Race Up The Place Results!

>> Saturday, February 02, 2008

Or, “Wow, Racing Up 35 Flights of Stairs STINKS!”

Or, “Apparently, People Remember a Guy in Tighty-Whities!”

Or, “Wait...Wait...Am I REALLY That High on the Finishers List?!”

Earlier today, I ran a very different sort of race: it was called Race Up The Place, and it was a 700 step, 35 flight stair-climb in the biggest building in Downtown St. Paul. It was a fundraiser for the American Lung Association. I’ve been registered for a few months, and the plan was to run it along with some students from my Alma Mater, The College of Visual Arts. For the past 3 years, I’ve also been teaching at CVA, and I THOUGHT I had talked some of my current and former students into doing this run as “Team CVA.”

Paul, the Director of Student Life at CVA, signed up as well, and we made it our mission to recruit students. Art students aren’t known for being that physically active. We thought we had at least 3 students in the bag. But when we were ready to start, there were no students to be found:


There should be students in between us...

Oh well. At least Paul and I had a good time. We got ready to race. Each runner started 10 seconds after the one in front of them. Here’s what the “starting line” looked like, with the blue mats for the timing chips, and a lady in white just starting and heading into the stairwell:


Is #307 really going to run this in his jeans?!?

Paul and I were ready, but I had one more quick change to make. That’s right folks: time to bust out the lucky tighty-whities. Paul thought I was a little nuts. I put them on right over my Speedo Jammer, and called it good. People started laughing, and I was having a blast. Paul nearly refused to be seen with me.

We got up to the line, and off we went. I had no idea how to run that many stairs, so I just ran. I had no clue what I was doing. I took a split time at the 10th floor when I was starting to slow down a little, and my time was 51 seconds. I took another split at the 20th floor, and my time was 1:59 (or 1:08 for flights 11-20). After that, it just all sucked. It was tough. I was sucking air, and my heart was ready to blow through my chest. I passed about 6 to 8 people in the second half of the run (Paul and I started after a lull, so there was no one to pass in the first half of the climb). I always said “Nice job!” or “Keep it up!” as I passed people, even though it was getting progressively harder to speak while breathing so hard.

I just kept moving. There were people cheering at about every 5th floor or so, and everyone got a chuckle out of my “undies on the outside” fashion statement. Suddenly, I looked up and saw that I was on floor 32. I only had a few more floors to go! So I lowered my head and gave it a little more. I came out on the 35th floor 4:11 after starting. People were cheering. That quickly turned to laughter and comments on my outfit. I had finished, but my lungs and heart were on fire. I should have taken my pulse, because I’m sure it was through the roof!

I had to lie down. I think my quads were probably hot to the touch. I felt like I was about to puke. I wasn’t dizzy or light-headed, but my stomach was ready to purge itself. I closed my eyes, and started feeling better pretty quick. I walked over to get another bottle of water while I was waiting for Paul to finish, and the volunteer who was taking off the timing chips stopped me. “Did you run the Monster Dash?...” she asked. I smiled. “Yes I did! Why...do you remember the undies?” She laughed and said that it was hard to miss! I forgot her name, but she said that she was covered in aluminum foil (as part of her costume) for the Monster Dash, and was actually cheering next to me for a while we were watching the Monster Day Half Marathon. We had a nice chat. It turns out that she ran the half marathon last weekend with me. And she’s thinking about doing IM WI 2009, so I told her a little about WIBA.

So Paul came busting through the finish line, and we sat together to gather our bearings for a bit. The last group of the day was now finishing, and they were firefighters in FULL GEAR! They had all the clothes, tanks, boots, helmets, and everything else for the climb. Here’s a little note for the ladies out there: if you want to see young, sweaty, buff firefighters strip down to tank tops and such, wait for them at the top of a 700 step stair-climb. Paul and I had firefighters dropping gear all around us because they were so heated up from the run. And we were clapping for them. (Because they had just done the climb with all the gear, not because they were stripping in front of us.)

Paul and I headed down from the 35th to the 23rd floor, where they were having an “after party” of sorts. They had goodies and an AMAZING view! I wish that I had brought my camera up with me. Then we walked over to look at the finishers list. Paul couldn’t find his name because he had just recently finished. I looked for my name and time. I had to keep looking higher. And higher. And finally, there it was...

...at the top of the list!

I had finished FIRST!



Crazy! Sure, I pushed hard, but I figured that they’re be plenty of people faster than me. I was first out of 334 runners. I couldn’t believe it! Paul could. I headed back to the goodie table to grab more grub. Then, 2 people approached me and asked “Did you run the Charities Challenge 5K at Como Park?” Again, I laughed and said “Yep! Did the tighty-whities give me away?” They remembered me, and then proceeded to introduce themselves. One of them, Gary, was the founder and president of Charities Challenge. We had a nice little chat, and I mentioned that I had just finished first. Gary grabbed me and took me to the front up by the mic. He said something about how everyone did great, but only one person could finish first. He announced my name, and asked me to come on down. People started clapping, and then started laughing when they realized it was the guy in his undies that won the stair-climb. Gary made some fun comments about my outfit, and then asked me to say a little something. I congratulated the firemen on their amazing climb, talked about how the climb was tougher than we all thought, and I closed with something like “...and, you know, if you ever decide to wear your underwear on the OUTSIDE, you might just find out you’ll be a little speedier!!”

Paul and I headed down to the foyer, and got ready to go. We grabbed one last photo of ourselves with our finisher medals:


(I almost took off the undies before the photo,
but Paul told me to keep them on.)

Well, I had a great time, got to chat with some new friends, made some people smile, and somehow won the event. I’d say it was a great day! It was nice to meet everyone I talked to, and it was great doing this event with you, Paul! Next time, let’s drag a few students with us...

36 comments:

TriBoomer 4:05 PM, February 02, 2008  

Wow... I mean WOW! Way to go!

And for a great cause too. Good on ya, mate.

Stay tuned...

RobbyB 4:35 PM, February 02, 2008  

Kick ass!

It's amazing how much power the tighty-whities have. You shoulds start selling the power of "undies on the outside" for only $19.95. But wait! There's more...

Congrats on the great climb!

Doug 4:49 PM, February 02, 2008  

Steve, you're an animal!

Nice job!

RunBubbaRun 4:53 PM, February 02, 2008  

Okay, your making me wanting to wear tidy-whites if it is going to make me go faster...

great job..

cindy 5:18 PM, February 02, 2008  

Good lord...you just ran a super fast half marathon not too long ago, and now you win this super hard stair-climbing race! Great job...you are in tip-top shape!

I bet it hurt. Way to push yourself!

21stCenturyMom 6:04 PM, February 02, 2008  

What a crazy race but congratulations! Good going.

Sam Anderson 6:12 PM, February 02, 2008  

Dude Steve!! Ruth and I had to work this morning and couldn't make it to the climb. Your victory was epic.

J-Wim 6:30 PM, February 02, 2008  

Wow - congrats!

I do an hour of stair climbing at work several days a week on my lunch, not sure if I could run them for 35 flights..... fast anyhow.
Great job.

Stef 8:24 PM, February 02, 2008  

What a fun day, and great BONUS being first as well. Congratulations, that was fierce!!

And the report was funny as usual. :-)

Bill 10:00 PM, February 02, 2008  

Whoo hoo! With undies to boot!

Well done, Steve.

IronTRISH 10:13 PM, February 02, 2008  

Great job!! I think I'm going to start wearing my undies on the outside. Thanks for the tip :)

Kate 11:13 PM, February 02, 2008  

You're kicking some serious butt these days bruddah!

kt 9:02 AM, February 03, 2008  

Nice, Omaha is having their "Trek to the Top" Race in a couple of weeks. No idea how many stairs, all I know is it is 40 floors. Yikes, I am with you, no idea how to train and so I just keep swimming, biking, and running. I, however, do not plan on being in the top 10. =0) I think I will wear my heart rate monitor just for fun!

Allison 12:25 PM, February 03, 2008  

I think it's time you change your blog name to "Steve in Tighty Whities?!..."

teacherwoman 2:57 PM, February 03, 2008  

Nice job, Steve. What a great cause! :)

Marcy 3:27 PM, February 03, 2008  

Dude, I might ahve to convert and wear tighty whities on the outside of my shorts :P SWEET JOB!!

Kellye Mills 3:29 PM, February 03, 2008  

Oh my gosh...that sounds like so much fun! Great Job!

brendaj 3:57 PM, February 03, 2008  

Nice job, Mr. tighty whities!

Pbear 7:00 PM, February 03, 2008  

Is that a cell phone on 307's belt? Great job on the stair run!

Shelley 7:35 PM, February 03, 2008  

YOu are such a stud!! Way to go!!

TriShannon 8:44 PM, February 03, 2008  

WOW - first place - nice job.

And those undies sure do get around. :-)

Ryan 6:31 AM, February 04, 2008  

Would you sign those undies and send them my way, I want to frame them. I promise I won't try to sell them on ebay. I'm just a really big fan! ;)

Kim 11:32 AM, February 04, 2008  

seriously, is there anything you CANT do? youre a fucking idol.

Shawn 3:08 PM, February 04, 2008  

WTG!!! Make sure you keep those undies clean! Awesome job on the climb!

Theoutofshapeguy 3:22 PM, February 04, 2008  

You are an animal! Kick ass job!

CoachLiz 3:48 PM, February 04, 2008  

hmm...would pink panties make me run faster???

I know I ran pretty fast around Rice University one time in some black undies, HA!!!

Tea 8:19 PM, February 04, 2008  

wow.wow.wow.

We are in the prescence of greatness.

jeanne 9:38 PM, February 04, 2008  

fantastic! and the race wasn't bad either!

Running Jayhawk 9:43 AM, February 05, 2008  

The one time I did a stair climbing event (Hustle Up the Hancock), I nearly keeled over and died at the top. Perhaps I should've worn tightie whities on the outside...hmmm...I think you may be onto something.

You are EN FUEGO, Steve.

Runner Leana 11:05 AM, February 05, 2008  

A chip timed stair climb? That's awesome! Congratulations on your first place finish!

Anne 11:36 AM, February 05, 2008  

Sounds like the key to successful stair climbing is wearing your undies as outies. That's a great pace, and a great race report. Congratulations.

triguyjt 12:18 PM, February 05, 2008  

awesome steve...
have same kinda event this weekend. won't do it in 4 minutes like you....wow..
you are a stud.

firefighters are asking me if i wanna try with the fullgear on...

i'm thinking....... ahhhhh...probably note. cardiac arrest in the making

Dana 10:21 AM, February 06, 2008  

You are a MONSTER,man! Too bad you didn't have dollar bills to wave to the fireman as they were stripping..lol

monica 10:44 PM, February 06, 2008  

yeah, i don't think i'd a done a stair climb when i was in art school. in fact if you told me back then that i'd be running marathons and doing an ironman, i'd tell you to F OFF!!!

nice to be recognized for something even if it's for wearin' your bun huggers on the outside...maybe i'll wear my bra on my head at the next 5k!!

E-Speed 7:27 AM, February 07, 2008  

I get winded just walking up six flights of stairs every morning. This event would kill me! Stairwell air just is not sufficient for the lungs!

Great job!

Emily 9:33 AM, December 20, 2008  

I've done a couple of these Lung Association climbs: Chicago - abt 100 flights and Seattle, a lotta flights there too.

These races really get the lactic acid flowing! I coughed for a bit once finishing because my lungs were blown out too. Good stuff!

Awesome on the WIN!

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