It was a busy, busy time in the stair running world this past weekend with three events on Saturday 21 Feb and four events on Sunday 22 Feb happening around the world.

Over in Omaha, Nebraska, course record holder Ivan “The Phantom” Marsh took the win at the 9th Trek Up The Tower, clearing the 870 steps of the First National Tower in a speedy 4:41. He was pushed hard by Ryan “King Kong” Long in a time of 4:54, with the pair clocking the only sub-5 minute times of the day. The impressive Nikki “Whispering Buffalo” Perry was the fastest female, taking a top ten finish at the same. Fist pump to Nikki!!

Up in Minneapolis it was all go at the 8th Fight For Air Climb at the US Bank Plaza. To be honest, we can’t quite make sense of the preliminary results but you can have a look here if you like and try to figure it out. Well done to all who took part anyway.

In Hannover, Germany there were nine people taking on the gargantuan task of a vertical marathon!!! This involved climbing and descending a stairwell 194 times for a total of 41,904 steps (up only). The “winner” (they’re all winners, seriously) finished in 11hours and 38minutes. Here is a brief video from the event. We’re not so sure what is being said, but these guys look tough as nails and at 0:46 you will also see probably the shortest shorts ever made in the history of global textile production. Yes stair climbing is serious business, but who says we can’t look sexy while we do it? Am I right??

Sunday saw one of the biggest events in the United States stair running calendar, as racers gathered at the John Hancock Centre in Chicago for the 18th Hustle Up the Hancock. Powering up the 1632 stairs in first place was Eric “Veritas” Leninger, with a semi-mind bogglingly speedy time of 9:51. In hot pursuit was distance running coach Dan “The Vision” Walters in 10:12, with stair running legend Jesse “Ice” Berg filling the podium in 10:40. With Leninger pipping Walters at the Fight For Air Climb in Oakbrook a few weeks back too, their burgeoning rivalry will be something to follow over the coming year. Unfortunately Justin Stewart took ill before the race and had to pull out. This is a real shame as his inclusion would have added a very interesting element to the proceedings.

The women’s side of the race was dominated by some familiar names as “The Phenom” Cindy Harris added another win to her record, finishing in 11:44. Just three seconds behind in 11:47 was Liz “The Punisher” Ruvalcaba. Liz is the girlfriend of Eric Leninger; talk about a Power Couple. Love birds be getting things DONE!!

We can’t quite fathom that third place may actually be just 14 years old, but the results suggest that Brett “The Bullet” Chody is just that. Her sub-13 minute time of 12:25 is a bit of a revelation. If she stays in the sport, we can certainly expect to see her name topping race results in the future, for sure. Congratulations Brett, we are humbled!!

Of course the essence and appeal of stair running isn’t about times or results. It’s about guts, not quitting, camaraderie and pushing through. This is all on show in this video that shows a guy called Mark Block setting a PB, cheered on by his friend Karen Geninatti. This is pretty awesome!!

In Philadelphia, runners took to the 53 stories of the BNY Mellon Bank Center for the 28th Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Climb. The Tower Masters (and West Coast Labels team members) stayed true to their name as legend Stephen “The Beast from the East” Marsalese took the men’s top spot in a clean 7minutes flat, with fellow team member Sally “Phoenix” Kalksma taking the ladies win (and 7th overall) in 9:35.

Stephen Marsalese and Sally Kalksma toasting their victories

Stephen Marsalese and Sally Kalksma toasting their victories

In Denver, David Roeske took the win at the 10th Fight For Air Climb at the Republic Plaza, with Heather Inglis taking honours in the ladies section.

Stair climbers in Australia got to break in a new stairwell as they tackled the Q1 Tower in Queensland’s Gold Coast, at the inaugural Sea to Sky Stair Climb. Despite stormy weather that threatened to keep some climbers away, the event went off successfully and we are sure the race will be a very welcome addition to Australia’s list of annual climbs. As expected, the phenomenal Mark Bourne took the win fairly handily on the day in 6:45, with Kim Hamilton leading the women in with a time of 10:03. Adam Ryan from Stair Climbing Australia has put together this excellent video, which shows a variety of the elite runners at different times throughout the race. Seeing Mark Bourne still powering away somewhere on the 76th floor is worth checking out. Nice little soundtrack on this one too. Great work!

That wraps up this week’s results. Congratulations to everyone who got out there and took part. Keep climbing!!

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