Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Last race of the year

Filed under: — stan @ 5:35 pm

Today was the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation stair climb in the Figueroa at Wilshire building in downtown Los Angeles. This is their third time doing this event, and it’s also my third time doing it.

I’d been getting a bit discouraged in practice over the last month. I was having a lot of trouble getting back up to the speed I was doing in practices back in the summer. But today was my chance at redemption.

They had the competitive climbers line up first, and we sorted ourselves out roughly by how fast we all thought we’d go. At the start, I was trying to convince Veronica that she should start ahead of me, but she didn’t want to. So I started right behind Ryan, who nearly caught me on the stairs at the 2010 climb, so this was good. We’re pretty evenly matched, so each of us was hoping to beat the other.

By the time I got to about 15, Veronica had made up 30 seconds on me, and so I let her go by. I’d made up split times, aiming to be at the top in about 8:30, and I was on schedule when she passed me. I decided to try and at least keep her within earshot as we continued up. At the six minute mark I was still on schedule at the 37th floor, but I could see that Veronica was slowing down, and I was gaining on her. I caught her at 49, and ran past her up the final two floors. That was a special moment. She’s passed me many times, but this was the first time I managed to pass her back.

At the top, I did my usual lie-down-on-the-floor thing. I can’t really call it a ‘face-plant’ any more, since now I know what a real face-plant looks and feels like.

I stayed up at the top until Lucinda came out. Then Kathleen came up. She said she’d been on the 46th floor landing with the camera, and she’d taken pictures of us as we went by. I, of course, had no memory of having seen her. Or anyone else for that matter.

We all rode the elevator back down to the lobby. By that time, they were already starting to compile times. Ryan told me that I’d beaten him by one second. So it turned out that we were pretty evenly matched. My time was 8:38, and that was good for third in the 50-59 age group. This was more than 10 seconds faster than I’d done in any of the practices, so that’s good, even if it’s still slower than my race time last year.

When they did the awards, because Mark was the overall winner, they gave him the winner’s trophy, and pushed the 50-59 age group awards down one place. So I got the second-place medal, which is always a nice thing.

After everything was done, most of the West Coast Labels team walked across the street to Engine Co 28 for lunch.

It was a nice time.

Addendum: The average floor in this building is 23 steps. Doing some math:

1,181 / 23 = 51.3

So the climb is the equivalent of 51.3 ‘regular’ floors. Doing more math:

8:38 = 518 seconds
518 / 51.3 = 10.1

So I averaged 10.1 seconds per floor, which is not too bad for doing more than 50 floors. And working out power production:

689 feet = 210 m
210m * 76.5kg * 9.8 = 157437 joules
157437 joules / 518 seconds = 304 W
304 W = just a bit over 0.4 hp

Can’t complain too much about any of that.

Addendum: Results are here:

2 Responses to “Last race of the year”

  1. G.M. Grena Says:

    Thanks for the tips, Stan, which helped me achieve my best time ever! If I had taken your advice for my last practice pace, I probably would’ve done even better. Focusing on the transition between odd/even U-turns really made a significant difference. I look forward to climbing with you again in January! And thanks for posting these photos, especially the Results sheet. (Yikes! That bib makes me look so fat in the background of that photo with you & Kathleen.) Now I need to go figure out how you managed to get 5:38 to equal 518 seconds…

  2. stan Says:

    D’oh! I guess I had a proofreading failure there. I corrected the typo so that the math works now.

Leave a Reply


Powered by WordPress