The Cystic Fibrosis stairclimb was scheduled to start at 10am, with registration opening at 9am. I got up about 6:30am, and was going to have a bowl of cereal, but found we were out of cereal except for a small amount. Not enough for a bowl. So I ended up having a tuna sandwich.
I debated about which shoes to wear. I have the 10.5oz Fila Volantes, or the 12.7oz Fila Asylums which matched my shirt better. I ended up wearing the lighter Volantes.
We got there about 9:20. Registration went smoothly and quickly. I was wearing sweats over my running clothes. As the starting time got closer, I stripped off the sweats. There was one relay team to start up front, then the individuals would go. I registered almost immediately after registration opened in the hopes of being to be up towards the front. Passing people in the narrow stairway can be a real pain. One woman I talked to who was involved in organizing the event said they were supposed to have lined up people based on their times in last years race. But apparently they hadn’t known that even a couple days before. We would line up in bib # order. My bib # was 422. The first individual was #420. So I ended up being the 3rd individual. I recognized # 421 from last year. I think he has been the fastest runner, or one of the fastest. So I am not sure if it was registering early, being fast last year, I was up towards the front. Last year I had run the stairs in 2:14. My goal had been to beat my buddy Don who ended up running a 2:07. I wanted to beat him this year. Unfortunately he didn’t show up for some reason. He was supposed to have been there. There were a lot less people than last year.
They released the runners every 15 seconds. The first couple guys went, then it was my turn. I had considered wearing my heart rate monitor, but decided I didn’t want to deal with it. When the girl said go, I took off. I used both railings and was taking the stairs two at a time. I had a rhythm going. Thump thump thump thump, turn, thump thump thump thump, turn, etc. I was able to run to the 8th or 9th floor last year, then had to climb steadily. This year I was able to run longer. Around the 8th or 9th floor this year, one of the volunteers was calling out bib numbers to the people ahead. He was standing against the inside railing, and I had run around him! I appreciated the volunteers, but this guy should have been standing on the outside so as not to impede the runners. This broke my rhythm. I manage to run as far as the 11th floor before having to transition into my steady climb. Last year I had a hard time keeping track of where I was. I had been at the 17th floor and was thinking I still have 5 or more floors to go. This year I was able to keep track more easily. I was gasping for breath, but kept going. Pretty soon I was at the top. My wife snapped a picture of me.
I wanted to sit down and drink some water. One of the volunteers needed to take the tag from my bib #. They were taking too much time, and told her to just rip it so I could go sit down. I sat against the wall and drank some bottled water. My throat was dried out from the heavy breathing. Eventually I felt better and I headed downstairs. I was coughing, and it was starting to trigger my gag reflex. I didn’t throw up though…at least not much. I drank lots of water trying to cool my throat.
They had some food, but it was a while before I was up to eating anything. But eventually I got some food.
We waited around to hear the results. We waited and waited. It took frigging forever. They finally announced the top fund raisers. When it came time to announce the top indivual, they couldn’t get it off the computer. They skipped it and went to the top relay teams. Then the top firefighters in full gear, etc. Then they went to the age group awards. I thought I had a good chance in the age group category. They only awarded the first place finishers in the age groups. #421 got first place in the 30-39 year old group with a time of 1:45.
I managed to come in first place in the 40-49 mens category. But then I had a limited amount of competition. But my time was 1:55! I not only hit my goal of coming close to 2 minutes, I broke 2 minutes. I want to see the complete results, but I think I was actually one of the top 3 runners, or at least in the top 5. Nice! I beat my buddy Don’s time from last year. So even though he didn’t show up, I believe I met my goal of beating him anyway.
All I got was a certificate. All the people in all the top three relay teams, got medals. But the age group winners didn’t get medals. Not that I needed another generic medal. I have lots of them from karate tournaments. Still…it’s seemed like a little bit of a dis that the age group winners didn’t get them. I don’t know if the top three finishers overall would have gotten medals…
They were supposed to have come back to overall winners, but they apparently forgot. I mentioned it to the announcer that they forgot the overall winners, but not sure she even was even listening to me. So I congratulated #421 who I am pretty sure was the overall winner anyway. I told him that I would be gunning for him next year. I understand that fund raising is the pupose for the race. But it seems that if they are going to run a race to raise funds, that they owe it to the runners to take the results seriously. I am hoping that the results will be posted online so I can see how I finished compared to everyone else.
The race is different than any other race I have ever run. From the start it is 100% effort, with no pacing whatsoever. Just go go go for 2 minutes solid. I wish they were more organized. I think thet poor organization last year cost them competitors this year. Not sure how they will fare next year.
I keep wondering if they were going to award the top few places for overall individual climbers, and if I would have been one of them. And if they had blown off that category. That would suck. I wonder if they would mail me the certificate or medal or whatever. The more I think about the flawed award ceremony, the more disappointed I am in the whole thing.