22, or 13 seconds per flight.
Along with Guttu, other finishers from Mercer Island include:
Kent Bastrom, 16:43, 15 seconds per flight
Mark Givens, 17:29, 16 seconds per flight
Trever Kissel, 17:50, 16 seconds per flight