March 12, 2017
I take photos after all of my stair races, but this selfie, taken seconds after crossing the finish line and collapsing onto the carpet, really captures how thoroughly punishing and draining a stair race is. This is after one hour in the stairwell:
(A volunteer gave me the sponge, which had been soaking in ice water, and it really helped cool me down.)
The race was Climb Wyndham, the Fight For Air Climb put on by the American Lung Association of Illinois. You might think an Illinois-based stair climb would be in Chicago, which is quite literally the birthplace of the skyscraper. But you’d be wrong: Read the rest of this entry »
February 27, 2017
On Saturday morning, I raced up a 31-story stairwell SEVEN TIMES in one hour. That’s 217 stories in 60 minutes! Just typing those sentences summons twangs of disbelief, even though every syllable is true. The disbelief, though, is quickly overshadowed by more powerful feelings. Pride. Gratitude. Thrill. Come with me, I’ll walk you through that morning!
Read the rest of this entry »
April 19, 2016
This weekend’s Fight For Air Climb in Los Angeles, benefiting the American Lung Association, was the single toughest stair race I’ve ever done. For the first time in my 34-race career, I questioned whether or not I could finish. It was challenging, yes, but also excruciatingly painful and downright frightening.
The morning began wonderfully. I arrived at the event when plenty of time to prepare, warm-up, and stretch. Even though the 63-story Aon Center in downtown Los Angeles is a tall, monolithic structure, I feel quite comfortable racing there. And I should: this was my fifth consecutive year doing this race.
The building and race has a special place in my memory, because Read the rest of this entry »
April 12, 2016
No point in burying the lead: I set a personal record at the Fight For Air Climb in San Diego! Here I am, seconds after the race ended. On the outside, it looks like I’m exhausted and hurting…and I am. But believe me: my insides were bubbling with joy, excitement, and pride.
I’m especially happy with the results because I wasn’t sure if I could pull off a PR at this race, for a couple reasons. The first is that Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2016
I competed in my fifth stair race of 2016 on Saturday, and it felt really great to return to 555 California in the heart of San Francisco.
I did this race for the first time last year, and it was tough. I was getting over an rough illness, so I wasn’t in peak physical shape. It’s also a hard stairwell – it’s pretty steep, and because of mezzanines and a tall lobby, it’s more than the 52 stories they advertise. All in all, it was Read the rest of this entry »
February 21, 2016
Sunday was a great day for milestones. I competed in my 30th (!) stair climb race. It was held at Republic Plaza, the tallest building in Denver. 56 stories tall!
Denver is the 12th city that I’ve raced in. I’m up to a dozen! (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City are the others.)
And I’ve haven’t even told you about the race yet! It was a killer. Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2016
I woke up in Portland on Sunday with a very peculiar combination of feelings. I was still riding high with pride, thanks to my record-breaking performance during the Seattle Fight For Air Climb just 24 hours earlier. I was was also sore, achy and stiff, also thanks to that Seattle race, because racing up 160 stories is, to put it mildly, difficult. Then, when I flung open the curtains in my hotel room and saw the race venue right across the street, I started feeling really, really nervous.
The US Bancorp Tower (which the locals call ‘Big Pink’) is about the Read the rest of this entry »