Stair Racing

Every February I do this awesome thing. I captain a team called “Team LOL” that races up a bunch of stairs for the American Lung Association. LOL stands for “Love Our Lungs” Genius right? I know, I thought so too.

Anyways, stairs are hard! When you race up stairs you go anaerobic. In the first flight, you feel “awesome.” That can last for up to 5 flights depending on how well you trained and your cardio capacity. It fades. It vanishes. You literally gasp for air. Your heart rate skyrockets and your legs yell at you. “SLOW THE HELL DOWN YOU MORON”

You keep racing anyways. Hopefully you trained on some stairs. There is fire in your lungs. Everything in your mind is saying to just take a little breather in one of the landing but you keep going anyways knowing that the top will come ‘soon enough.’  As the oxygen gets further depleted, your legs get heavier and your breath even more ragged. The top seems further away and you start counting down instead of up.  JUST HOLD ON, you’re almost there.

In the Fight for Air each person is released into the stairwell in 15 second intervals to keep the stairwell uncongested. There will still be passing involved and it’s a rush to fly past those that have slowed their climb. It’s awesome as you get near the top to hear the welcoming sound of the ‘beep’ ‘beep’ of the timing matt and KNOW that will soon be yours. It’s amazing when you hit that matt just as you’re nearing collapse and then you DO COLLAPSE just past it.

For just a few minutes you lose the ability to breath. For just a few minutes you do fight for air. If you really reflect on that– people with lung disease FEEL THAT every day. They battle the stairwell as they sit, stand, walk. Imagine having to fight for air all the time.

Please consider donating. I’m fighting for air to help those that can’t breathe.
Every dollar helps. Thanks!


Click to go to my page!

Sarah’s Fight for Air


Team LOL! Click to donate!


10 thoughts on “Stair Racing

  1. I was one of the RDs for the stair climb here in Charlotte for a couple of years. I only actually completed it once though and it was absurdly difficult. I run freaking marathons and Ultra marathons, yet running up 50 floors (plus the first 10 being double height) kicked my ASS! Good on you girl! That’s awesome that you continue to do these and support a great cause 🙂

    • I think most get their butts kicked by stairs– it’s the anaerobic thing. Totally different than running. This year I want to attempt the “Ultimate Climb” before doing my team climb– running up as many times as you can before the hour runs out. The top climber last year did 10! I would aim for more like 4 climbs haha…and then complete the 1 for my team totally 5, hopefully all 5-6 minutes to the top. That’s a serious stretch goal that I’m sitting on.
      PS– awesome that you were an RD for a stair climb– how much work went into that??

      • More work than you’d expect! Between building logistics, scheduling people within flights, post-race party setup, getting people to actually get in line for their flights and answering a mess of questions for those newbies, I’m surprised I have any hair left! Our top climber for both years I was one of the RDs, was a personal trainer (also one of the top runners in Charlotte) and after completing the race the first time (Sub 7, I believe) she did it again to climb with and motivate clients. She’s unbelievable, and a very nice person at that. She’s pretty much my running/exercise idol haha!

  2. I am joining you for the first time this year and I can’t wait! Not doing any stair training yet as I will wait until my last 50k trail race on November 9th. I don’t want to ruin my hamstrings or quads training on the stairs just yet!

  3. I did one this past April and it was awesome! The closest I’ve come to throwing up in a race, haha. I got to maybe the 8th or 9th floor and I had to stop running and start power hiking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s