NFR Have any of y’all done the Columbia Tower Climb for charity?

Jojo

Trout Thank Me
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My sister in law who i am very close to has a brother who was recently diagnosed with cancer and because i am a runner she has asked me to take part in this March fundraiser by joining her and my niece on their team.

It is 788 vertical feet. On Thanksgiving I initially said i would do it, but i also had already had two glasses of wine.

Now i’m having reservations. I am hoping some of you can clue me in. I have no idea how long this will take but i have heard it can take up to an hour and besides climbing i will have to raise funds.( I figure that part is easy i will just hit up every friend i have who had a kid that i had to buy birthday, graduation, shower and wedding presents for when they never had to buy my non-existent kids any.)

HOWEVER, i worry about my knees. I’m 62 years old and since 1980 I’ve been a runner - these days I run nearly four miles but NO hills at all anymore to keep my knees healthy. And where i used to run religiously 5 days in a row and take off two, i now run every other day hoping that i can continue for a couple of more years. So far so good. I’m afraid if i take part in this i will mess myself up for running ...maybe for good.

If any of you have done this or have been a spectator and can clue me in i would appreciate it. If i change my mind i will still definitely donate, but i feel bad backing out of something i sort of committed to. It’s difficult for me to figure out how long and how hard it would be to climb 1300 plus stairs.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
First question, do you ride the elevators down? When I was a runner, up was one thing but down was where I did injure myself: running too fast down steep slopes whereas up was slow and methodical.

I can't imagine 1300 steps. Did the Eiffel Tower (only to the first landing (328 steps) and had to stop twice to rest.

If you do this, good luck and hit me up for a pledge.
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout

Here is the climb in 11 minutes! Am with Buzzy, up should not be bad on knees, elevator down saves as well.

800 feet goes up pretty fast. You got it!
 
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Jojo

Trout Thank Me
I had read about the elevator and totally agree Buzzy about the downhill. I was a better runner uphill than downhill. I always got shin splints going downhill.

HOWEVER, what i failed to mention is that i have claustrophobia issues and will often bypass an elevator that is too crowded. (I can’t stand going through a car wash), that kind of claustrophobia. And in looking at the video Gyrfalcon i can see the WHOLE experience is going to be claustrophobic. (Thanks for posting that!) I don’t think it can be done in 12 minutes so maybe they didn’t film the whole thing? The website said the average was 23 minutes and i think that is for folks racing it. However that one guy in the video doesn’t look ALL that in shape either. So it makes me think i could do it too.

Buzzy, how long did it take you to climb the Eiffel Tower and how much younger were you? Also thank you for offering a pledge. That’s really nice but i wouldn’t be hitting anyone up here for that. Believe me i have plenty of people who owe me for having donated to them for stuff! ;)
 

Buzzy

Active Member
I had read about the elevator and totally agree Buzzy about the downhill. I was a better runner uphill than downhill. I always got shin splints going downhill.

HOWEVER, what i failed to mention is that i have claustrophobia issues and will often bypass an elevator that is too crowded. (I can’t stand going through a car wash), that kind of claustrophobia. And in looking at the video Gyrfalcon i can see the WHOLE experience is going to be claustrophobic. (Thanks for posting that!) I don’t think it can be done in 12 minutes so maybe they didn’t film the whole thing? The website said the average was 23 minutes and i think that is for folks racing it. However that one guy in the video doesn’t look ALL that in shape either. So it makes me think i could do it too.

Buzzy, how long did it take you to climb the Eiffel Tower and how much younger were you? Also thank you for offering a pledge. That’s really nice but i wouldn’t be hitting anyone up here for that. Believe me i have plenty of people who owe me for having donated to them for stuff! ;)
I was 65 when my wife and I climbed Eiffel’s tower. 15 minutes? Pledge offer still stands but one thing I understand is claustrophobia, not easy to cope with or get past.
 
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Jojo

Trout Thank Me
OK, Buzzy so given the number of steps on the Eiffel Tower you did, which is a quarter of the steps of the Columbia Tower, I can expect this could take me four times as long and 8 times to rest? So i AM talking an hour of vertical climb? Do i have that right?
 

cleanwilly

Member
I've been doing it for the past several years. I'm 63 and it usually takes me 16-18 minutes. It is WAY easier than you think. I am not a runner and my prep is usually much less time on the stairmaster than I want. Yes the stairways are narrow. You will pass and be passed and it's no problem, each landing has space if you want to rest. It's really not as much of a leg workout as it is a test of your lungs. I tried running it a few years ago, starting out at a slow jog, and completely ran out of air at the tenth floor.

In the end it's a great cause and a great challenge, see you there!
 

gt

Active Member
2 steps at a time and use your arms on the rails. have only done 332 steps in England but not too difficult for a 78 Y/O in cancer remission. looking forward to the sydney harbor bridge 1,000+ steps. maybe next year i will do a fundraising step climb locally. all the best and go for it, you won't be sorry.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
You can do it Jojo! I agree that it's the downhill, or downstairs, that is killer on knees. But then I have chondromalicia and have to take care on long descents when hiking and backpacking. As a runner you will likely just get winded every few floors and have to catch your breath. You got this!
 

IveofIone

Active Member
Jojo, I'm sure that physically you are more than capable of making the climb. What I would pay more attention to is the the issue of claustrophobia. I tried watching the video and after about 3 flights was thinking: "Get me the hell out of here!"

If a person isn't claustrophobic they may not understand the panic that can occur in a place like that. I had my first attack back in 1958 when I was working in the hell hole of a C-124 replacing alternator studs on an R-4360 engine. I suddenly went berserk and had to get out of there as quickly as possible. I still have scars on my body from the damage I did getting out.

It is no laughing matter, give some thought to how you would feel being halfway up and then just being overwhelmed by anxiety and have to get out. Listen to your own mind and body and write a check.

Ive. Loves the wide open spaces!
 

Jojo

Trout Thank Me
Oh thank you ALL! I knew asking y’all would be better research than if i looked elsewhere. Y’all have convinced me to do it. My lung capacity is not what i’m Worried about. I’ve never had a panic attack from claustrophobia i just have anxiety about it and feel twitchy. @cleanwilly i know that i would be able to do a Stairmaster at the Y for 20 minutes at least so i imagine i can totally do this, especially if i have places to rest a bit.

Thank you all. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m going to do it!
 

jamma

Active Member
My worst experience with stairs was the climb up to the top of Diamond Head in Hawaii. Near the top, there is a section of stairs that is nearly vertical. I have a memory of red-faced middle-aged men doubled over, hanging on to the railing, gasping for air. This was during my running phase so I wasn't that bad, but definitely felt the strain. On the way down, I passed two Japanese tourists pushing a man in a wheelchair and thought to myself, "Good luck with that!"

Good luck with your run.
 

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