Race Recap: 2014 Hustle Up the Hancock

by Stephanie on April 15, 2014 · 2 comments

in Races & Recaps

This past Sunday I participated in a stair climbing event called Hustle Up the Hancock.  It is held in Chicago in the John Hancock Building.  The full climb is 94 flights of stairs (street level to observation deck) and the half climb is 52 flights.  The full climb sells out really quickly but I have friend who has been doing the half climb for about 5 years with her family.  I signed up for the 2013 event but was sick and couldn’t make it so I definitely wanted to do it this year.  Luckily I was only sick for the first half of the week of the climb this year.  😛

Saturday night I headed up to Chicago.  I stayed in a hotel downtown so I was close to the Hancock building.


I <3 Chicago.

Sunday morning we all headed over the to the Hancock at about 6:45 AM.  We had our team picture at 7:30 and our climb was scheduled for 8 am.


Holy crap, that’s tall.  Eeek!

After our team picture we headed up a service elevator to the 42nd floor where we got in line to start our 52 floor climb to the top.  We started somewhere around 20-30 seconds apart.  The stairwell is on the interior of the building so there is no natural light.  It was hot in there and the air was really dry.  They had signs up on each landing to encourage you and every 5-10 floors there were a few people cheering you on and there in case anyone needed medical help or water.


My friend and I, post-climb.

Admittedly I did not train well for this climb.  I did the stair climber at the gym once (whoops).  I have been running so that probably helped but it isn’t a replacement.  Climbing stairs is hard, y’all!  I did make it to the top though, in a respectable 18:18.


The view from the top is oh so sweet.

We hung out on the observation floor taking in the views and recovering while waiting for our last climber to finish.  I had a major, 10 minute long coughing fit during that time.  I’m told that’s from the dry air in the stairwell and its completely normal.  Actually they recommend you suck on some cough drops or something after the climb to avoid getting a sore throat.  I seem to be fine today, but I seriously thought I was going to couch up a lung.  My friend assures me that the first year is the worst for this.

Once our team was all together we went down and across the street to the after party and expo.  It was fairly small compared to the race expos I’ve been to but still good.  Except that I was too early for the beer tasting…



By 11 AM I was back in my hotel room napping!  First we stopped for a bagel and some Jamba Juice though.


Om nom nom.  Yum.

I had to recover for a bit before making up my mind, but I definitely would do the climb again.  It’s for a good cause (Respiratory Healthy Association) and it was fun to do a different sort of event.  If I do it again I’ll be spending some more time training on real stairs though!


Another medal for the collection.

After my nap in the hotel I drove back home and took another nap.  I was so tired and it really felt strange.  You can read more about that in my strange kind of tired post.  I’m over the tiredness but my butt is a little sore today.  Totally worth it!


Have you ever done a stair climb event?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah S April 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM

The coughing part afterwards would have freaked me out, but I have heard that from someone else who did a stair climb.
I get claustrophobic so not sure if I would survive a stair climb


Stephanie April 17, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Yeah, you might not like it then. The only thing that might help is that the stairwell isn’t crowded with a lot of people at once.


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