A Great Big Race Announcement!

I’m super excited about this post, but before I spill the beans about my big announcement, I have a video to share! My sister challenged me to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, so here’s the video of me getting a bucket of ice water dumped over my head:

Anything for charity, am I right?

OK. Announcement time! Last month, I put up a post about how I was back in training for some upcoming stair races. I’ve signed up for a total of four this fall, and I mentioned three of them (races at US Bank Tower, Figueroa@Wilshire, and Angel Stadium, all of which I’ve done before). But there was one race I didn’t mention…

…but I’m announcing it now! I’ve signed up for a stair climb in an iconic building that’s recognized all over the world. Want a hint?



Formerly known as the Sears Tower, this Chicago skyscraper was, up until One World Trade Center opened earlier this year, the tallest building in the United States – a record it held since it opened in 1974. Even though One World Trade Center is technically taller (thanks to a taller spire), Willis Tower still has the highest roof in the country, as well as the highest occupied floor (Willis has 108 stories; One World Trade Center has 104).

It’s an incredible building, and as a frequent visitor to Chicago, one I’ve seen a lot. My sister Laura and I went to Willis Tower a couple years back (read the post here), and up close it’s massive.


Laura and I went to the Skydeck, which is the observation deck on the 103rd floor. The views are amazing – you can see four states on a clear day!


There are glass cubes protruding from the building, and if you stand in one, you can look down, past your feet, and see the ground, over 1,300 feet below. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience.


When I wrote about Willis Tower in that post a couple years back, I included this sentence:

“I know there’s a stair climb event every year in the Willis Tower, so who knows? Maybe at some point in the future I’ll be in that Skydeck again, after racing up the stairwell!”

And now that prediction is coming true! SkyRise Chicago is a race from the sidewalk to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor. It’ll be by far the tallest building I’ve raced up, with 2,115 steps (my current record is the 75-story US Bank Tower in LA, which has 1,664).

RELATED CONTENT: Read about ALL my stair climb races on my Races & Events page!

It’s happening on November 2nd – just over two months away! I’m very excited to add another building to my resume, so to speak, but there’s a more pressing race that comes first. The YMCA Stair Climb For Los Angeles is now less than a month away. That’s the race in the US Bank Tower – read my recap from last year here.

And that brings me to the awkward part… asking for money. All four of the races I’m doing this fall are charity races, and each have a fundraising minimum (varying from $100-$150) that I need to reach before I can compete. I’m gonna do my best to not be obnoxious about fundraising, but these races are important to me, and they all benefit great causes. If you could spare a few bucks, I’d greatly appreciate it. If you could spare a lot more than a few bucks, you’d be my hero!

I’ve created pages for each event where you can learn more about the cause and donate. My top priority is the US Bank Tower race, because it’s next, but if you’d like to donate to another race, I won’t stop you! Here are the links:

  • 9/19/14. YMCA Stair Climb For Los Angeles (at US Bank Tower, downtown LA). Benefits the Downtown-Ketchum YMCA. DONATE HERE.
  • 11/2/14. SkyRise Chicago (at Willis Tower). Benefits the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. DONATE HERE.
  • 11/15/14. Los Angeles CF Climb (at Figueroa@Wilshire, downtown LA). Benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. DONATE HERE.
  • 12/13/14. Orange County CF Climb – Hike the Halo (at Angel Stadium). Benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. DONATE HERE.

Wanna see what a stair climb race is like? I put together this short video after a race this spring:

I’ve been training a lot lately (in skyscrapers, at the Rose Bowl, on public stairways) and I have more training to do before September 19th. I’m looking forward to getting back in the Wells Fargo Center (I haven’t been in almost two weeks), and have a couple other new training venues in mind, too!

Keep it up, David!


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5 Responses to A Great Big Race Announcement!

  1. Laura says:

    Yay David!! So excited you are coming to Chicago!

  2. I’m terrified of towers with glass floors! Just the idea of nothing below is scary! Congrats on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

  3. Anna says:

    I’ve been reading your blog on and off for a while because I like reading blogs by other stair climbers. Anyway, I’m excited to see that you are doing Skyrise Chicago! If a woman randomly approaches you and asks if you are David, it’ll probably be me. This will be my second time climbing the Sears/Willis Tower, and I’m quite excited.

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