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 »
December 12, 2016
The end of the year is fast approaching, and I’m in the home stretch with my 2016 races. My last two are both in December, and the first was on Saturday, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
This race is called Hike the Halo (benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), and it’s my Read the rest of this entry »
October 5, 2016
My race recap from the Stair Climb for Los Angeles at the US Bank Tower is a thorough account of what happened last Friday (read it here!), but there’s one major thing I left out. They put me on all the bibs!
That’s me, looking up at the building! How sweet is that? I wish I could say it was a surprise for me, but it wasn’t. A couple months ago, Read the rest of this entry »
October 5, 2016
I’ve got a LOT to blog about. I traveled this past weekend, and had a great trip, but my weekend began in Los Angeles with a race on Friday up the tallest stairwell west of the Mississippi. Introducing (for the fourth year in a row) the… US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles!
75 stories. 1,664 steps. The finish line on the roof is 1,005 feet above the sidewalk. It doesn’t matter that I’ve Read the rest of this entry »
August 31, 2016
I ran a race over the weekend and it kicked my ass. I’ve done some tough races in my day, and even though this was only a 5K, it ranks up there among the most difficult. Why? HILLS. More specifically, HILLS and STAIRS. These are the stairs at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. They’re colloquially known as the Culver City Stairs.
There’s 282 stairs carved straight up the side of this hill. They’re made from recycled concrete, and each one is different: Read the rest of this entry »
July 17, 2016
Surprise, surprise! I ran a 10K race over the weekend! And in a beautiful setting. Check out these views!
There are two countries in that photo. Downtown Detroit, part of the good ol’ U.S. of A., is on the right, while the buildings on the left are in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. HELLO, CANADA! And I’m standing on Belle Isle, in the middle of the Detroit River. Belle Isle was the venue for the race, which makes sense, because the race was called “Escape to Belle Isle.”
With 982 acres, Belle Isle is the largest Read the rest of this entry »
June 21, 2016
When it’s come to athletic endeavors, I’ve spent most of my life with an “I can’t” mentality. That’s the sort of thinking that accompanies morbid obesity, and I used to weigh over 400 pounds. Thoughts like “there’s no way I’m fit or strong enough to do XYZ” where pretty commonplace.
Now that I’ve lost around 160 pounds and kept it off for over five years, I love doing things that weren’t even a remote possibility when I was heavy. That part of the appeal of stair racing. It’s a brutally challenging sport, and I still get overwhelmed after a stair race with a wave of emotions, a mixture of shock, disbelief, and pride.
On Saturday, I competed in the San Diego TOWERthon, and it didn’t end with a wave of emotions. Instead, I was hit by a tsunami of empowering feelings that, days later, still has me choked up.
Me and my bib – lucky number 161!
The TOWERthon is a beast of an event, where you are challenged to climb the stairs to the top of a 20-story building as many times as possible in two hours. That’s 120 minutes of nearly non-stop stair climbing – excluding elevator time to get back down – and if that sounds like a terrible way to spend a Saturday morning… well, I used to think that, too. Not anymore. Read the rest of this entry »