It’s been almost two and a half months since I’ve done any stair climb racing… time to announce my next race!
After competing in five stair climb races in and around Los Angeles (read about them all here), I’m spreading my wings and heading to a completely different state. So long, California… and hello, Nevada! My next race is on Sunday, March 2, 2014 and it’s up the tallest structure in Las Vegas…
At 1,149 feet tall, the Stratosphere is the tallest observation tower in the U.S., and the second tallest in the western hemisphere (after CN Tower in Toronto). It’s the tallest building west of the Mississippi, if you lump towers in with buildings (otherwise, that honor goes to US Bank Tower in Los Angeles, a 75-story skyscraper that I raced up last fall).
Despite the records that the Stratosphere holds, the stair climb race itself is not a record breaker. That’s because a portion of the Stratosphere’s record-setting height comes from the spire on the top, which we will not be climbing. The race ends below the spire.
It’s still a hefty climb. The event is called Scale the Strat, and the race is up 1,455 steps from the ground to the observation deck. That’s a lot of steps! The Stratosphere claims to be the equivalent of 108 stories, although I’m not buying that math. I raced up more steps in the US Bank Tower (1,679), and that building is only 75 stories. For the Stratosphere to have 108 stories, the ceilings on each floor would have to be really low. I might have to duck!
But I’m nitpicking. It’ll be a tough climb. I’ll be racing up 1,455 steps, and it’s up a tower, as opposed to a skyscraper. There’s a big difference. In a skyscraper, you can take comfort in the fact that in a worst-case scenario, you can always bail on any floor and take the elevator back down.
Not so in the Stratosphere, because there are no floors! It’s a concrete core that rises straight up. Check out this warning on the event’s website:
“Once the climbers are in the tower core, there is no exit point unless there is a medical emergency.”
And the stairwell is different, too – there are longer flights between each landing, and I’ve heard you can look over the rails and see all the way down. There’s a warning about that, too:
“Are you afraid of heights, suffer from vertigo or are claustrophobic? The staircases that you will climb up a majority of the time are free standing and not flush against a wall. If you are afraid of heights, this is not the climb for you. If you have problems with confined spaces, this is not the climb for you.”
My god, it sounds all kinds of AWESOME!
And here’s something else that’s awesome: I have a sponsor for this race! I’m teaming up with the great folks at StairMaster, and I’m thrilled because it’s a perfect partnership, as I’ve been a huge fan and user of their equipment for years. I train for these races on a StairMaster, and I blogged about that last fall. Long story short, they saw that post and reached out, and I’ve been chatting with them since. Everyone I’ve talked to there has been really wonderful, and it’s a great company. Because the Stratosphere climb will involve additional expenses, like hotel and travel, I asked if they were interested in sponsoring me. And they said yes! I feel very official and grown-up having a sponsor… and it’s just another reason why I’ll be giving this race my all!
While StairMaster will be helping with those aforementioned expenses, I still need to do some fundraising. The race up the Stratosphere is a benefit for the American Lung Association (which sponsors bunches of stair climb races around the country), and I need to raise $150 so I can race.
Listen, I hate asking for money probably just as much as you hate being asked. So I’ll make this simple and just list a few reasons why you should make a donation:
- Because you like me and want to support me as I challenge myself with these physically brutal stair climb races.
- Because this race is three days before my 35th birthday and it would be an awesome gift.
- Because it goes to charity and you can write it off on your taxes.
- Because you never do any exercise when you go to Vegas, except for working your arm muscles while pulling the slot machine lever.
Those are good reasons, right? Did I convince you? CLICK HERE TO DONATE!
Training has already begun. I’ve been on a StairMaster four times in the past week, and I have lots of StairMaster ahead of me, along with other training methods too. I look forward to sharing my training progress in future posts… but not as much as I look forward to the view from the top of the Stratosphere! I’ve never been in the Stratosphere before, and my first time is gonna be awesome.
KEEP IT UP, DAVID!