Homer's Travels: 40 ... 633 ... 870 ... 10:39 Flat

Sunday, February 21, 2010

40 ... 633 ... 870 ... 10:39 Flat

Note:  I should be posting about something that happened Saturday night.  It's importance in my life should make it the subject of this post.  I can't do it though.  I'm not quite ready to do it.  I'm sure I will put something together later this week.  Possibly soon.  Maybe not.  Instead, I will be posting about an event earlier in the day.  I drafted this before things happened.

Today I trekked of the First National Tower, the tall building in this picture, the "tallest building between Chicago and Denver."  I arrived an half hour early and, despite all the warnings about not getting there before your allotted time, was able to register, get my race number (#650), get my chipped wrist band, check my coat, and get in line a full fifteen minutes before I was even supposed to show up.

You swipe your armband to confirm the information then, when they give you the go ahead, you swipe it again and start up the stairs.  Racers are spaced out every 30 seconds or so.  The stairs were fairly narrow allowing just enough room for two people to pass side by side.  The rise of the stairs felt low to me so I started taking two steps at a time knowing that I would never be able to maintain that pace.  Sure enough, after a couple floors I slowed down to one step at a time.

There were water stations on floors 10, 20, 30, and 35.  I skipped the first one but hit every one after that.  This slowed me down a little but it gave me an opportunity to rest.  I passed a few people.  A few people passed me.  Volunteers on every floor kept saying "you're almost there."  They all lied except for the last three or four.  I felt a lot better than I'd expected to feel when I got to the top.
On the 40th floor, 633 feet up, after climbing 870 steps, I reached the top, swiped my chip, accepted the commemorative towel, medal, and bottle of water.  I walked around cooling off and taking in the view out the big windows.

Eventually I took the elevator down and found the free swag bag table and picked up a free t-shirt and swag.  The free food, furnished by Whole Foods, was a little too health nut for my taste - granola, berries, that kind of stuff.  I ended up with a nasty fruit drink and a banana.  It was a good banana.

My official results, pathetic as they are:
Time:   10:39 
Overall Place: 672 of 1126   
Place in Gender: 416 of 524    
Place in Age Division: 97 of 124      
This was my very first, non-school related, athletic event.  It was easier than I was anticipating.  I enjoyed myself and I will probably do it again next year to see if I can beat my time and move up a little in the rankings.


  1. Congratulations! That's a pretty neat achievement. It reminds of when I used to time my climb up to the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse when I worked there. That was only about 100 feet though!

  2. Congratulations - I sure couldn't have done it.

    All due respect to Omaha, but the IDS building in Minneapolis is taller, and Minneapolis is between Chicago and Denver. (241.38 meters vs. 193.25, accoring to Emporis.com).

  3. Whoaaa, don't say those results are pathetic-they are AWESOME! I totally am super-impressed. I would have been done by floor 5. What a cool event!

    I'll be really excited to see how you do next year. :)

  4. MH: Thanks Man. You should come down next year and we can race.

    BM: I think you could have done it. Maybe you should try it next year. As for the claim about the tallest building, I believe they drew a straight line between Chicago and Denver and through away every city too far north or south of the line. The claim is a little hokey but I'm not going to complain.

  5. Miss McC: Thanks! I have to admit that I thought my time would be in the 15-20 minute range so I did better than I expected.

  6. Ah, don't be so hard on yourself. Think of all the people who wouldn't even make it. Heck, think of all the people who wouldn't even try...