June 28, 2020
One of the things I miss most right now is stair racing. Thanks to the pandemic, stair races are pretty much done for the time being, and I don’t know when they’re coming back… or when I’ll feel comfortable racing again anyway. I did have a race experience recently, though – with a bib and everything!
Good ol’ lucky number 41088! The race was Read the rest of this entry »
February 16, 2020
It takes a special kind of nutjob to compete in a vertical mile stair race, because the goal is completely nutty: to climb stairs until you reach one mile of vertical gain. It’s a lot of stairs. Think about how the second floor of your house may be 10 feet off the ground, and compare that to the finish line for this race being one mile off the ground. It’s exhausting just to think about, and as someone who accomplished a vertical mile yesterday, I can tell you it’s way more exhausting in real life. So, yea, I guess that makes me a nutjob… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
There aren’t any staircases that stretch a mile into the sky, so a vertical mile stair race has to happen in a skyscraper, with participants climbing those stairs over and over again. Read the rest of this entry »
February 16, 2020
It’s the weekend… time for a stair race! This one was a Power Hour, in a 31-story skyscraper. So the question isn’t ‘How fast did I make it to the top?’ It’s ‘How many times did I climb it in an hour?’
The race was the Fight For Air Climb, put on by and benefiting the Greater Chicago chapter of the American Lung Association. It happened Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
November 21, 2019
I’m less than 48 hours away from completing the biggest fitness undertaking of my life. On Saturday morning, I’ll be competing in my 40th race of the year. It’ll be the final race of my #40years40races challenge and while I’m excited to compete, I’m even more excited for it to be over.
I never shared my Halloween costume from a few weeks back! Do you know what it is? Answer at the end of this post!
I’ve mentioned before that this Read the rest of this entry »
November 11, 2019
Four minutes and fifty-two seconds. It only took four minutes and fifty seconds to accomplish something I’ve never accomplished before: My first age group podium finish at a stair race!
I’ll get into all the juicy details in a bit. First, let me back up a few hundred steps. On Saturday, I competed in the Steeltown Stair Climb, a stair race in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada that benefited The Lung Association. It was my second race in Canada – after the CN Tower race in April – and my third international race! Read the rest of this entry »
November 7, 2019
Hello, Willis Tower!
You may know this towering skyscraper as Sears Tower. I know it as the home to the tallest stairwell in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest stair race, too!
SkyRise Chicago, which benefits the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, has a start line two floors below ground, and a finish line on the 103rd floor. There’s 105 floors, and 2,159 steps, in between. Read the rest of this entry »
October 19, 2019
Check it out – I’m in the world’s largest corn maze!
Richardson Adventure Farm, in Spring Grove, Illinois, has an annual corn maze that covers 28 acres and includes almost 10 miles of paths. It’s enormous! Every year they host a 5K race, through the maze, and I knew I wanted to do it as soon as Read the rest of this entry »
September 11, 2019
I’ve run races on roads, on trails, and I’ve certainly done plenty of stair races. The race I did on Saturday, though, combined all of those disciplines, and more! My finishers medal was well-earned… and earning it required doing things I’ve never done before.
The race was the 20th Annual Mount Baldhead Challenge, in the cute little town of Saugatuck, Michigan, where I once 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 »