Every year I compete and have placed in the top 5 climbing stairs of high rises, also know as a vertical road race. Anyone who has ever climbed stairs knows how challenging this can be. Why do I climb? Climbing skyscrapers is no different than battling the elements on a stalk for big game. It takes extreme muscular strength and endurance along with mental toughness to be competitive at these races. I am an athlete and a hardcore hunter who trains to hunt so that I can Hunt Strong. I train hard because you never know how you will be challenged on a hunt.
We will be Colorado bound in just over a week battling thin air at 9,000 to 12,000 feet high for trophy elk and mule deer. So climbing stairs is for sure part of my training regimen. The stair wells are not ventilated, nor do they ever get cleaned. They are filled with dust particles, mold, and who knows what else. Typically, after I climb these stairs, I develop an intense cough lasting for a few days. The American Lung Association runs these vertical road races and they title them “Fight For Air Climbs”, just to give you an idea.
A friend and I went down to the The Bank of America Building in Downtown Tampa, FL., which consists of 42 floors, 84 flights, 912 total steps, and is 577 feet high. This is the tallest building in Tampa and it is also where one of the “Fight For Air Climbs” is held. We completed three climbs with less than 10 minute breaks in between. To give you a better idea, three climbs equals 126 floors, 252 flights, 2,736 steps, and 1,731 feet high.
To challenge my body even more, I chose to climb with a weighted vest and a gas mask. Why? While on the hunt, I will always have a backpack loaded with gear, food,water, and not to mention my weapon. The reason for the mask is to restrict the amount of air being taken in training my body to perform efficiently with very little oxygen. This is exactly how I will feel on a spot and stalk at high altitudes. I also completed all three climbs using my only my legs because there are no side rails in the backcountry.
Was it tough? Absolutely, but completing this challenge gives me the confidence I need to take on the elements. My legs and lungs were burning, especially on the final climb. I will continue to train hard so that my upcoming hunt will be easy. Hunt Strong!
Going from being completely dry to drenched in sweat less than 6 minutes is exactly what Team Hunt Strong, Train To Hunt felt as they pushed, pulled, and battled their way to the top of Ft. Myers tallest skyscraper. The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb ( http://www.lungusa.org/) was a success, especially for Team Hunt Strong, Train To Hunt! This climb took place in Ft. Myers, Florida at The High Point Place Condominiums which consisted of 30 Floors and 540 steps. Hats off to Kurt Goerke and his team for making this climb possible. This was one of the most organized climbs I have participated in thus far.
As always, I continue to preach how preparation is the key to victory. Team Hunt Strong, Train To Hunt headed down to Ft. Myers the day before the race to ensure we would be well-rested as we attempted to climb the “tower of terror”. We set ourselves up for victory by making sure we were nutritionally , physically, and mentally prepared. We were very optimistic we would perform well and overcome the pain as we gasp for air and as our muscles burn with as lactic acid sets in. This building’s stairwell was a dungeon of unpainted concrete blocks. Just walking through the stairwell you smelled nothing more than concrete dust, so just imagine what we were about to breathe in as we climbed. This is why they call these races Fight For Air Climbs!
Team Results: Team Hunt Strong, Train To Hunt comes in FIRST PLACE!!!!!! I could not be more proud of my team and their accomplishments. Our overall team average was 3:45, which won by a total of 28 seconds.
Individual Results: Davie Ferraro (2:52), 1st place for the 18 to 29 year old and 3rd place overall, Susan Kirham (3:57), 1st place overall and a New Record for females, Bob Hendryx (4:24), 3rd place 50 to 59 year old age males, Robin Ferraro (5:16), 4th place for 18 to 29 year old females, and Shelby (5:39), 5th place for females 30 to 39 years old.
Congratulations to Michael Peters of Indianapolis who won the overall climb with a time of 2:39 and Chad Kreiley, 2nd place overall finisher with a time of 2:42. I can’t wait till next year! 2:30 will be my goal. Hunt Strong, Train To Hunt!
*Next Climb:Team Hunt Strong, Train To Hunt will compete in Orlando on November 12th. If you are interested, please let me know!!!!
Feelings of extreme exhaustion, legs weighing 100lbs. a piece, muscles on fire, fighting for air just to make it to the 42nd floor. That’s what over 1100 individuals felt as they participated in The American Lung Association’s 6th annual Fight For Air Climb last Saturday, March 26th, at The Bank of America Building in Downtown Tampa, FL. The B.O.A. consists of 84 Flights of Stairs, 42 Floors, and over 900 total steps. This was my second time competing in this annual vertical climb and I did not expect it to be any easier than before. My Goal was to beat my previous time of 5 minutes and 35 seconds (1st in my age group of 18 to 29 and 2nd overall) from last year. Was I successful?
Why Climb? The Fight For Air Climbs are fundraising events for the American Lung Association. Teams or individuals participate in these events to challenge their personal fitness levels as a race while others climb to support someone who has lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, coronary obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), second hand smoke or as a memorial of a family or friend that has passed away.
Why Do I Climb?? Not only do I climb for the reasons above, but I climb for every Hunter who’s lungs have burned as they gasp for air or their muscles giving out during a stalk as they attempt to take a trophy animal. Whether you are hunting Dall sheep in the Northwest Territories or Elk in Colorado, the bottom line is, if you are not physically and mentally prepared for the Hunt, you may struggle to be successful, suffer from altitude sickness or even face death. Check out some of these warriors!
Here is a HERO who is a true hero in my eyes. He was climbing the 84 Flights of stairs with a loaded backpack. If you look closely, his shirt reads “For my Fallen Brothers”. Please say a prayer for all the heroes that protect this great country and fight for our freedom everyday. They put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy our daily lives with the camaraderie of family and friends. God Bless all of our fallen heroes and their families. You will never be forgotten!
The picture above is of John Cannon, an ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Firefighter, who wins the Firefighters Full Bunker Division every year. That’s Right, Firefighters climb full gear, which is equivalent to an additional 70 pounds! John completed this year’s climb in a total of 7 minutes and 35 seconds. John is one of the few ex-NFL players who maintains a great physique and without question, is one of the mentally and physically toughest men I know. Congratulations John and thanks for your inspiration.
Another inspiration of mine is Bob Hendryx! Last year, Bob weighed 115lbs. heavier, with a body fat percentage of 36%, than what you see in the picture above (now 11% body fat) and could not participate in the climb. Since then, Bob has completed 4 Fight For Air Climbs: Orlando, West Palm, Jacksonville, and now Tampa. He is signed up to compete in Miami (55 Floors/110 Flights) on April 16th and he will be joining me in Ft. Myers (32 Stories/ 500 Plus Steps) on April 30th. Bob placed 2nd in both Orlando and West Palm for his age group of 50 to 59 year olds. Bob just climbed The Bank of America (84 Flights/42 Floors/914 Steps) in 9 minutes and 12 seconds. Bob is one of the most determined individuals and if he says he is going to accomplish a goal, you better believe he is going to “Make It Happen”. Bob’s advice, “Make yourself sweat everyday”. Bob, 57 years old, also says and I agree 100%, “You are never too old to get in the best shape of your life”. Bob has a picture on his Refrigerator that says “What would Davie Eat?”!
This is Chad Kreiley, the stair climber champion. Chad travels throughout the United States competing in Fight For Air Climbs. Chad has won several and gives me the drive to increase my pace and finish faster. Chad came in 3rd overall on Saturday with a time of 5 minutes and 1 second. His fastest time on this climb is 4 minutes and 54 seconds. I will be competing with Chad again in Ft. Myers where he climbed that 32 tower building in a total of 2 minutes and 29 seconds last year.Great job Chad!
Finale Results: I came in 5th overall and 2nd in my age group of 18 to 29 years old. My overall goal was to complete the stair climb faster than the previous year. My time, 5 minutes and 33 seconds! Just two seconds faster and yet another year older. Next year, I will be in another age category, 30 to 39 year olds. I did not come in first place but I gave it my all as you can tell from the picture above. As a hunter, you need to be a well conditioned ATHLETE from head to toe both mentally and physically. You must prepare for the unexpected. A successful hunter must portray both muscular strength and endurance. Not to take anything away from the athletes who beat me in these stair climbs, but I weigh up to 60 pounds more than them, which I make up in lean muscle mass. A huge thanks to these phenomenal athletes because after all, they just make me better. However, if there was a race to backpack an elk out from a canyon that weighed a total of 300 pounds, you better believe I would be finishing way in advance by minutes. I am built to hunt. I enjoy competing in these climbs because it is a true testament to my potential and active clients, I walk the walk and talk the talk. I don’t just hunt, I Hunt Strong! I Train To Hunt!
As a team, we finished 2nd overall! They take the 3 fastest climb times and average them out! Our average climb time was 6 minutes and 13 seconds (First place had an average of 6 minutes and 8 seconds), much faster than last year which was 6 minutes and 26 seconds. The 3 individuals who represented these 3 times were Phil Wescott (6 minutes and 42 seconds), EJ O’Neill (6 minutes and 23 seconds), and myself. Awesome job guys, and I am so glad to be apart of your team. Next year,#1 will be ours!
Check out the Pictures from the Fight For Air Climb!
Bank of America Climb Fight For Air Climb, 42 Floors, 84 Flights of Stairs, 577 Ft. High
The video is dark but you can still HEAR ME
FIGHT FOR AIR!
Fight for Air Climbs are unique fundraising events for the American Lung Association. They usually happen in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involve climbing multiple steps. Sometimes called a “vertical road race,” teams and individual participants can use the event as a fitness target, as a race, with you challenging yourself or you racing against other people, or as a great way to be active and meet new friends. American Lung Association Climbs are also a wonderful way to support someone who has lung disease or as a memorial to someone who has passed away.(http://www.lungusa.org/donate/events/fight-for-air-climb/)
Final Results: I came in SECONDoverall with a time of5 minutes and 35 secondsout of over600 participantsandFIRSTin my age group of 18 to 29 year olds by an entire minute. Also, not to mention I had the obstacle of passing over thirty people throughout the stairwell. They also took the three fastest times of your team and averaged them out, which put us as a team inFIRST PLACEwith an average of6 minutes and 26 seconds. This is just an example of putting your training to the test. It takes a ton of strength and full body muscular endurance to accomplish this task. Below is the link to the final results.To read my story on how I accomplished this climb, ckick here http://www.ihuntstrong.com/2010/03/bank-of-america-climb-42-floors-84-flights-of-stairs-577-ft-high/.HuntStrong, Train to Hunt!
If you are up for a tough challenge, join me and my team(ROBZFITNESS) for the annualFight For Air Climbat the Bank of America (BOA) Building in downtown Tampa! All proceeds go to benefit The American Lung Association in the fight for air. For more information, please click on the following linkhttp://action.lungusa.org/site/TR?fr_id=2440&pg=entry.
Bank of America Building?
That’s right! It’s a race up the stairwell from the ground all the way to the top floor! It does not matter how you get there, as long as you go up the stairwell. Yep, No Elevator! You can run, walk, or pull your way to the top.
How many Flights, Floors, Steps, and how high?
84 Flights, 42 Floors, over 900 Steps, and 577 ft high!
On March 26, 2011, hundreds of people will huff and puff their way up the 42 flights in the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa. This is more than your same old 5K; this event takes people vertical! Whether climbing for a winning time or simply to cross the finish line in honor or in memory of someone with lung disease, this event is a great way to challenge yourself physically. We guarantee that all finishers will have a new-found respect for healthy lungs!
General event information:
The registration fee is $25.00 per person (early bird $15 before 1/3/11 and late fee $35 starting the week of the event 3/21/11) and the minimum fundraising requirement is $100.00 per person. Registration fee and minimum fundraising goal are required per person in order to participate in the event, whether you are an individual or on a team.
All participants are professionally timed and ranked by timing chips.
All climbers will receive an official Fight For Air Climb T-shirt, medal, giveaways and refreshments.
Fundraising incentives will be given to top fundraisers. Start early and you will easily reach your fundraising goal!
Awards will be given to fastest climbers, top fundraisers and top teams. (Awards are not given out at event, a separate awards ceremony is held at a later date.)
You can register as an individual, as a member of an existing team or as the captain of a new team. Teams must consist of at least a captain and 3 or more people (this is for timing purposes). Participants registering as a member of a team, please note that the TEAM CAPTAIN has to register online first before you can. You can also register as a spectator for a $10 fee. Spectators can be there to support their climbers and join in on the after-party for snacks and refreshments. *Please note spectators do not receive t-shirts. T-shirts may be purchased upon availability.
*To all my Hunters out there preparing for a tough hunt, this is a great way to train and test your strength and endurance!
This was the second Fight For Air Climb by the American Lung Association I participated in. This climb took place down in Miami, FL. at The Wachovia Financial Center. All of these climbs are for a great cause raising money for the American Lung Association. With lung disease on the rise, they are fighting for research that will find a cure for tomorrow. They are fighting for those who can’t quit smoking and those who shouldn’t start. They are fighting for lungs that burn from ozone rather than from exercise. They are fighting for asthma education to stop children dying from asthma attacks. They are fighting for laws to improve air quality both inside and out.
This climb was 13 floors higher and 26 more flights of stairs than the Bank of America Building in Tampa. I became good friends with some Sarasota County Firefighters, Erich, Jason, and Jessie, who climbed the BOA with me and we decided to go down to Miami for the challenge. In this particular climb, I had to climb as an individual, therefore, I would not be able to qualify as a team. Challenge is an understatement! You would think 26 more flights of stairs would not be too bad right, WRONG.
I had a month to train for this event and I knew I had to at least finish the race around 8 minutes and 30 seconds in order to place based on previous year stats. I factored in the stair master with two thirty pounds weights, one in each hand, for twenty minutes up to 110 stories at least twice a week into my workouts. Nutrition is always one of the most important pieces to the entire puzzle, it’s what fuels my body so I can maximize my potential to perform at my best. Therefore, every food item I consumed between fats, carbohydrates, and protein had to fit the puzzle correctly. The difference between this race and the last is that I did not have the opportunity to do a trial climb before hand, so I had no clue what to expect. There were two runs across the building that I knew of and once you returned to the next stairwell, the direction of the stairwell changed direction. This is no different than a stalk up a steep mountain side, after all, that is probably your first time stepping on that particular terrain underneath your boots.
Team SCFD came in FIRSTas a team dressed in full gear with Erich finishing inFIRST overall, Jessie in SECOND, and Jason in FIFTH among the firefighters division. They are the real heroes who put their lives on the line each and everyday. I can tell you this, if I were ever caught in a fire, I would want one of them to be on call to save me. I came inFOURTHoverall out of over 700 participants andTHIRDin my age group for males under 29 years old with a time of 8minutes and34seconds. By the 30th floor, my legs started going numb, but it was all I could do to just to keep pushing and pulling myself up one flight of stairs at a time. It is amazing to me how you can push yourself when you really want to accomplish a goal. Between the second and fourth place finishers, there were only nine seconds between us. That will not slip my mind in the next race. If I were hunting against them they may have been able to get to that trophy big game animal 9 seconds before me, but would they have had the strength to draw back and hit the vitals?
If you thought a stalk on big game was tough, try this! Fight for Air Climbs are unique fundraising events for the American Lung Association. They usually happen in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involve climbing multiple steps. Sometimes called a “vertical road race,” teams and individual participants can use the event as a fitness target, as a race, with you challenging yourself or you racing against other people, or as a great way to be active and meet new friends. American Lung Association Climbs are also a wonderful way to support someone who has lung disease or as a memorial to someone who has passed away. (http://www.lungusa.org/donate/events/fight-for-air-climb/)
This climb took place at the Bank of America Building in downtown Tampa, FL. It’s a total of 42 floors, 84 flights of stairs, 577 feet high, and 950 steps. The reason why they call it Fight For Air is because you literally are doing so. I completed four trial runs prior to the actual race. After each trial run and including the race day, I, along with everyone else who participated, developed a nasty cough from breathing all the contaminants in the stairwell that lasted for at least three days. These stairwells are not ventilated nor do they have air condition. You realize once you have completed the race just how precious it is to breathe clean air .
Above is a series of pictures my wife took of me during my warm up and then a couple of me finishing up the race. The initials under my eyes were in honor of two very close veterans of both my family and my wife’s family who passed away from lung cancer. B. S. stood for my Great Uncle Bud Strickland and R. M. was my wife’s grandfather, Robert Morgan. They were two angels with me every step of the way.
What would have topped this race off, would have been a trophy bull elk broadside at thirty yards. The real challenge would have been to make an ethical shot while the lactic acid was running through the muscles of my body. This race is a full body challenge because you are pulling and pushing with your upper body as you are driving each leg in front of the other. Hunting is a full body muscular strength and endurance sport. You must be in great shape as a whole to endure the unexpected.
Final Results: I came in SECOND overall with a time of 5 minutes and 35 secondsout of over 600 participants and FIRST in my age group of 18 to 29 year olds by an entire minute. Also, not to mention I had the obstacle of passing over thirty people throughout the stairwell. They also took the three fastest times of your team and averaged them out, which put us as a team in FIRST PLACE with an average of 6 minutes and 26 seconds. This is just an example of putting your training to the test. It takes a ton of strength and full body muscular endurance to accomplish this task just as it does stalking a big game animal. But trust me, the animal you are after is built for the land and knows that land like the back of it’s hoof. Below is the link to the final results. Hunt Strong, Train to Hunt!