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 »
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 »
April 23, 2018
Racing up stairs is challenging. That’s an understatement, actually. It’s excruciating difficult and ridiculously exhausting. Due to the intense nature of the sport, every single second counts. My goal, when I race up a building I’ve raced before, is simple: be faster than last time. On Saturday, I had another opportunity to reach that goal, and I only had to climb 1,029 steps to make it happen.
The race was Read the rest of this entry »
February 11, 2018
Some Sunday mornings are meant for sleeping in and lazing about. Other Sunday mornings are meant for racing up 200 stories! Guess which experience I had yesterday?
That’s the US Bancorp Tower, in Portland, Oregon, and I climbed the 40-story stairwell inside five times. It was quite the morning, in ways both expected and unexpected. Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2018
I was lying on the carpet, unable to move. Pain and fatigue pulsed through my body, and every limb felt heavy, like I was being pressed into the floor. A woman appeared, looking down at me. “Are you finished?” I nodded, and she disappeared, only to return a few seconds later, ripping open a little plastic pouch with her teeth. She pulled a gorgeous multi-colored medal from the pouch, and I reached up, slowly, and took it from her. I pushed a few words out, in between gasps for air: “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” She laughed and walked away, and as I rested the medal on my chest, my vision suddenly got cloudy. My eyes were filling with tears, and I started sobbing, nearly 500 feet above the Dallas sidewalk.
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Before I begin this recap of my experiences at the Dallas Vert Mile, I want to remind everyone reading this that Read the rest of this entry »
December 11, 2017
I ended my 2017 race calendar on a high note, along the shores of Lake Hodges in Escondido, California.
And much like the route of the 10K I ran, the story of how I got there is long and twisty, with lots of ups and downs. I’ve only known about this race for less than a week!
Read the rest of this entry »