Stair climbing as a sport

This post deviates from my slew of Mozilla automation related posts, but feel free to read along. After moving to a high rise condo building a year ago I started taking the stairs (to the 39th floor) instead of the elevator a few times per week. As time went on this became enjoyable and I could make it to the top without falling on the floor with shaky legs, gasping for air and on the verge of needing life support (just ask my wife about my earlier climbs.)

Time to step it up (pardon the pun). I became involved in some of the online groups, and noticed a lot of other people getting into the sport. It seems like the last couple years has seen an explosion of participants, elite competitors (ones who actually run up the stairs), and events in cities all over the world. Earlier this month I took the plunge and signed up for my first race. This is small in comparison to the Sears tower or the CN tower, but you have to start somewhere.

Wish me luck in 4 weeks and consider climbing up the stairs next time you are waiting for the elevator, it really is fun.

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11 Comments

Filed under general, personal

11 responses to “Stair climbing as a sport

  1. 🙂 At least you have a choice: my apartment (or my flat? my mother language is not English) is “only” 97 steps up from the street (5th and topmost floor, counting the ground floor as number zero), but there’s no lift. I like it though: nice sights, nice neighbours, nice landlord, nice rent. 🙂

  2. elvis314

    I would probably view stairs differently if I lived on the 5th floor with no lift. I know in Miami where I live it is required to have an elevator for buildings >6 floors.

    • I suppose that a similar requirement exists here — for new buildings. When this building was built, in the 1920s I think, elevators (if they were known at all) were a luxury for nabobs, certainly not something for this kind of neighbourhood (I don’t know who lived here then, but today it’s the frontier point between Morocco, Turkey, DR Congo and Poland: I love it); and adding an elevator now would mean either tearing the building down to the ground (then rebuilding it, and with what money?) or at least removing all toilets (which are private but half a storey downstairs from their respective apartments). Of course neither is possible in practice.

  3. Peter

    When I tried going up to floor 18 the last time, I got severely dizzy / giddy / (what’s the English word?) … how often do you have to turn on those stairs?

    • elvis314

      yeah, I get dizzy when I climb faster, but the more practice I do the easier it gets. I climb up about 84 flights (and 84 turns). Lately I have been working on my breathing techniques which has helped climb faster and not get as dizzy or tired.

    • In my building, it’s a 180° turn twice per storey — and running up the stairs would be a hazard for anyone using the stairs (and no elevator, remember?) because except for floors (and “half-floors” 😉 ) the stair flight’s width is about 1½ person’s (if it’s someone like me, not like my neighbour’s grade-school daughters 😉 ).

  4. Peter

    What I didn’t mention is that a few years back I seem to have developed some sort of balance trouble, which makes it very uncomfortable to climb stairs without holding on to the rails … I know how ridiculous it sounds (especially since going down is no problem at all), and I am somewhat ashamed of it, but that doesn’t make the problem go away… The reason I went up that 18 story block (the tallest in the city, we don’t have very high buildings around here) was to see if it would make things better. It didn’t.
    Did anyone have similar experiences (or can anyone explain why this might happen to someone)?

    And racing 55 stories up, that just sounds amazing, Joel!

    • elvis314

      You know a lot of the top stair climbers really promote using the rails. I do it sometimes and find it helps.

      Sorry to hear that you are having balance problems. I think that is great that you did climb 18 stories to see if that would help. Maybe give it a try in another year or two.

  5. skierpage

    I visit a friend on the 31st floor, my dizziness and gasping gets better by the third attempt. Good times! @Peter, you may have http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinthitis , I hope it gets better.

    But stair climbing should be normal life, the default way to go up and down. So many buildings put stairs way in the back or have fire alarms on the doors to them. A hospital near me has heavy brown access doors leading to a handsome wide stone staircase they WALLED OFF in favor of institutional elevators!

    • Here, stairs are a requirement, if only because using the elevators is forbidden in case of fire or other catastrophe (9/11 comes to mind). So where would all those patients (and doctors, nurses, medical secretaries, etc.) go if they had to leave the building in a hurry and the elevators dutifully stopped functioning? To the Pearly Gates, I suppose.

  6. Pingback: Running Raw: Empire State Building Stair Climb – Start | Hot Daily Gossip

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