Empire State Building Run-Up


In another spectacular year at one of the World’s banner staircimb events, there was speculation that the extremely strong field might mean a second person finally breaking the magical 10 minute barrier at Empire.


All eyes were on perennial world #10 Piotr Lobodzinski as he toed the line.  He won, hitting the tape at 10:31.  In second place, fresh off of crushing the record at Chicago’s Aon climb, was Darren Wilson, with a 10:43.  Third was Canada’s Shaun Stephens-Whale with a 11:04.  


For the American contingent, Sproule Love was fourth overall, with a time of 11:41.  Second American was David Tromp with a 12:02.  Third American male as David Roeske with a 12:23.


Winning for a record eighth time was Suzy Walsham with a 12:11.  Second overall was the amazing Cindy Harris with a 13:15. Third overall and second american was newcomer Meg Santana with a 13:51.  Third american and fourth overall was Shari Klarfeld with a 14:01


Congratulations to everyone who participated in this extremely tough elite field!

FFA jacksonville


One of the premier SE events, FFA jacksonville always draws a strong field.  


Winning overall was Troy Alston with a 4:19.  Second was Thomas Scott with a 4:37.  Third, from Illinois was John Osborn with a 4:41.


On the women’s side, US champ stephanie hucko won with a 5:21.  Kate Mays was second with a 6:26.  Susanne bergen was third was a 6:30.  

Oakbrook Terrace


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Oakbrook 2017 was yet another banner year for this perenially strong event.


In the banner power hour event, there was a changing of the guard on the men’s side.  When ten time participant, perenneial winner, and record holder Eric Leninger was forced to drop out due to injury, 14 year-old Bob Liking stepped up and won the event, the only person to post 12 climbs in the hour, with a 51:10 climb time.  Strong local climber George Patterson III, the only climber with eleven ascents, was second with 52:00 total climb time. Robert Klinko was third, completing 10 climbs in 50:14.


On the women’s side, first was Denise Skweres with 9 climbs in 47:56, Olivia Bukowski

Completing 9 climbs, and Sheryl Leonard-Schneck completing 8 climbs in 49:44.


In the sprint (one lap) event, we saw the return of Jesse Berg, winning with a time of 3:05. Erig Leninger was second, completing his first power hour climb in 3:08.  Robert Liking was third, his first power hour lap clocking in at 3:39.


First for women was Natalie Doolittle-Shadel, climbing the first tower in 4:28.  Second was Jill Paha, completing her first ascent in 4:34.  Third was 51 year old Lynn Degnan, climbing in 4:43



In an almost exclusively locals-only race, it was a sparse few out-of-town towerrunning veterans who took nearly all the top spots at the Feb. 18 Nashville Fight For Air climb. Troy Alston set a building record at downtown Nashville's Fifth Third Center, which saw participants scale 638 steps up to the 29th floor. The Jacksonville sprint specialist's time of 2:55.7 was more than a minute faster than Milwaukee-area climber Josh Jackett, who finished second in 3:58.4. On the women's side, Nashville's Amy Gardner took the top spot, finishing in 6:27.0. In its fifth year, the event did add a power hour, but it required participants to descend the steps back to the bottom rather than take the elevator back down. Only three people took part in the hour challenge, which was won by the Minneapolis-area's Brian Zamboni, who completed six up-plus-down laps in a total of 57:44.0. Nashville locals Matt Miller and Paul Morel each completed four laps during the hour.

Outclimb cancer:


Single climb times:

Just as light snow started to fall during the late morning hours of the SLC climb, multiple records fell at the Outclimb Cancer Challenge. Local athlete John Tribbia broke the men’s single climb record, moving the bar from Dustin Kazmar’s 3:05.3 in 2014 with his 3:03.7 effort. Christine Soskins pushed the women’s record to 4:19.1, compared to Julie Bryan’s previous record of 4:43.7 set in 2015. Christine was just getting started, though, as she set a new women’s multiple climb record with 50 climbs completed in the 6 hour event. Christine’s effort beat both Susette Fisher’s 45 climbs in 2015, and the previous men’s record of 48 climbs set by Kevin Van Loon in 2015. She couldn’t quite catch Josh Duncan, though, as he pushed the men’s record to 52 climbs. Other notable performances were turned in by male competitors Charles Konopa with 50 climbs and Michael Caviston with 48 climbs, and Leslie Howlett chasing Christine in the women’s competition with 48 climbs and a 4:22.8 first climb effort.


The fire department portion of the climb saw similar intense competition, with the Hill AFB FD narrowly beating out the SLC City Fire team by a mere 2 second average per climber. Hill AFB FD’s effort was led by Chad Carrier, whose 4:42.6 effort while carrying full gear missed the building record by 22 seconds.


Scale the strat


The 2017 US championship at the Stratosphere was another spectacular event.


With a very strong field lining up for the race, the question on everyone’s mind was, would the course record on 7:05 be broken after years of assaults by the very best climbers?


Race fans were not disappointed, as canadian Shaun Stephens-Whale won, setting a new course record with a time of 7:03.  Coming in second was US climber Justin Stewart with a 7:27, and rounding out the podium was Ralf Hascher with a 7:34.  


Filling out the second men’s podium was world #8 Gustavo Isaac Mendoza with a 7:39, US points champion Alex Workman with a 7:45, and Florida powerhouse Thomas Scott with an 8:03.


On the women’s side, the astounding Cindy Harris continued her amazing year, cruising to victory with a 8:30.  In second place, fresh off her incredible debut at empire was Meg Santanna with a 9:34.  In third was Julie-Rae Steinmeyer with a 10:09.  


In fourth place was Christine Soskins.  Fresh off breaking the old men’s course record at Utah’s 6 hour climb less than a day earlier, she put down an excellent time of 10:30.


Finishing off the second podium was Seattle’s Amy Brown with a 10:35 and local Jessica Pickett with a 10:35.  


With 617 finishers, the race set new records for number of participants and funds raised!



Someone looking at the race results early in the day could be forgiven for thinking they were seeig a race report from six years ago.  For part of the day, first place was Terry Purcell(10:25), participating in his first race since retiring several years ago.  Second only a second behind was Jesse Berg(10:26), also making a surprise return to racing after several years away.  Very close behind in third place was Eric Leninger(10:34), in a position he might have occupied several years back before a string of victories at hancock.  


This old-school triumverate was not to last, however; before the end of the day, firefighter and pro triathelete Andrew Drobeck weaved through the traffic of a crowded staircase and put down a very impressive 10:19.  One could speculate that in a clear staircase, he would have been capable of breaking the magical 10 minute barrier.  


Winning for women was local Climber Sheri Breese(12:54), second was Olga Starikova(13:21) and third was Jennifer Glenn with a 13:29.

Other notable February performances:

* Jacksonville towerrunner Jordan Brashears claimed his first-ever first-place finish with a time of 5:39 during the Feb. 12 Fight For Air Cincinnati at the 45-story, 804-step Carew Tower. His time was a 38-second win over second place.

* St. Louis-area towerrunner John Wilmas repeated as the Fight For Air Kansas City champion during the Feb. 26 event at the 42-story, 902-step One Kansas City Place building; his 5:21 finish was a 16-second improvement over his time at the event's inaugural 2016 climb. He also finished first with 7 laps during the event's first-ever power hour.

* Detroit-area triathlete Ryan Rivamonte smashed his own building record at Feb. 26’s Fight For Air Detroit, improving from 6:15.6 in 2016 to a ridiculous 6:03.2 at the 71-story, 1,050-step Renaissance Center. Prior to 2016, which was Rivamonte's first-ever stair race, the event ended one floor and 16 steps shorter, where the prior record was 6:21, held by former 8-time event champion George Hudock.