Runners Left Gasping In The “Fight For Air” Climb

On March 26, 900 runners will negotiate 42 flights of stairs. Photo: TBO

On March 26, 900 runners will negotiate 42 flights of stairs. Photo:

They must sprint up 42 flights of stairs.

Most competitive runners have heard of the Empire State Building Run-Up, but what about the Fight For Air Climb?

This race will be taking place on March 26 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The challenge: sprinting up 42 flights of stairs to the top of the city’s Bank of America tower. The race is in its sixth year with proceeds benefitting the American Lung Association.

An estimated 900 runners are expected to take part in it.

“There is no workout that compares to this,” says Sam Kicak, the 2010 female runner up.

Another competitor, Michelle Pryor has lived with asthma her whole life. She says when she runs up the stairs, she can only benefit from 65 percent of her lung capacity. “Within 10 flights you feel it,” she said. “Your breath can be taken away pretty quickly.”

Each runner pays a $25 entry fee, but must raise $100 for the Lung Association.According to Shirley Wesgate, the executive director of the American Lung Association, “80 percent of that money is used for programs that include local lung disease support groups, asthma and flu prevention education, emergency financial assistance for the sick and education for respiratory nurses.”

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