As I relax on the couch tonight recovering from the Bop to the Top stair climb in Indianapolis, Indiana, I can’t help but to recount the day and a great event. As many know it’s a goal of mine this 2014 “season” to hit as many different venues and states as possible and this was a great new find for me.
The first climb of the year, my intent with this and the others leading up to the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb in Seattle was for training and evaluating my pace. There were a few options; individual, team, and triple step (climb bldg. 3x) and I opted for the triple, how often can you climb 108 floors? In my first-due area the answer is not at all. I look at every climb leading up to it as another way to get me prepared.
After finishing my second ascent on the triple step it hit me that I was feeling pretty good and I was very interested in seeing what my time would be in just running clothes. Having never attempted a building climb in running shoes, shorts, and shirt, curiosity had gotten the best of me. By the time I came down from climb number three I was on the runners high and convinced that I was doing it, so I signed up. Some people thought I was crazy, except for the other climbers that were doing the same thing.
It felt weird and I felt light and almost naked as I approached the starting line of stairwell A. I must have checked myself 10 times to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, but all I needed was running clothes and the iPhone. There were no boots, gear, helmet, etc., just the steps and me. The steps were easy, even after dragging up them in full gear three times, and I fully understand how some of the elite can swing themselves around the stairwells so fast. I won’t lie, by the time I hit the top I was winded, but it was a much faster pace. I went from a 10:40 at best down to a 7:27 time for the 36-floor tower.
Overall this was an excellent climb that is well worth checking out. This is the 31st running of the event and I must say one of the best that I have participated in. It was a great venue, nice staging area outside the stairwells, and plenty of volunteers to help out throughout the day. I found no shortage of food, water, awesome people to meet with, and the ability to share with one another why we were there.
If there is something that I could pick apart about the event it would be the torturous heaters every so many floors in the stairwell. While they were only every so many floors it definitely provides a little motivation to keep on moving past them. You need to check this out if you are in the Midwest at least once!
My advice to the climbers at this building, grab the Jolly Ranchers from the candy dish. It wasn’t until I heard everyone dying at the top coughing with “burning lungs” that I realized the forced air in the stairwells was pushing every bit of dust into the faces of the climbers on their way up. There is no way to avoid them, short of the runners that I saw wearing masks on the way up.
Thank you Indy for what was another wonderful stay in your city. The next time out will be for the 9/11 Stair Climb at FDIC in April. While I have many climbs in my future for 2014, this will be one that I definitely add to my list to go back.