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 seconds out 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!
Click on the link to view the final results: http://www.altavistasports.com/results/2010results/ALA%20Climb%20Tampa032010.html