2010 Big Climb Race Results

Columbia TowerI was tempted to write the same title theme as the older posts, using “X Gym Schools Seattle Stair Climbers,” but as our winning streak continues, that’s getting too redundant. God has blessed us with stair legs and the best exercise protocols for strength and endurance, so it’s almost a given that we will continue to dominate this sport. Once again, no other gym could even come close to our results here at the largest stair climb on the planet.

Our team smoked it more than ever this year as the rock-hard thighs from the X Gym crushed three out of three records.

Here’s a snapshot of our undeniable domination:

  • Fastest team – setting a new course record
  • Fastest male –  Jesse, with a new course record (although the official results differ – see below)
  • Fastest female –  Kourtney, with, yep, yet another new course record
  • 6 out of the top 8 overall – 4 men and 2 women

Our team spanned ages from 8 to 80, with the oldest woman climber and the youngest climber too.

It keeps getting more and more fun each year. Be sure to join us next year! It’s easy to qualify for being on our team. Just  be an X Gym member, or  train with the X Gym workout DVD, or attend at least one of the X Gym stair climbing boot camps.

The Big Climb is not only the biggest turnout of any climb in the world with 6,000 climbers participating; it is also the best run climb by far. The timing company had some glitches to work out this year however, and Jesse Berg was the most costly casualty. His timing chip wouldn’t read, so they had him go through  the finish multiple times, which screwed up their database, and adding time and costing him the race title and new course record of somewhere in the 7:10 range. The reason it’s of particular importance to Jesse is that he is currently in a battle for #1 in the world (see www.towerrunning.com), so he’s not just your everyday recreational stair racer where it wouldn’t really matter.

Stuff like this happens though, and while the Big Climb race director knows that Jesse won, she couldn’t go against the numbers even though they were flawed. She did pour through the database and found two of the timing errors which helped, but still didn’t give him the time he actually earned. She could have changed it manually, but this would not have been fair to all the other climbers whose times were also messed up. We understand and appreciate her integrity. As long as she is at the helm, we know that future Big Climbs will always be honest and fair, and that she will continue to run the best organized race in the world.

The times are now posted here: http://www.llswa.org/site/DocServer/big_climp_2010_full_results-by_finish_time.pdf?docID=922

Here’s a really cool video shot by Alki X Gym member Bill from tellitproductions.com:

And Jesse’s timing chip fiasco caught on tape:

As for my (PJ) experience, I tried a new protocol experiment this time that obviously didn’t work for me. I’m an exercise scientist first, and a stair racer second, so every race I run is preceded by a new and different experiment. Some experiments work great and others don’t,  so this makes my race placings relatively inconsistent, but that comes with the territory. Last year’s Big Climb experiment worked great and so did my 2009 WaMu climb experiment, but for this climb I certainly learned what not to do.

I was trying www.tabataprotocol.com for both cardio and strength training and while it worked like a charm for cardio, it didn’t help for strength. I hit a big thick wall at floor 50 that I simply couldn’t push past. My lungs and brain were fine and I wasn’t even in that much pain, but my legs felt like they were slogging through cold molasses from floor 50 to 73.

Well, now I know. So it’s back to the drawing board (which is my favorite place to be anyway). Some people ask me why I go back to the drawing board after I find a protocol that works well. They ask “Why not just stick with it and get faster with that method?”  The answer is, I just can’t help it! I have to continually try new stuff because even when I do find something that works great, I know there’s something else that is even better out there waiting to be discovered. That is why we aren’t still using the same seven exercise protocols we started with at the X Gym 12 years ago. Four of them have changed since then, and more will change in the future as we continually work to discover better ones.

More updates soon!