April 25, 2021
I was woefully under-prepared, and nursing an injured foot. Why did I sign up to race up and down thousands of stairs?
This morning I collapsed on the grass (actually, it was turf), after a job well done, and felt a specific sense of pride that I haven’t felt since February 2020. It’s a mix of accomplishment, exhaustion, pain, and invincibility – and I only experience it when I complete a stair race.
So, the answer to the question at the beginning of this blog post is… Because I love stair races. Period.
Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2020
I’ve never blogged during a global pandemic before! There are first times for everything.
What a depressing couple of weeks it’s been, thanks to the coronavirus and all the awful news that’s resulted because of it. On the whole, I’m in really good shape. There have been no confirmed diagnoses for anyone in my life that I know of. (Then again, 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 »
December 4, 2019
The biggest fitness challenge of my life is over. A couple weeks ago, I completed my #40years40races challenge. It wore me down, and wore me out, but I am so incredibly proud. Proud doesn’t begin to cover it. I raced more in 2019 than I did in 2018 and 2017 combined. In fact, 1/3rd of all the races I’ve done in my adult life (since 2011) were raced as part of this challenge. I’ve done things I’ve never done before, and set all sorts of personal records. Plus, I finished my challenge on November 23rd, with over a month to spare before the end of the year!
Those are all the medals I earned this year. 31 of them! (Not every race has medals.) They look even better all spread out on the table. Read the rest of this entry »
November 24, 2019
Check this out: It’s my first-ever FIRST PLACE MEDAL!
I won first place among men aged 40-49 at the Gift of Adoption Michigan Stair Climb in Southfield, Michigan on Saturday, and it was a total surprise when they called my name during the awards ceremony. I was already on cloud nine, having finished my 40th and final race of the year just minutes before, and being handed that medal was 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 »
August 7, 2019
Last weekend I competed in my 29th race of the year, and my second in Michigan’s gorgeous – and incredibly remote – Upper Peninsula. I earned the biggest, heaviest finisher’s medal I’ve ever seen!
The race was called the Pine Mountain 500, and it was held at the Pine Mountain Ski Resort in Iron Mountain. There’s a ski jump there, and alongside the jump is a 500-step stairway. Read the rest of this entry »