2011 US Bank Tower Stair Climb Results

Jesse Berg tamed this beast in a big way this year, by running a personal best and coming within 10 seconds of the world record for this building, despite having taught a fitness class that morning back home in Chicago and then hopping the long flight to LA, arriving just before his race start time. He’s an animal. What else can I say?

Another animal is Kevin Crossman, who took second overall. He has come so far in the last couple years it’s scary! I (PJ) was able to beat him in the past, but then he joined my X Gym, turned into a freakin’ Superman, and took off into the stratosphere. Speaking of Stratoshpere, he won that race this year in Vegas, tying the world record there, so he’s the “real deal” now, able to hang with or beat the other top world stair climbers now.

A newcomer, Wesley Reutimann, a local competitive bike racer, proved his forged-metal quads by taking 3rd overall and schooling many seasoned tower runners. He has quite a bright future in this sport if he stays with it!

Erika Aklufi won it for the women. She even placed 4th overall, including dudes! She is beyond words. The English vocabulary just isn’t adequate enough to describe her amazing ability. I’ve never seen a stronger climber for these long races. I am dying to see what she can do at a race like the Willis tower!

Kourtney Dexter placed second and ran a personal best herself. She’s an alien. That’s the only way I can explain her ability – especially in the sprint climbs. Kacie Fischer is the only one on the planet who could be a threat to her in a race 50 floors or less. From 50-60 it would be a toss-up between her and Erika Aklufi. From 60 to 70, Erika and Kristen Frey might be able to take her on a good day and past 70, there are only a handful of people on the planet who could hang with her. Since most of the races in the world are less than 60 floors, this makes Kourtney (in my opinion) the best tower runner in the known universe.

Sandra Nunez, our dear step-sister from Mexico, took 3rd overall with an amazing run. She is truly “all that” and more. As adorable as she is fast, this woman deserves the consistent rank among the top 5 world tower runners she keeps earning each year.

Personally, I learned some great lessons this year. I tried calculating my steps per minute based on the number of steps in the building (plus 2 per floor since I two-step the landings) but for some reason, that math didn’t work out. I had my predicted split times for every 10 floors written on my forearm and by floor 10, I was already behind pace so I tuned out my metronome and stepped it up. It took me until floor 40 to get back on pace and then at 50 I backed off because I usually start my most intense suffering at about that point in most climbs.

Well, that suffering never hit me, so that slowdown turned out to be a mistake. I sped back up at 60 and still felt fine. At 65, with 10 floors to go, I started my sprint. Usually, I’m too tired to sprint at the finish, but this time I was able to sprint all 10 floors and could have kept going.

With so much fuel left at the end, I knew I blew it. I also wasn’t feeling the usual hot lava in my quads, hams, butt and triceps, so my customary 10 minutes of writhing around on the floor at the finish line wasn’t necessary.

I could also have conversations with people, so my heart and lungs obviously weren’t pushed to the max either. I did however, set a personal best by a couple seconds despite all that and placed 7th in the elite category, so I really shouldn’t be complaining. It showed me that I am indeed in the best shape of my life, so with continued training, I should be able to destroy my previous time there next year.

My other step-siblings did great too of course. Mark Trahanovski won his age group again. Jeff Dinkin is back on the horse and took 2nd in his age group. Kacie Fischer raced with her team and helped them win a medal. She also took 4th overall for women. Jonny Rocket smoked it again, winning his age group and most of our other team members either got a PR or went home with a medal.

For full official race results, click here: http://www.onlineraceresults.com/race/view_race.php?race_id=21446#racetop

To see the video of the race, festivities and awards, click below:

The next day, Kevin, PJ and his nephew Ryan met with some fitness celebrities for a beach workout by the Santa Monica Pier: