Hero's daring rescue before charity record attempt
HE doesn't just break records, he also saves lives.
Sydney antique dealer John du Boulay, 45, clinched the title for the most climbs at the SkyPoint Sea to Sky Q1 Stair Challenge, but the record wasn't his biggest feat over the weekend - it was his daring early morning rescue in the Gold Coast surf.
Mr du Boulay and his wife Sonya were sleeping at their rented Aloha apartment at Main Beach about 5am on Saturday when they woke to screams.
"I looked outside, and from the balcony I saw this woman in the water," Mrs du Boulay said.
"John woke up and ran straight down stairs."
While the athlete made his way to the waters edge, Mrs du Boulay kept her phone torch trained on the girl in need of help.
"It was dark so I didn't want to lose sight of her," she said.
"He got in the water and was able to drag her out, she was Brazilian and didn't speak much English so I don't think she knew about how dangerous it was."
Mr du Boulay said it was the first time he was faced with such a trying situation.
"She wasn't that far off drowning, she was very weak and her head was starting to go under the water," he said.
"It was a very stressful event.
"I had to rescue her, I couldn't think of anything worse than my wife having to see someone drown."
The woman was treated by paramedics at the scene.
Remarkably Mr du Boulay went on to complete the Q1 stair challenge 12 times in just one day.
He knocked out 12 77-storey climbs back-to-back over four hours, beating the previous record of ten, set by fellow Sydney-sider Brian Wilson.
Mr du Boulay said despite the mammoth effort, he still felt he could have achieved more.
"I would have like to have gone all day but the event closed," he said.
"The first few storeys and the last few are the hardest, in the middle you just find your pace."
It is the second year Mr du Boulay has travelled to the Coast for the event, after completing one of the fastest climbs of 2018, clocking 1,331 stairs in just 10 minutes and 11 seconds.
"I train for it, Monday to Friday at the gym and I do running events in preparation," he said.
"I only did eight (climbs) last year so I wanted to push myself and get the record."