Stan’s Obligatory Blog


The vertical quarter-mile

Filed under: — stan @ 10:16 pm

Time for another stair climbing practice session at the 777 Tower in downtown Los Angeles. My goal for the day was to do it in 8:30 or less.

We had a good entourage. Myself, Morgan, Chris, and Nick all came along. We rode the train downtown, got signed in, and we were ready to climb.

I made up a little card of time targets to check my progress on the way up. Right from the start, Chris got behind me and shadowed me, just like he did at the U.S. Bank climb last fall. That was good, because it gave me a good incentive to keep up a brisk pace. And we did, all the way to 20, where he collapsed on the landing, gasping like a fish out of water.

At that point, I tried to maintain my pace. It was hard, but I kept it up. And when I got to about 30, I could see Nick was gaining on me. He was just about one floor below me. So that was what I needed to pick up the pace. I held him off all the way to about 45. At that point, I took a look at my watch, and I saw that my goal was within sight. So I put on a little burst of speed for the last three or four floors, and I came out on 50 with a nice time of 8:30.

After we all got to the top, we rested a bit before heading back down. At the bottom we rested a bit more before heading up a second time. The second time, we all planned on taking it easy. I experimented some more with varying my stepping pattern to even out the load between legs. All the way up, I just did an easy pace, but when I got to 45, I could see that if I ran the last five floors, I could make it to the top under 10 minutes. So I picked up the pace, all the way to a full run up the last two floors, and I came out on 50 with 9:58. I’d like to think that’s pretty good for basically just loafing most of the way up.

And doing a bit of math:

7 inches x 1,138 steps = 7,966 inches = 664 feet = 202 meters
664 feet x 2 = 1,328 feet = 404 meters
1,320 feet = 1/4 mile = 402 meters

For comparison, the world record for running 400 meters is 43.18 seconds. But when you turn that 90 degrees so that it’s straight up, it’s a little slower going.

So now we’re thinking about trying to put on a vertical mile race some day. That should be a nice bit of insanity.

Powered by WordPress