Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tackle The Tower Recap

Photos by OHventures

Tackling the tower is NO easy feat! 

On Saturday, February 7, 2015, Team OHventures supported the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland by participating in its signature stair climb event, Tackle The Tower!

The challenge was to climb 37 flights of stairs at the Galleria & Tower at Erieview in downtown Cleveland as fast as you can! It might seem like a simple task, but it was anything but!

The Tower at Erieview in Cleveland!

There was really not much of a way to practice for this event, other than to perhaps climb stairs in your office building on your lunch break. I have been doing a great deal of leg workouts (squats, lunges, calf raises, etc.) and running, but even that couldn't quite prepare me for the difficulty of this stair climb! In the past, I participated in a similar event, the Fight For Air Stair Climb for the American Lung Association, so I did have an idea of what to expect.

Team OHventures consisted of myself, and my friends Marc (my gym buddy), Chad, and Johnny (AKA my resident "Tough Mudder Expert"). These are guys who I knew would excel at such an obstacle, as they are pretty physically fit. 

Chad thought it would be a great idea to have coordinating outfits or shirts to show that we were a team. Since my last batch of OHventures t-shirts have sold out, we couldn't use that option. Instead, Chad suggested we all wear a superhero costume of some sort to indicate we were a pack. Since the charity we were climbing for, the Ronald McDonald House, is to help children who are ill, the superhero idea seemed like a no-brainer. Thus, Johnny was Spider-Man, Marc was The Punisher, Chad was Captain America (complete with a mask and shield), and I was Superman (apparently the only non-Marvel character of the bunch, which could upset certain comic book nerds).

Posing for the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland

The superhero costumes were a big hit! Random folks wanted our picture, as well as Ronald McDonald himself (pictured above)! We also were interviewed by the local news (WKYC Cleveland), and stretched with the gals from ZenWorks Yoga (they were helping many participants with a mini yoga session before their climb - how cool!).

Stretching with ZenWorks Yoga

The competitive heats began at 9AM, with runners starting every 10 seconds. I was first for our team, and I began at 9:46:50 - on the dot! Following me were Johnny, then Marc, then Chad. It was a GRUELING and painful run up those stairs. To call it a "run" is being generous, because I got gassed out after only a few flights, and from there on, it was just a matter of keeping yourself moving. Every flight that I climbed, I would see the floor number SLOWLY progressing until I finally reached the 37th floor! It was a glorious moment when I finished at the top.


My legs were sore, but the most discomfort came from the burning sensation in my chest and lungs! Like many other folks at the top, I was coughing up a storm! Something about powering through hundreds of steps in a dusty stairwell must really affect your breathing somehow!


Our individual times were: 5:38.2 for Johnny (he was 1st in his age group), 6:35.9 for Chad, 6:48.9 for me (about a minute better than my climb in 2013), and 9:07.9 for Marc. All were impressive times. We managed to get 4th place overall male team, which we are very proud of. I was told there was close to 1,000 participants (including those in the fun walk prior to our heat).\

Later in the morning was the mascot race (with mascots from every local sports team, including my favorite - Slider of the Cleveland Indians), and a firefighter race, where they all climbed with their heavy gear!


We were happy to support the children of the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland in the Tackle the Tower event. Felt like a real-life superhero that morning!

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