Five laps of 164 stairs was no match for the Lake Illawarra police officers when they tackled a stair climb race in Wollongong Central on Friday morning.
Lake Illawarra police officers usually attend domestic violence incidents nightly, which is why they wanted to raise awareness and money for community service organisation Supported Accommodation and Homelessness Services Shoalhaven and Illawarra.
The not-for-profit provides emergency accommodation services and assistance to women and their children who are effected by family and domestic abuse.
The annual charity event for SAHSSI was an opportunity for runners or climbers to have fun, get fit and challenge themselves by racing up and down the mall's stairs.
Sergeant Ellen Jackson said police worked closely with service organisations to help domestic violence victims find shelter.
"Domestic violence affects men, women and children regardless of their financial situation and it is still kept quiet in the community," she said.
"Hopefully this climb raises awareness, well-deserved money and encourages people to seek help."
Five officers each did one lap in a relay-style race.
"All the officers volunteered and were wearing their full uniform," Sgt Jackson said.
"One of them even did the climb in his trail bike boots and helmet.
"We ranged from all different sizes and fitness levels so some found it harder than others but we all enjoyed the experience."
Sgt Jackson said the team was given a $50 prize which they re-donated to the two youngest participants of the climb.
Amber Thompson and Rob Brown won the women's and men's races.
Mr Brown came first for the second year in a row and professional stair climber Ms Thompson came from Noosa to complete the challenge.
SAHSSI business development manager Jacqui Brooker said almost $9000 was raised and the mall was packed.
She said there was a "positive energy and community spirit vibe" during the event.
"There was a lot of diversity in the participants," Ms Brooker said.
"We had many young kids climb it with their parents, Keira MP Ryan Park was there as were Lake Illawarra police, representatives from the Housing Trust and more.
"It was a great day that raised awareness about what we do at SAHSSI."