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Stephanie Hucko and Sproule Love defend their crowns at the 2016 US Stairclimbing Championship!
Stratosphere 2016 was once again an epic race and a grand spectacle. The top 50 ranked towerrunners of each sex received invites to the special elite wave at the ALA stratosphere race to compete for the US championship. With a clear fast stairwell and large 30 second start gaps, it was climber vs the stairs in an epic battle for the US championship.
On the women’s side, Stephanie was favored to win and she delivered... dropping her winning time from last year by 4 seconds in the process, and winning by well over a minute. The race for 2nd place was much tighter, with the next four ladies all coming in under 11 minutes.
Here are the top 5 women:
On the men's side, Sproule also won handily, dropping his nearest rival by over 20 seconds, and exactly matching his time from the year before. The only real threat to his crown came from somebody who *didn't* race; unfortunately teen phenom Lucas Matison had to drop out at the last minute with a serious bout of poison oak and we'll have to wait another year to see these giants race head to head at the highest-profile race of the year.
Similar to the women's race, the race for the men’s 2nd place was fierce. There were at least half a dozen men all looking to climb under the coveted 8 minute mark. Two squeeked under and a few others were within spitting distance.
Here were the top 5 men:
For those history buffs out there, here are the current course records:
Erika Aklufi (F) 8:16 (2013)
Kevin Crossman (M) 7:05 (2012)
Will these records be broken any time soon? Let’s look forward to 2017 to find out!