January 30, 2020
My goal for 2020 is to compete in five stair races I’ve never done before, in cities where I’ve never raced before. I’m already 20% done with my goal, because on January 18th, I competed in the 37th annual Bop to the Top in Indianapolis. It’s one of the oldest stair races in the country, in the second-tallest building in Indiana, OneAmerica Tower.
OneAmerica Tower is 38 stories, but the race is 36, with a total of 780 steps. When you register, you can sign up for a Single Climb, or the Triple Step, which is three climbs. I signed up for both. If I’m driving five hours each way to compete, I want to compete as much as I can! Add up the two events, and that’s four climbs up the stairwell. 144 floors. 3,120 steps. But, due to a ridiculously stupid and completely avoidable mistake on my part, I ended up climbing even more than that! Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2019
I want to introduce you to a firefighter named Thomas Schoales. He’s 27, and nicknamed “Golden Boy” because of his constant wide smile.
He’s part of a family of first responders – his father and two brothers all worked as firefighters or police officers. One day, he responded to an emergency situation 10 blocks from his firehouse, and ran into a building to help. Shortly after that, the building collapsed – 500,000 tons of steel, concrete, and glass crashing to the ground. Thomas was one of fourteen men from Engine 4 in lower Manhattan (and one of 343 total firefighters) that died on September 11, 2001. His body would not be found in the wreckage until over four months later.
On Sunday, I had the honor and privilege of clipping that photograph of Thomas “Golden Boy” Schoales to my collar and carrying him with me while I competed in the Tunnel to Towers Cleveland Tower Climb. Read the rest of this entry »
May 1, 2019
I’ve done eight stadium races in the past five years, at three different southern California stadiums (Angel Stadium, the LA Memorial Coliseum, and the Rose Bowl). My ninth stadium race was this past weekend at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, and it was longer and harder than any of the others.
The race is called Storm the Stadium, and it was put on by Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2019
I’ve raced up stairwells all over the United States, and last year I raced up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Earlier today, I competed in my second international race, at the iconic CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada!
Although it’s a completely different country, Toronto is only about a 4.5-hour drive from where I’m living in Read the rest of this entry »
March 4, 2019
When my alarm went off at 4:45am Saturday morning, the first thing I did was take a few deep breaths. This was going to be a day like none other I’ve experienced. I was going to push myself harder than ever before, in a challenge that would redefine what I’m capable of, what I could endure, and what I can rise above.
And it was all going to happen in this building, glowing in the pre-dawn darkness, just across the plaza from my Salt Lake City hotel room.
While short compared to towers in other cities, the Read the rest of this entry »
February 26, 2019
Hello again, Stratosphere!
I’m back from my Las Vegas trip, where I competed, for the fourth time, in the American Lung Association’s Scale the Strat – a race up 1,391 steps in the tallest freestanding observation tower in the USA.
I didn’t like this race after I did it for the first time in 2014, mostly because Read the rest of this entry »
December 9, 2018
My final race of 2018 is now in the books! And at a very familiar venue:
ANGEL STADIUM! The race was Hike the Halo, an annual event benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and it’s the only event I do that’s Read the rest of this entry »
December 4, 2018
It was a beautiful day for a race on Sunday, and in a beautiful setting…
…the Rose Bowl! The legendary stadium is the venue for the 65 Roses Climb, a fundraiser benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. (It’s called the 65 Roses Climb because Read the rest of this entry »
October 22, 2018
When I arrived at the brand new Salesforce Tower in San Francisco yesterday, the top was still shrouded in fog. I took a breath and realized that soon I’ll be climbing to the top of a skyscraper that I can’t fully see!
I’m always excited by a stair race, but I take particular pleasure in Read the rest of this entry »
June 3, 2018
How’s this for a triumphant post-race photo?
Me, on the roof of the tallest building in Ventura County, with nothing but blue sky in every direction. The truth is, though, that I wasn’t feeling triumphant at all. I had just competed in an extremely difficult race, and instead of feeling like I had conquered the stairwell, I felt like the stairs had conquered me. Read the rest of this entry »