It's T-minus three or so weeks and counting until this years Big Climb! Which is a race to the top of the Columbia Tower, Seattle's tallest building. That's 69 stories and 1,311 steps for a total of 788 vertical feet, which apparently means something to people who climb things.
Last year I finished in a respectable 12 minutes 41 seconds. Times can be found here, if you're interested. Technically, the my team won. But that's only because one guy -- the very fit Henry -- ran it three times in a row. They calculate team times based on the three fastest finishers, and his three times were not only our team's fastest but but faster than everyone else's top three. That's pretty humbling as far as stair-climbing goes.
This year I'm not on Henry's team, but have a great group: there's Madelyn, who is a trainer when she's not dealing with journalism school; Colin, who lives in San Fran now and used to run stairs with Madelyn and I before he moved; Courtenay, who is new to the whole thing and has gone from horrified by the idea to wanting to practice at 7AM; and Brenda, who has climbed Rainier twice and will definitely be a contender. Not like we're trying to win or anything, but it'll be fun and hopefully there will be celebratory drinks afterwards.
Last year I didn't try and raise money for the event's charity-- leukemia and lymphoma research. I do several races of some sort or another every year, and never feel comfortable about asking people to donate. But this year I'd like to try and raise something. A friend from work is about to take on a bone marrow transplant in March. A friend I grew up with's younger brother recently went through a transplant. And my mom recently told me of someone she knows who needs a bone marrow transplant. All are in their 30s or 40s. WTF?
So, if you have the means to do so, please donate a couple of bucks. I don't think there is a minimum for the website. Our team fund raising page is here. It's sparse, but functional.