Wanna see my favorite photo from last Sunday’s San Diego TOWERthon? Here it is – check out this badass in the stairwell!
Yup, that’s me, tearing it up!
Even though my Race Recap from earlier this week was of epic length, there was a lot I left out. I didn’t include how an elevator broke down while I was in it (thankfully, this happened after the sprint, and not during the TOWERthon). Nor did I mention the dead cockroach on the 19th floor, or how, after the race was over, I was able to wring a puddle of sweat the size of a dinner plate out of my bandanna alone.
I thought about putting together a follow-up post with some of these anecdotes, but you know what? I’d rather show more photos. These photos are all thanks of two friends, PJ and Stan, who took the pictures and uploaded/distributed them, respectively – so thanks, guys, because these are awesome.
Here I am seconds before I began two hours of continuous stair climbing…
…and taking my first step as a TOWERthon competitor:
I couldn’t manage a smile throughout the whole race, though, as this next photo shows. This was taken on the 20th floor, at the door where you exit the stairwell and head to the elevator. My face is a little scrunched, because I’m just trying to breathe:
I did manage a goofy smile in the elevator, which is all the more hilarious when you compare it to the looks of complete exhaustion on every other person’s face:
The gentleman in the lower right corner is Father Joe Carroll, the retired priest who began Father’s Joe Villages in the early ’80s. His organization, and the partner agencies that grew from it, have been the leading providers of services and aid to the homeless in San Diego for decades. The TOWERthon benefited one of those agencies, Toussaint Academy. Father Joe uses a motorized scooter and is in no condition to climb stairs, so his annual fundraising challenge during the TOWERthon is to amass as many ascents as he can in the elevator. I overheard him say that his goal for this year was 50… and near the end of the 2 hours, he had completed nearly 70, although I never found out what the final number was.
One last photo. It’s everyone on the West Coast Labels team. These folks have been incredible friends, supporters and role models for me, and it was so wonderful seeing so many of them there during TOWERthon. If you’re looking for me in this photo, I’m in the back, under the “n” in TOWERthon:
OH! I figured out one more statistic that I wanted to share! Between the sprint and the TOWERthon, I climbed that 20-story building 18 times. That’s a total of 4,320 vertical feet. That’s the equivalent of climbing a staircase that reaches 4/5th of a mile into the sky. WHOA!
OH! OH! OH! The U.S. Amateur Stair Climbing Rankings have been updated, and thanks to my performance at San Diego TOWERthon, I climbed 250 spots. I’m number 226, baby! There are only 225 men in the ENTIRE country that are ranked higher than me. HOLY CRAP!