When I signed up for Fight For Air Climb a couple of weeks back, I had every intention of actually training for it and really hadn't given much thought to fundraising.
As it turned out I didn't do any training for it and actually got into the fundraising aspect of it. And after several Facebook posts, a couple of e-mails and texts and some gentle nudging, I managed to well beyond my fundraising "goal" of $100.00 that you have to raise to participate. In the past, I have just paid the amount myself, but I decided to give it a try this time.
So again to everyone who donated on my behalf, a big thank you. I had a great time.
I decided to bicycle to the race because it was just a couple of miles away. When I arrived at 191 Peachtree Tower, there was no sign of any event but there were Atlanta police officers hanging out at the corner. I figured that they had something to do with the climb, so I asked them if they knew where it was.
One of them pointed down the street and told me it was three blocks that way and then take a left.
As I pedaled away from downtown, I quickly realized I had just been pranked.
I went around the block and lo and behold.......
Yes, I am playing up on some of the stereotypes of the South but I got to get my licks in before I head back West. But seriously, one of the things that has been so great about being here in Atlanta is the easy going attitude and accessibility.
The climbs I've done in the past, in LA and Chicago were so much bigger, both in regards to the actual climb but even more so in the event itself. The logistics of parking and getting to the event and then waiting in line to begin the climb were so much more involved than with this one.
And Just Like That It Was Over
The climb was 45 flights of stairs, 1012 steps, which seems like a lot, but the one in LA was 75 flights and Chicago was 103, so relatively speaking....
I started out easy, having burned myself out in begining of the climb in the past. By the time I got to the 40th and realized how much more energy I had left I turned it a notch but it was too late to make that big of a difference in my time, which was around 9 minutes. They haven't posted the official times yet and my watch broke, but I was able to figure out my time from my Go-Pro footage.
Almost Like Being There
Here is a video of the climb, just imagine a stairwell full of stale muggy air being sucked up by dozens of folk racing up to the top.
A View From the Top...Sort Of
We didn't climb all the way up to the top, but the view was spectacular.
In LA, you climb to the top and are outside on the rooftop.
In Chicago, you get to the 103 floor observation deck where can step out onto glass balcony and look straight down to the city street more than 1000 feet below.
In Atlanta, well let's be generous and say they're in the middle of a remodel.
I was actually pretty surprised to be unloaded into an unoccupied and unfinished floor; a sign of the economy I would think.
There were several teams, but the most creative as far as names go, had to be Cougars and Kittens.
I passed several of them on my climb and I'm pretty sure it was a cougar that was in the lead.
I met several nice people before and after the race. There was the guy who had driven down from Tennessee and is planning to do the Willis Tower later this year. Some one who had biked in and lives pretty close to us. I swapped race stories with a guy who had done the Georgia Tough Mudder and the Atlanta Marathon.
Like so many other things in Atlanta, its smaller and more accessible.
I was struggling for air in that stairwell and I was in shorts and a tank-top. To march up those steps in full gear including gloves, helmets and those heave boots, that is intense.