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Race Preview: 5th Annual Portland Fight For Air Climb

How often have you gazed at the U.S. Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland and thought “I wonder how fast I can run up all 40 flights of those stairs?” What’s that? Never?! Well, did you know there’s an easy* way to find out? Every January, stair climbers from around the country gather on the ground floor of “Big Pink” to take on the stairs and raise money for the American Lung Association in The Fight For Air Climb.

*(Okay, maybe “easy” is not the right word) 😉

Like many “horizontal” races, there are several distances to choose from, beginning with the classic building-high 40 floors. Climbers can also opt to run 80, 120, or 160 floors, catching their breaths while taking the elevator back down between climbs. And in celebration of the 5th year of the event, a new 200-floor division has been added!

In addition to the different distances, there are five categories of competition available: Climbers (there for fun and camaraderie), Elite Climbers (those with a slightly more competitive streak*), Fire Fighters (competing in full gear!), Other First Responders (also in full gear), and Virtual Climbers (those who cannot attend in person).

*(Please wear clothes!)

Climbers can compete as individuals or join a team, and fundraising is encouraged. Everyone raising the required minimum of $100 receives a T-shirt, and there are incentives for reaching additional fundraising levels, including a free Hood To Coast Race Series 10k entry for $150 in donations, and a drawing for a Bowflex Trainer for those raising $200.

It’s always a friendly and energetic atmosphere at the Fight For Air Climb, as the lobby fills with climbers and friends coming and going throughout the morning. It’s fun to see familiar faces emerge again and again from the elevators, out of breath, but full of enthusiasm, and ready to line up and tackle yet another ascent of the stairs.

And if a single climb in one city is not enough for you, you can make it a double by adding the Seattle Fight For Air Climb the day before, on Saturday, January 21st!

What: The 5th Annual Portland Fight For Air Climb

When: Sunday, January 22nd

Where: The U.S. Bancorp Tower, 5th and Burnside, Portland

What Time: Day of race registration and packet pickup begins at 8:00a and the first climbers will take off at 9:00a. Various start times throughout the morning will be assigned as the event approaches. Please arrive 45 minutes prior to your assigned start time to check in.

Registration: You can register online HERE.

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About Joe Dudman (217 Articles)
Portland, Oregon native Joe Dudman has been running races since his sophomore year in high school, and has accumulated over 600 race shirts through the years. Although he has survived 8 marathons, Joe prefers shorter, faster races like 5Ks and the mile.

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