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?’
I Felt Like a Total Moron At My First 2020 Race… But At Least I Have a Good Story to Tell! (Bop to the Top Race Recap)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 »
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 »
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 »
I competed, on Saturday, for my seventh consecutive year, in the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb in Los Angeles. The title for this post comes from a sign I saw on the roof after the race, which echoed exactly what I was feeling after a particularly tough climb.
The race was up 63 stories in the stairwell of Read the rest of this entry »
One Morning. Two Separate Stair Races. My First Triumphant Double Header! (2017 SkyRise Chicago and Chicago CF Climb Race Recaps)November 7, 2017
There are many reasons why I love competing in stair races, but the very first thing that hooked me was the overwhelming feeling that comes after I cross a finish line – a one-of-a-kind swirl of pride, accomplishment, invincibility, pain and exhaustion. Prior to my involvement in this sport, I had never felt it before, and now I can’t get enough of it. This picture, taken moments after crossing a finish line on Saturday, is the closest I’ve come to capturing that feeling:
Now, when I look at it, I can see every component of that feeling pretty clearly: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve Been Secretly Training in a Downtown Skyscraper… and I Can Finally Talk About All of It. (Well, Most of It.)June 26, 2017
Last Friday was a big day. It was the final day that I could climb the stairs in the 41-story Ernst & Young Building in downtown Los Angeles. I was so sore and exhausted from a good week of workouts that I could only manage two climbs (more on that later), but it felt great. Except for when I laid down after the workout, and it hurt to get up.
I’ve been attending these workouts Read the rest of this entry »
I’m back from San Francisco, where, for the third year in a row, I competed in the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. While three-peating here might make me a veteran, this year’s race was new, thanks to a change in venue. This race was held, for the first time, in 101 California, a glass skyscraper that reaches 48 stories into the sky.
101 California isn’t a landmark or a record-holder – it’s currently tied as the city’s 8th-tallest building. In fact, it’s best known as the site of a horrific tragedy Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a common misconception that the Space Needle, Seattle’s most iconic landmark, is also the tallest thing in town, but that’s not the case, no sir. There are actually six skyscrapers that are taller, with the tallest, Columbia Center, reaching over 300 feet higher than the Space Needle.
On Sunday, I competed in the Big Climb Seattle, a race up 1,357 stairs in the Columbia Center, and it was a momentous occasion, for a couple of reasons: Read the rest of this entry »
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 »