Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Marsalese’

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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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!!