I Love My New Stair Race Map AND My New Lego Skyscraper!

I realized the other day that I’ve now done a stair race in 17 different cities. SEVENTEEN! I think that warrants a new stair race map, don’t you think? Check it out!

(You can click on it to see it bigger.)

This is the version 2.0 of this map, which is hand-drawn. (Full confession: I traced the USA outline.) I drew the first version two years ago, to include in a slideshow presentation I did at the Fitbloggin’ conference in Denver. My 5-minute presentation, called How to Race Up The Stairs in the World’s Tallest Skyscrapers, is available on YouTube and you should totally check it out!

Here’s the first version:

Version 1.0 has eleven cities. Version 2.0 has seventeen. Here’s why:

  1. I’ve competed in new cities – Denver, Minneapolis, and Springfield – so clearly those got added to the map.
  2. I had lumped all the Los Angeles-area races together on the first version under “Los Angeles,” and this time around I separated them. In addition to LA, I’ve raced in Anaheim, Culver City, and Oxnard, so those count, even though I consider them local, since none are more than about an hour away.

The map doesn’t include info on how frequently I’ve raced in each location, but I’ve broken it down here:

  • 13 races: Los Angeles
  • 4 races: San Diego, Anaheim
  • 3 races: Chicago, Seattle
  • 2 races: Las Vegas, Portland, San Francisco, Culver City
  • 1 race: Phoenix, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Springfield, Minneapolis, New York City, Oxnard.

That’s 43 races total! Recaps for all of them here. And while I have upcoming races on the calendar that’ll bump my total count higher, none of the next few are in new cities. But I’m always on the lookout!

This map is one way I celebrate my stair racing accomplishments, and another is through LEGO. LEGO has been selling kits based on skyscrapers for almost ten years, and I have a few, for buildings where I’ve done races.

Well, a few weeks ago I raced up the John Hancock Center, so it was time to build that tower out of little bricks. Ta-da!

LEGO has been releasing “skyline” sets lately, and Hancock is part of the Chicago skyline set, which also includes Willis Tower, Big Red, Wrigley Building, the DuSable Bridge, and a little Cloud Gate.

Now I have two Willis Towers, since I already had the Willis solo set. (Guess that means I’ll have to race up it a second time at some point!) I also have a Space Needle, and a Burj Khalifa, which I climbed symbolically in a StairMaster challenge.

I have my eyes on the LEGO New York City skyline set, but I haven’t committed to it yet. On one hand, it features 1 World Trade Center, which I raced in 2015, but on the other, it has Empire State Building, which I haven’t raced yet. It’s very hard to get into the Empire State Building race, which has a lottery if you’re not one of the top-ranked people in the world (and believe me, I’m not even close). Would I be jinxing myself if I bought a LEGO kit that had an Empire State Building before I’ve done that race? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Lastly, since this post has turned out to be all about stair racing, I wanted to quickly mention the great workout I had on Saturday: I climbed 188 stories in a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper. It was four climbs up a 46-story stairwell, and during two of them, we had access to the roof – and I’ll never pass up roof access!

What I love about that particular rooftop is that there’s great views of Aon Center and US Bank Tower – two buildings I’ve raced in many, many times!

Keep it up, David!


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