Posts Tagged ‘AON center stair climb’

Darren ‘Optimus Climb’ Wilson emerged from his hiatus last weekend to set a new course record at the AON Center in Chicago.

The Australian star is in incredible form ahead of the 40th edition of the Empire State Building Run Up (1 February), where he hopes to repeat his 2016 victory.


Optimus Climb: Darren Wilson – record holder at the AON Center, Chicago

The AON Center stair climb is a very competitive event in the USA race calendar, regularly drawing in the country’s best tower runners. The list of former winners is a who’s who of some of the sport’s greatest ever stair climbers: Sproule Love, Jesse Berg, Eric Leninger, Justin Stewart.

At the top of the AON Center pile is Australian Terry Purcell. A former ESBRU winner (1998), and victorious in multiple climbs throughout his long stair climbing career, Purcell’s record time of 9:26 was set in 2009 – the last of his five victories (from five starts) at the 80-floor building.

Wilson smashed the record by 25 seconds, setting a new time of 9:01 – a record we can almost guarantee will remain untouched for years.

Big D Climb in Dallas, Texas


The Bank of America Plaza in Dallas

Down in Dallas it was the 9th edition of the Big D Climb at the Bank of America Plaza (1,540 steps). Stair climbers descended from around the USA to vie for supremacy, and it was ‘The Molten Puma’ Thomas Scott from Florida who took the win in 9:11.  Mark ‘Lord of the Incline’ Ewell from Colorado Springs wasn’t far behind in 9:23.

With the Cowboys having crashed out of the NFL playoffs a few weeks back, the locals were looking for some sporting Texan star to brighten their mood, and Scott ‘The Chalice of Thunder’ Stanley was good for the job. He made sure a Texan was standing on the podium, taking third in 10:05. Big shout out to one of our stair climbing heroes, Hal ‘The Statesman’ Carlson, who at 64 (!!!) took a massively impressive fourth place finish. Amazing longevity!

In the women’s division it was local athlete Anita ‘A for Aggression’ Averill who took the win (12:18). She was followed by another Texan, Jackie ‘The Stair Corroder’ Rust (12:44), with Madeleine ‘The Oakland Bad Ass’ Fontillas Ronk taking third (13:40). Our current stair crush, Sue ‘The Eraser’ Glaser, took fourth place (14:01).

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There was a five-race extravaganza in the USA this past weekend, with climbs happening in L.A., Sacramento, Little Rock, Boston and Alexandria, VA.

The tallest climb of the weekend was the popular Fight For Air event at the AON Center in downtown Los Angeles. Some familiar names from the ranks of the West Coast’s elite climbers were decked out in their sleeveless, dri-fit finery as they prepared to tackle the 1,393 steps.

Building on an impressive placing at the Strat last month was the super-speedy John “Renegade” Osborn, who took the overall win with in a time of 8:39. Just behind him was “The Widowmaker” Jeff Dinkin, who took an impressive 23 seconds off his previous best time while finishing in 9:01. In third place was the “The Irvine Berzerker” Chris Whitney (9:10).


The rapid “Renegade” in full flow at a past event

There were some fast times among the ladies on the day too with Julie-Rae “The Step Slayer” Steinmeyer taking victory in the women’s section in a time of 10:25, with “The Eternal Blossom” Veronica Stocker (10:53) taking second and “The Chosen One” Lisa Zeigel rounding out the podium in third (12:38).

"Excuse me Lisa, what time is it?" " IT'S ZEIGEL TIME BABY!!!"

“Excuse me ma’am, do you have the time please?” ” IT’S ZEIGEL TIME, BABY!!!”

Saturday also saw climbers in Sacramento taking on the 612 steps of the Wells Fargo Center for the American Lung Association. Quickest on the day there was “Dr. Jekyll” Robert Hyde, evidently transforming into some sort of beast when he enters a stairwell, who took the win in 5:06. Just four seconds behind him was Vadim “The Elevator Racer” Koval, with Joseph “Joey Nuts” Robles taking third.

Taking the top spot in the women’s section was America “the Beautiful” Whalen with Catherine “Eat Your Damn Greens” Velez coming in second. These two speedsters were the only women on the day to go sub-6 minutes. Zoooom!!! Yayoi “Woman of the Wind” Whetstone took bronze.

The final set of Saturday results from the USA come from Little Rock, Arkansas where steppers headed to the War Memorial Stadium. We’re not entirely sure what the format there was but we do know that Sheila “The Glove” Fitts was the fastest lady and “Drive By” Andrew Cyrus was the overall winner.


Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium

There was also an event in Slovakia on Saturday, with climbers taking on the 21 floors of the European Business Centre. At the time of writing we were unable to access the results, but we believe “The Zilina Avalanche” Tomas Celko took second. There is a race video, with various clips from the build up and awards ceremony, on YouTube, which you can watch here.

On Sunday there was a climb in Boston, at One International Place, where two of the biggest names from the East Coast went head-to-head in the battle for top spot. Continuing his brilliant start to the season and adding another victory to his name was “The Stringer of Orpheus’ Harp” Adam Cellemme. He managed to push “The Beast from the East” Stephen Marsalese into second. Both these guys have had a really good season so far, and we’re really enjoying watching the growing rivalry between the New Yorkers and the Bay Staters. It’s getting like the Bloods and the Crips up in those parts. Tense!!

The weekend’s final race was in Alexandria, VA where the showcase event was the double climb, during which competitors took on two rounds of the building’s 28 floors. Fastest on the day was well-known climber Michael “The Sword of the Stairwell” Karlin who completed his two climbs in a mere 4:41. Very fast climbing there from the Tower Masters athlete.


“The Sword of the Stairwell” cuts through another flight on his way to victory

Congratulations to all who took part and best of luck to those racing this coming weekend.

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