I’ve been thinking lately about my very first stair race, at the Aon Center in Los Angeles. It happened six years ago, and while I can remember it vividly, it also seems like a lifetime ago.
I’ll be returning to the Aon Center a week from Saturday, for my seventh consecutive year racing up the 63-story stairwell. It will be my 57th stair race!
We only just started the fourth month of 2018, and this has already been a banner year for racing. I’ve competed in five events so far: one 5K and four stair races in Dallas, Portland, Las Vegas, and Paris. I’ve raced up nearly 1,000 stories in the past three months!
But there’s no rest for the wicked! I was reviewing my calendar and it dawned on me that I have five races coming up in the next five weeks! Let’s break it down:
First up is a 5K this weekend, with a very exciting course… I’m keeping this one a secret until I publish my race recap!
Next weekend is the Aon Center race, which is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association – a great organization that I’ve supported through my racing literally dozens of times. I’m actually still $22 shy of reaching my fundraising goal for this race, so if you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation on my behalf, click here!
In three weekends I’ll be in San Francisco for another American Lung Association race. It’ll be my fourth time competing there, and my two nephews and sister-in-law are racing too!
Then, in early May, I’m doing a 10K trail race. I’ve only done one other 10K trail race, and this one will be much more challenging, as it’s up and down a mountain. (!)
Finally, I recently added a new stair race to my calendar in May. It’s in Denver, and it’s called The Lemon Climb, because it supports Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a great charity that combats childhood cancers.
There are a few exciting things about this race. One is that my sister is doing it with me, which will be great. It’ll be her second stair race – we did a different stair race in Denver a few years back.
Another is that my fundraising for this race was very graciously sponsored by Buffalo Exchange, a store that sells new and recycled clothing. One of my favorite pairs of pants came from Buffalo Exchange, as did my raincoat, which I rarely get to use in Los Angeles but I love all the same. There are Buffalo Exchange locations across the country, but definitely check out the stores in Denver and Boulder because it was these locations that generously donated!
Lastly, I have a strange bit of history with the building that we’ll be racing up. It’s called 1999 Broadway, and it’s 43 stories, and I’ve climbed it before! Kind of.
Back before I started doing stair races, I spent a lot of time on the StairMaster at the gym. I would note the number of stories I had climbed using it, and find buildings of equivalent height. It was fantastically motivating to see photos of these towering buildings and know that I just climbed the same number of stories. I even started challenging myself to climb, on the StairMaster, the same number of stories as various landmark skyscrapers around the world. I did this for months and amassed a skyscraper collection that I chronicled on this very website.
I was talking to my friend Brady months ago about The Lemon Climb – long before I committed to doing it – and asked him what building it was in. His reply: “You know what building it’s in. I’ve read about it on your blog!” Sure enough, 1999 Broadway is in my Skyscraper Collection, and I wrote about it in a post I published on August 29, 2011 – a post that I clearly forgot about! I also now suspect that Brady might be a psycho stalker, because he referenced a blog post that I wrote three or four years before we met. I’m sleeping with one eye open tonight, Brady!
Now I’m going back… err… going for the first time – and I can’t wait to race up that stairwell. I’ve even resumed working out with my elevation training mask, to replicate breathing in a high-altitude city like Denver!
Keep it up, David!
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