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Feb 23 / Jane

Providence Stair Climb 2014

In 2007, my college roommate, Jackie, and I started a tradition of running the Providence Stair Climb for the American Lung Association. Since then, the climb has undergone many changes, most importantly going from the Westin Hotel (25 stories) in December 2007 (“Wind Up The Westin”) to One Financial Plaza (29 stories), the last Saturday of February starting in 2009 (“Peak the Plaza”). This year, they’re back in the original building, the Westin, now the Omni Hotel, but we didn’t get to start on the ground floor.

After registering for the event, we got the course details:
The Omni Providence Hotel is 329 feet tall and has 25 stories. The Climb will start on the second floor and finish on the 24th. After the first 26 steps the stairway follows a clockwise pattern (right turns) with 16 stairs between floors. There are landings on each floor and half landings between floors (8 stairs between landings). The handrails are 36 inches high (measured vertically up from the center of the stair tread). There are 35-1/2 inches between the handrails. The stair rise is 7″. The stair depth is 12″. There are a total of 348 stairs. The building is shorter than One Financial (29 floors), where the climb was held the past 5 years.

By comparison, One Financial Plaza has 29 stories: 56 flights/597 stairs. So we’re talking nearly half as many steps… Even though the Westin/Omni is the building that hooked me on the stair climb, going back to it after One Financial seemed too easy. And it was.

Alex and I made the drive up to MA late Friday afternoon. It was long and tedious, there was lots of traffic and bad weather, rain and fog. We spent a quiet evening with Jarrod, Jackie and Jordan, then got an early start to the climb on Saturday. Jackie’s car had trouble on the way there and we had to meet up with her father, Joe (also climbing with us for 5 years now), who drove us all into the city. We would have made it on time for our later-than-usual start (10am) but would have been cutting it close. Josh, Jackie’s brother, called as we arrived in the parking garage and informed us the start was delayed due to timing issues. It was like they knew we were running late. 😉

We checked in, warmed up, and took our place in line to climb. I was getting antsy in line, but tried to keep it calm and even in the stairwell. The stairs were short and shallow and each floor had a small window letting in light. I think a combination of those factors made it feel much easier. The floors were flying by, but then I got tripped up by the team in front of us. I had to pass three of their climbers and the stair well was narrow and every other floor had cheerleaders (volunteers this year), so that slowed me a bit. I would not have minded in previous years, but the climb was so short, seconds mattered!

 

Stair Ripper X

Stair Ripper X

Jackie and I before the start of our 7th climb!

Jackie and I before the start of our 7th climb!

Alex and I before the climb.

Alex and I before the climb.

I crossed the finish in 2:33.9. The 24th floor lobby was nice, a cushy room with a nice view. I had a cough drop and a water and took the elevator back down with the team. We grabbed some goodies and headed over to RiRa for beer and burger specials and eventually the results. Since the check in was not at RiRa, there were more tables for climbers and we did not have trouble getting one. We ate and waited for the results.

Stair Ripper X:

Joe: 2:11.5
Jarrod: 2:12.3
Josh: 2:18.5
Alex: 2:31.6
Jane: 2:33.9
Frankie: 2:52.8
Jackie: 6:23.8

We were, once again, 5th place team overall, in the non-firefighter division, with a time of 11:50, 2:22 average. I ended up being 3rd in my age group and getting a bronze medal. I should mention, Jackie competed for two (and got some flack for it at check-in). She is expecting Baby J in May. =)

3rd place age group finisher!

3rd place age group finisher!

After the climb we dropped Jackie’s car at the dealer for service (hope it’s nothing major and can be fixed soon!) and headed back to their place for the evening. It’s always great catching up and spending time with good friends.

We rounded out the weekend with dinner at my parents. My sister and her husband were down for the weekend, and a friend from Germany just moved to the DC area for a 3 year work-assignment had come to visit with a friend. It was a full house at my parents and unfortunately we did not get to spend long enough there, but it was still great to visit with everyone.

Now we are back home, decompressing and planning out the week. This weekend the temperatures reached the 50’s, tomorrow we’re back into the 30’s and there’s another threat of snow. Brr.

Missing Jordan and Pat, the cat.

Missing Jordan and Pat, the cat.

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