Welcome to the first Towerrunning USA monthly newsletter, put out January, 2017.


Bop to the Top - Indianapolis, IN


The season started off strong with Bop to the Top in Indianapolis, a perennially strong race this is still somewhat out of the national spotlight. The lower-than-typical entry fee for this race and lack of a fundraising requirement tends to bring out a large field of competitors. 5-year age groups and awards to the top three in each category also encourage participation from everyone! The awards ceremony at the end with all the winners is always a highlight. This race is formatted as a single climb or a triple climb, with the triple climb being worth 100 TWUSA points.


The typical owner of this race, Eric Leninger was out due to injuries, but his vacuum was filled by Justin Stewart, returning to stairs while nursing a running injury!


Single climb


Justin won the single with a very strong 3:38, a few seconds off his record climb. Local runner Caleb Wright was considerably behind with a 4:12, followed closely by US #3 Jason larson in 4:14.  


On the women’s side, Cindy Harris won again by a large margin in 4:29. 13-year-old Madeleine Keller in 5:31 and 14-year-old Julia Falcone in 5:44 rounded out the podium.  Quite an interesting age balance in the top 3!


The cutoff for bonus points in the single is 5:00. 16 people went under the bonus time, so this race with a base of 50 had 11 people add 55 points of bonus for 105 points total.  

Triple Climb


Justin Stewart won the triple as well, pacing himself to a slightly more comprehensible 13:00.9, for a 4:20 average across 3 climbs.  A local took second place again - Mathew Shraders - following closely behind Justin with a 13:22 triple climb. Jason Larson finished third again, with a total triple-climb time of 14:02.  Relatively new on the scene, Jordan Brashears was nipping on his heels with a 14:13 total triple-climb time.


On the woman’s side, Cindy Harris continued her remarkable string of victories with yet another win, completing her three climbs in 14:17.  Carlyn Brown was second with a 17:02, and another youngster did well, 14 year old Kendall Mann placing third in 19:52.


The bonus cutoff for the triple climb is 17:20.  17 runners were in the bonus range, and 7 added points to the 100 base point event, making the race worth 135 points.


Northwest double header - Seattle/Portland


Starting just hours after Bop to the Top was another exciting and unique set of events, the ALA northwest doubleheader in Seattle on Saturday and Portland on Sunday




The action began with the race in Seattle, with 1,2,3 and 4x climb options. The single and quad climbs carried extra TWUSA bonus points, at 75 each


In the 40-floor sprint, Spencer Lazzar sprinted up the steps the fastest, winning with in 4:29. Greg Larabee was second with a 5:00 and Trevor Harris was third with a 5:13.  On the women’s side Kacie Cleveland won with a 5:26, with Amy Brown literally on her heels with a 5:27, and Jamie Garland close behind with a 5:42.  What an exciting and tight women’s podium!  


With 75 base points and a bonus cutoff of 5:40, 6 people were in the bonus range, so the race remained at 75 points.


For the 4x climb 160 floor race, Canadian national mountain runner Shaun Stephens-Whale came from Vancouver and broke the single-climb course record (set by Joe Gray!) in his first rep, putting down a 3:37. He went on to win the 4x climb easily, putting down a total time of 17:19 for 160 floors!  Tristan Roth was second, with a normally-winning-time of 19:31, and Nathan Spencer was third with a 19:59.  


Samantha Parks was first female with a 25:03, Stacey Haveman was second with a 26:30, and Aglow Pauls was third with a 27:50.  


Bonus cutoff for this event is a 25:20. Again, 6 people were in the bonus range, so the race remained a 75-pointer.




The next day the venue moved through the lovely Cascade scenery down to Portland.  Many racers who participate in both events choose to take the 3 hour train ride from Seattle to Portland in advance of the event. Like Seattle, this event also featured single-climb and multi-climb options worth bonus TWUSA points. There was a single 40-story climb, and a 5x 200 story climb that were each 75 TWUSA points


In the 40 floor event, David Roeske came from New York to claim victory in 4:17, Riley Quinn was second with a 5:19, and Joe Dudman was third with a 5:27.  On the women’s side, Julianna Villar won with a 6:08, Julee Ryan was second with a 7:27, and Marie Marjama with third with a 7:58


The bonus cutoff for this race was 5:40, and 5 were in that range this time, so the race remained at 75 points.


The multiclimb - a 200 floor 5 lap affair - was won by Tristan Roth in 24:46.  James Hodgson was well back in second with 28:39, followed by Patrick Zahn with a 28:46.  


Jacquelyn Rodgers was first female with a 37:46, followed by Kristin Abe with a 41:00 and Brenan Dwyer with a 43:13.  


Bonus cutoff for this event was 31:20. 6 people were under the cutoff, so the race remained at 75 points.  




The following weekend led off with a pair of races in Texas, followed by a Chicago event.

San Antonio Run & Climb


The San Antonio Run and Climb is a unique event, beginning with a mass start opening to a .8 mile run, then a 950-step tower climb.  This event drew a cohort of national climbers despite falling on the same day as the high-point Dallas Big-D climb.


Coming in first with a total time of 11:53(5:02 run, 6:51 climb) was Robert Hernandez. Second was David Kelley with a 12:18 (5:04 run, 7:14 climb) and Dave Cauthon with 12:27 (5:19 run, 7:08 climb)


On the women’s side, Marissa Murillo won with a 13:18(4:58 run, 8:20 climb) followed by Andrea Holt Duke 14:20( 5:39 run, 7:41 climb) and Alexa Fisher 14:54 (6:08 run, 8:46 climb)


With a bonus cutoff of 15:50, 44(!!!) athletes were in the bonus range, so this race earned the maximum bonus of 100 points. With a base of 100, the race ended up as a 200 point event!


Dallas, Texas “Big D” climb


Late that same day was the “Big D” race in Dallas. This race brings in some of the best competition and numbers around, and thus was worth 200 points for the region.


Powerhouse Thomas Scott won with a 9:11, followed closely by quickly rising Mark Ewell with a 9:23, and Scott Stanley with a 10:05.  


Anita Averill won for women with a 12:18, followed by Jackie Rust with a 12:44, and Sue Luck with a 13:06.  


The bonus range for this race was under 12:00.  Fewer than 20 racers beat that, so the race remained at 200 points.  

AON Chicago


Finally, the month wrapped up with the Aon race in Chicago, a large and well-run event with over 2100 climbers. This race was worth 150 points in the region, and competition is typically very strong. It lived up to the high expectations.


In town on layover while heading to New York, world elite and reigning Empire State building champion Darren Wilson won, shattering Terry Purcell’s long-standing 9:26 course record with a 9:01!  Justin Stewart continued his return to climbing with a 10:05, and John Osborn was third with a 10:40.  Fourteen-year-old phenom Bob Liking with close behind with a 10:56.  


On the women’s side, Jennifer Glenn won with a 12:47, just edging out Sherri Breese who finished with a 12:50. 15 year old Gabrielle Reese finished in third with a 13:20


With a bonus cutoff of 13:20, 19 people were under, therefore 20 bonus points were added to this 150-base point race, for 170 points total.