Sarah Bickerstaff trudged up 20 flights of stairs and doubt crept into her head. She puzzled why, as soon as once more, she signed herself as much as climb the steps of town’s tallest constructing.
But by the point she had all 40 flights underneath her sneakers, it was all price it.
Bickerstaff was one in every of about 2,000 individuals who climbed up the First National Tower’s 870 steps throughout Trek Up the Tower. Now in its 12th 12 months, the occasion is a fundraiser for Wellcom, a nonprofit devoted to enhancing worksite wellness. Organizers estimated that the occasion would increase $50,000.
Bickerstaff, of Omaha, was the primary girl up the steps. Her purpose was to complete in lower than 6 minutes. She squeaked by with a time of 5 minutes, 55 seconds.
“In the stairwell, you don’t really know whats going on,” Bickerstaff stated. “You reach the top and it’s like, OK. You can breath now.”
This was Bickerstaff’s eighth 12 months competing within the stair climb. She’s already planning to be again subsequent 12 months and hopes to be a little bit quicker.
The competitors featured a mixture of common athletes and elite climbers. New this 12 months was a vertical mile problem. The 40 individuals registered for it might stomp up the tower a complete of 10 ⅓ occasions.
The race kicked off after a bagpipe efficiency from Stephen Coyne. Coyne, a Chicago police officer, deliberate to deal with the vertical mile problem. First to ascend the tower have been members of the Omaha Police Department, and firefighters from Bellevue; Bennington; Los Angeles County, California; Lincoln; Omaha; Papillion; and Waterloo departments.
Runners began their climbs as quickly as first responders have been by means of. A brand new wave of climbers was despatched in each 5 to 6 seconds to keep away from clogging the stairwells. Average ending time was about 12 minutes, organizers stated.
With a time of four minutes, 43 seconds, Ivan Marsh once more was first to cross the brink of the 40th flooring. Marsh, 43, has received the competitors for the final 11 years.
This 12 months Marsh, of Lincoln, did not prepare for the trek. He was affected by accidents, together with plantar fasciitis. At the top of his climb, he felt nice about his time.
“I think muscle memory kicked in,” Marsh stated. “I just started running in the stairwell.”
Last 12 months, Marsh was undecided on whether or not he’d return for one more strive. But it is the one stair climb he participates in and the one likelihood he sees some fellow rivals. Marsh stated he’ll seemingly be again once more subsequent 12 months.
“It’s a fun event. It’s a once a year deal,” Marsh stated. “You’ve got to give it your all.”
The occasion attracts a number of repeat climbers, stated race director Justin Holes. The vitality and camaraderie hold individuals coming again 12 months after 12 months.
This was the fifth 12 months Sean Mullen, 61, has tackled the winter exercise. He climbed alongside his private coach Tom Roth, 60.
“There’s a little guy in your brain that says, ‘You’re tired. Stop.’ You’ve got to break through that,” Mullen stated.
Climbers used the elevator to return to the constructing’s foyer. Vertical mile climbers tried to remain energized and hold transferring, even on their rides again to the beginning.
Andy Hanson had three climbs underneath his belt by about eight a.m. In his second 12 months on the occasion, the Wauconda, Illinois, man hoped to make it up a complete of 15 occasions. That would break the document set by Ned Green, a Lincoln man who climbed the tower 14 occasions final 12 months.
“Getting up to the top of the building once is great,” Hanson, 46, stated. “It’s just a matter of finding a pace.”
Kim Morse sat on the plastic-covered carpet of the 40th flooring stretching after her climb. The Topeka, Kansas, girl joined her boyfriend Travis Mood on the occasion. Mood, of Omaha, was making an attempt the vertical mile problem.
“I could do it again, just not right now,” Morse stated. “It got harder as I went up, but I figured if Travis can do this 10 and ⅓ times, I can do it once.”