Flight Club Chicago

I’m moving to Chicago. OK, not really, but after spending a week there, I’m considering it. There is no shortage of climbing opportunities in the Chicago area. The city is full of climbable buildings.

Chicago Skyline as seen from the Sears Tower

Chicago Skyline as seen from the Sears Tower

I had the opportunity to stay with my GF’s sister, Deanne, and brother-in-law, Michael for a week.  The building they live in is  just North of Millennium Park, 340 on the Park.  This building has 64 stories.  The flights are great for training; they are metal steps, left turn, nine per flight and there is access on every floor.

Lauren and I were there to run a half-marathon with Michael.  Michael is currently training for the Chicago marathon later this year and had climbed the stairs a few times as part of training for a half-marathon he had completed earlier in the year.  He had some questions about how we climbed the stairs.  When I told him two at a time, as fast as possible the entire way up, he was interested in trying it.  We climbed together later that afternoon and he did amazingly well.  He had climbed the stairs before, but had climbed them one step at a time.  Climbing two at a time was a new experience for him.  He was hooked.  He told Deanne how much he enjoyed it and what a great workout it was.  The next day, we woke up to say goodbye to Deanne and she mentioned that she had climbed twice that morning.   She mentioned that the first climb took her 11:30, or a 10.78 s/flight pace.  Not bad!  Deanne and Michael mentioned that they are going to start training twice a week.  This may be the official birth of Flight Club Chicago.  I’m hoping that Deanne and Michael will be able to make it out in December for the WaMU climb on the XGym team.  Michael seems to be very committed to beating me next time he sees me.  If they continue their training, they will do very well.

Chicago is home to two major stair climbing competitions: Sears Tower and Hancock Tower.  One of my goals this year is to qualify as an elite climber for these races.  Placing in the top 25 in the WaMU or Columbia Tower races will allow me this status.  In 2008, I placed 25th overall in WaMU.  I didn’t do as well in the Columbia Tower race.  This year, I’m looking to change that.

On another note, I found a great location for a future XGym.  The Sears Tower has space available:

Sears Tower as seen from Chicago River

Sears Tower as seen from Chicago River

Sears Tower leasing opportunities

Sears Tower leasing opportunities

Protein bar across the street from Sears Tower

Protein bar across the street from Sears Tower

There is even a protein bar across the street.  How perfect is that?

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