Yippie-Ki-Yay, My First Power Hour of 2020! (Oakbrook Terrace Fight For Air Climb Race Recap)

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 »


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 »


I Just Want To Be Able To Move After This! (SkyRise Chicago 2019 Race Recap)

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 »


“He’s Going For It!” (2018 Tower 2 Tower Race Recap)

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 »


“Made It To The Top!” (2018 Los Angeles Fight For Air Climb Race Recap)

April 15, 2018

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 »