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 »
March 1, 2016
On Sunday, I competed in Scale the Strat, the annual race up the stairs of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. Here I am, a few steps away from the finish line, 1,391 steps above the Las Vegas strip!
I tend to get nervous before all my races, and I like that. It’s a reminder that these events are important to me. But I felt differently before Scale the Strat: the nervousness was at higher-than-usual levels… and was paired with an impending sense of dread. Read the rest of this entry »
January 26, 2016
WHAT. A. WEEKEND. You wouldn’t guess it from the pain and misery on my face in this first photo, but this weekend delivered outrageous amounts of happiness. I wouldn’t be surprised if my blood was currently comprised of red and white blood cells, plasma, platelets, and PRIDE.
You may already know the headlines if you follow me on social media (find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), but here’s the nutshell: Read the rest of this entry »
November 24, 2015
Stair racing is extraordinarily difficult. These races, up the stairs in skyscrapers, are downright grueling. But they’re also ridiculously rewarding, and the feeling of overlooking an entire city, knowing that you climbed to your perch, is second-to-none.
I’ve been asked (a couple times) to share how to train for a race. I’m happy to share what I know! I’m not the fastest guy at these events, but I’m experienced. I’ve done three dozen of them, in nearly a dozen cities across the country, all in the past few years, and I started as a complete newcomer. I’ve learned a lot! Here’s what you need to know – and how to prepare!
Read the rest of this entry »
October 7, 2015
The first thing I saw when I walked out of my hotel on Saturday morning was… The Space Needle.
It’s wasn’t exactly kismet or anything. First of all, the Space Needle is hard to miss, and secondly, I chose this hotel partly because it was two blocks away. Even so, seeing it got my heart beating a little faster, and I smiled, because I knew that an hour later, I’d be in the stairwell, racing to the top. Read the rest of this entry »
August 12, 2015
I had a very nice two-month hiatus from stairs, but now that’s over. I’m back in the stairwell! Training began last week. I’m not quite ready to share my entire fall racing schedule, but the first one will probably be the Stair Climb for Los Angeles, in the 75-story US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles (more on that in a future post, but here’s my recap from last year’s race). One of the cool things about this race is that they arrange training sessions in a neighboring skyscraper, which is awesome, because the best place to train for a stair race is on stairs!
This is the Wells Fargo Center. It’s 55 stories tall. Read the rest of this entry »
May 19, 2015
Imagine that instant when something or someone truly takes your breath away. Everything freezes for a split second, and a flood of emotion saturates you. It may be awe or love, shock or sorrow, compassion or sympathy. Your lungs fill up, your eyes widen, your heart swells, and you’re stuck, nearly drowning in the power of the moment, hearing only your own heart beat.
I can’t tell you how many times I was overcome like that on Sunday, when I competed in the inaugural Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Tower Climb. I knew going in that it would an emotional morning, but I just wasn’t prepared.
The race was up the stairs to the top of One World Trade Center in New York City, an angular, soaring structure.
At 94 stories tall, the World Trade Center is Read the rest of this entry »