Fight for Air Stair Climb Race Report

Today was the Fight for Air Stair Climb, formerly known as “Run the Republic”. It’s a race up the tallest building in Denver, the Republic Plaza. 1098 stairs, 56 flights. Last year we had a good group of skaters participating, and I finished in 10:04. With that in mind, I had my mind firmly set on sub 10 today.

I felt pretty confident going into the event today, if less than excited. We only had a few skaters participating, so there wasn’t the great atmosphere as last year. I wandered around on my own a bit, and eventually we lined up. I wore my heart rate monitor, because I was curious to see what it would get up to.

Soon enough we were off and I took the stairs (walking) two at a time. That’s always been easiest on my knee, and I feel like it’s less taxing as you have fewer actual steps to take. I felt very strong and consistent the whole climb, only switching to one step at a time when occasionally passing someone. I felt strong, and as I neared the top I wanted to push a bit harder. However, the last five flights were congested and I got stuck behind someone passing the whole time. I didnt necessarily feel quite strong (or rude) enough to ask them to make a third lane, so I just followed. I hit the top feeling tired but not too beat up. Soon enough, though, the coughing started. Back when I played hockey in college (just recreational), after a game I’d cough so bad I’d lose my voice. I always thought it was some mild form of exercise-induced asthma. I’ve gotten it twice during time trials at derby as well, but it’s not common. It pitched in today, though. I joked with a fellow skater that that stuff probably shouldn’t have been in my lungs anyway!

After all the skaters finished, we headed downstairs where the danged melting pot was handing out pineapple, strawberries, marshmallows and cheesecake with dipping chocolate. I held firm and told them I wasn’t going to eat the marshmallow and cheesecake, could I just have some fruit, and they hooked me up with a tray full of fruit! (and chocolate, but I ignored its presence). I wandered some more and avoided the sugar-laden yogurt and tea. I was anxious to see the results posted, but eventually I had to head to practice (yes, I had roller derby practice afterwards). A few hours later I looked up the results and it listed me as 3rd overall female! However, because of the chip timing, when I pulled the results up again later, I’m listed as 4th (2nd in my age group). Still, not too shabby!

My posted time was 9:04, exactly a minute faster than last year. And… 4 seconds too slow to get an elite starting time for next year. Guess I know what to shoot for in 2012!

overall place: 58 out of 1855
division place: 2 out of 287
gender place: 4 out of 1033
time: 9:04

Average heart rate: 171, Max heart rate 183.