With big thanks to Jason Larson and Josh Jackett(who submitted a ton of races) towerrunning usa is all up to date. You can go to for the end of year rankings (i can save you all the time, though, i finished #28). Let's congratulate everyone who raced in 2017!


Also, the 2018 cup races are listed here:…/1tzWhSB6JM3INacLp2OzdHh2vWu…/edit… and also from the top bar at Let's thank The council for putting in the work to get this together, including Madeleine Fontillas RonkAmy E Brown, Jason Larson, Scott StanleyMichael J. KarlinSue Glaser and Linda Viner.


Here's hoping everyone a great holiday and new year, and a great 2018, especially on the stairs! :)

The Lemon Climb Boston is quickly approaching!


Oct 21, racers will scale 29 floors of the High Street Building at 100 High Street, Boston, MA to raise money to fight childhood cancers.  Race registration is $25 and fundraising is $100.  


For competitive climbers, there is an option to climb twice for only $25 more registration and no increase in fundraising.  The 2 climbs will be summed and the cumulative time scored as a separate event.  The first climb is required to be at the 8:30 am time slot, and climb #2 must be completed by 10am for it to count.


Towerrunning USA is pleased to have both distances at this event scored as a 50 point race!  We hope to see you there!


For more information and to register, please visit


March 2017 newsletter


Presidential towers 3/6


Fight for air Chicago(Presidential Towers) was another fantastic event.  As opposed to last year, where three climbers went under the rarefied 16 minute mark, no one broke 16 minutes, though european powerhouse Ralf Hascher came tantalizingly close, putting down a super speedy 16:01.  In second place in his comeback tour was Jesse Berg with a 16:31, after putting down an incredible 3:01 first climb.  In third place was 14 year old Robert Liking, cementing his place on the national scene with a blazing 17:29.


On the women’s side, Chicago climber Olga Starikova  won overall with a time of 20:29, with Sheri Breese close behind with a 20:40.  Right behind her was 44 year old Kendra Frigo with a time of 21:00.  It was interesting that the top 3 women finished adjacent in the overall standings, showing how competitive the women’s field can be nowadays.


Although a non-cup race, this event earned 60 bonus points when 17 people went under the 21:20 bonus cutoff, leading to the race being scored as 110 points.

Milwaukee FFA's


For the second straight stair race, Milwaukee-area runner Sal Impellitteri lined up first at the start line with no one slowing his path to the top of the US Bank Center. And for the second straight stair race, he came within mere seconds of the vaunted sub-5-minute club.


The 36-year-old Impellitteri had to settle for a 5:02 finish at the American Lung Association in Wisconsin’s March 18 Fight For Air Climb—good enough for his fifth straight event win, his sixth overall US Bank Center stair race win, and a new Milwaukee FFA event record.


While Impellitteri, who set a PR of 5:00-flat at last November’s CF Climb, hadn’t discovered stairwell success—or even stairwell races—until his 30s, the ever-improving Chicago-area towerrunning prodigy Robert Liking is notching his name in the record books at the tender age of 14.


With seven total climbs, not only did Liking take home first place at the Milwaukee FFA’s Ultimate Climb “power hour,” where participants scale the 47 stories and 981 steps to the top as many times as they can in an hour, his total net time of 47:32 lowered the event record by 50 seconds over fellow Chicago-area runner/climber Liz Ruvalcaba, who totaled 48:22 for her 7 climbs in 2015.


Liking’s first climb finish of 6:05 was good enough for fourth fastest overall on the day—from both single climb and Ultimate Climb participants. For overall finish standings purposes, power hour participants’ first climb times are included among single climb participants’ results.


Second place on the day was a 5:09 finish by Chicago towerrunning legend Jesse Berg.  West Allis triathlete Adam Bruss, 35, rounded out the FFA podium, notching a 5:45 finish—a 5-second PR.  Impellitteri, Berg, and Bruss combined to make this the first-ever Milwaukee FFA with three sub-6-minute finishes.


On the women’s side of things, it was Milwaukee FFA veteran Holly LaVesser finishing as the fastest female on the day, as well as finishing first among all women in the power hour. It was LaVesser’s second straight win in each category, and her third overall in the power hour.


LaVesser banged out six climbs in a total of 45:03, with her first coming in 6:53. The sub-7 finish makes her the sixth woman ever to reach the top of the US Bank Center in less than 7 minutes, joining Collins-Carlson, Ruvalcaba, Spartan Pro Becca Clifford, and towerrunning legends Cindy Harris and Kristen Frey.


The overall women’s field was rather strong on the day, as six women total reached the top of the US Bank Center in less than 8 minutes. The overall top three was rounded out by locals Kristen Strother, 46, who finished in 7:22, and Erin Smith, 43, who made her way to the top in 7:27.




After an unlucky elevator delay cost him entry into the power hour’s seven-climb club in 2015, Carpentersville, Ill., towerrunner Josh Duncan, 39, made it a lucky no. 7 at this year’s climb.


Duncan’s net total of 50:13 ranks sixth all time among the 11 times participants have successfully achieved seven climbs in the hour, and makes him the ninth person to notch seven climbs. His first climb of 6:15 ranked as the fifth fastest climb on the day.

ALA tampa


This 150 point in florida attracted a strong field.  Taking first overall was national powerhouse and perennial top 3 Thomas Scott, racing to the top in 5:01.  Close behind was Daryle Glaser with a 5:04.  Third overall was local climber Corey Holthaus with an excellent time of 5:22.


On the Women’s side, Sue Glaser won with a speedy ascent of 7:20.  Close on her heels was Stella Valitutto with a 7:30.  Rounding out the top 3 was Dawn Sterns with a 7:46.  



The ALA Springfield event always draws an incredibly tough field for a race far from a major metropolitan area. With over 800 athletes registered, and nearly 700 finishing the event, this race is a major event on the prairie!


Part of the reason the area is such a hotbed of tower racing is the presence of Terry Purcell. Though dipping his toe back in the waters of racing, Terry did not participate in this event, but answered the need for a professional and efficient race organizer.  


With Terry in charge, the event went off without a hitch.  


The power hour went first, with the elite wave getting a clear stairwell for 10 minutes.  Utilizing that clear stairwell Justin Stewart powered through 12 climbs in 41:46.  In second place Joshua duncan with a 2:57 first climb and 12 ascents in 46:17.  In third was John “oz” Osbourn, with a 2:30 first climb and 11 ascents in 43:26.  Your author just missed getting in his eleventh climb, waiting several long minutes for hith 10th elevator ride down.


On the women’s side in the power hour, Cindy Harris continued her amazing year, banging out a 3:23 first climb, then 12 ascents total in 45:53.  Sanya Kushak made 11 ascents in 50:37, and Roxanne Sanchez was third, with 10 climbs in 49:18.


For the sprint, Justin Stewart’s first power climb of 2:09 was the best time of the day.  John Osborne’s first power hour climb of 2:30.0 netted him second, and Jesse Berg was third with 2:30.2.  


On the women’s side, Natalie Hudgens got first with 3:22.5, just edging out Cindy Harris with a 3:23.  Third was 18 year old Madelyn Wilson’s first power hour climb of 3:44.3.

Dallas Vert Mile - March 25


The inaugural Dallas Vert Mile in Texas, brought a terrific field who blazed Reunion Tower’s 470 vertical feet and 807 steps.


The event featured three races - a sprint race (worth 60 world points), which consisted of one climb up the tower; a three-lap, 1/4 climb; and a 12 lap vert - or vertical - mile.


Egle Uljas won the women’s field with a time of 5:42 followed by Jessica Pickett and Christiana Aleman. Karen Geninatti - who had won previously in Reunion Tower - and Heather Conover - rounded out the top five.


On the men’s side, Jason Larson defeated John “Oz” Osborn by four seconds to claim victory in 4:12. Brian Elliott - an accomplished endurance athlete but newcomer to tower racing - came in third. Josh Duncan missed the podium by just one second, and Scott Stanley, the former Reunion Tower record holder, finished fifth.


Although this marked the first Dallas Vert Mile tower race, there had been races in Reunion Tower in the past, and the winners of the sprint race didn't just beat the previous records - they smashed them! Ten women beat or tied the previous record of 7:20, and eight men finished under the previous record of 5:08. Egle Uljas topped the record by nearly 1 1/2 minutes, and Jason Larson lowered the men’s record by 56 seconds.


The vertical mile was guaranteed at least 100 Towerrunning USA points. Jason Larson and Oz Osborn battled just as fiercely as they did in the sprint race, and this time, Oz came out on top with a time 1:01.22. He edged Larson by 15 seconds - a difference of just 1.25 seconds per lap. Josh Duncan easily made the podium in this race with a solid third place showing followed by Brady Renshaw in fourth and Brian Elliott in fifth.  Notably, John Osborn’s average climb was 5:07.5, faster than the pre-existing course record.  Quite a feat.


On the women’s side, Kristin Renshaw won the full vert mile in 1:11:22. All of her climb times broke the pre-existing course record by over a minute, and her first climb of 5:40 would have won the sprint, had she participated.  Andrea Magee came in second followed by Jessica Pickett.  Christian Aleman and Lila Lehtola rounded out the top five.

Seattle big climb March 26


One of the biggest and toughest events in the country, the Seattle big climb draws about 6,000 climbers total.  With it’s competitive and noncompetitive staircases, still over 2,750 athletes executed timed ascents to the top, and the local field was strong and deep.


This event is normally dominated by Shaun-Stephens Whale, who holds nearly all of the top 5 fastest ascents, but it was newcomer to the non-firefighter events who took the win. Former pro triathlete and active fireman Andrew Drobeck pulled out the win with a 7:10 ascent.  Shaun was close behind with a 7:13, and powerhouse Tristan Roth was third with an 8:01.  


On the women’s side, Olivia Yetter was first with a 9:33.  Shon Deen was second with a 9:41, and Katy Gillingham with third with a 10:09.


With 44 athletes coming in under the bonus cutoff if 9:45, the race earned the maximum bonus of 100 points, making it one of the highest-scoring US events.  

Notable performances:


  • Fight for air indianapolis; congratulations to Syd Srak for winning overall with 7 climbs!


Towerruning event are mostly in hiatus until the fall and winter is upon us, but fear not, there are two events coming up in June!


First up is the 3rd annual Tunnel to Towers Tower Climb, held in the iconic One World Trade Center in New York City.  Many members of Towerrunning USA have participated in the climb in the two years since its inception, and have amazing stories of how challenging and meaningful the experience was. Racers enthusiastically describe how privileged and honored they were to climb the over 2000 steps to the top of One World Trade Center, a feat performed in memory of those first responders and others impacted on September 11, 2001.

This year, we will be joined in our race to the top by world class elite athletes from Towerrunning USA and the International Skyrunning Federation, including Australia's Darren Wilson. 

This year’s Tower Climb will be held on Sunday, June 4. Funds raised will go the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, established in memory of the fallen 9/11 firefighter. Tunnel to Towers will dedicate money raised towards building high-tech “smart homes” for catastrophically injured service members.

For Towerrunning USA ranking purposes, this will be a 150-point race. I look forward to seeing you at the Tower Climb. For more information and to register, visit


June 24 will be another Tunnels to tower event, this time in Atlanta.  There is a special sale for this climb this weekend for ELITE Climbers only.

Anyone interested in registering can save 50% off registration for the climb using promo code ELITE.  This is a nice savings in registration! 

The code expires Sunday at Midnight (May 14 at midnight).


For information and registration for this event, please visit:



Empire State Building Run-Up


In another spectacular year at one of the World’s banner staircimb events, there was speculation that the extremely strong field might mean a second person finally breaking the magical 10 minute barrier at Empire.


All eyes were on perennial world #10 Piotr Lobodzinski as he toed the line.  He won, hitting the tape at 10:31.  In second place, fresh off of crushing the record at Chicago’s Aon climb, was Darren Wilson, with a 10:43.  Third was Canada’s Shaun Stephens-Whale with a 11:04.  


For the American contingent, Sproule Love was fourth overall, with a time of 11:41.  Second American was David Tromp with a 12:02.  Third American male as David Roeske with a 12:23.


Winning for a record eighth time was Suzy Walsham with a 12:11.  Second overall was the amazing Cindy Harris with a 13:15. Third overall and second american was newcomer Meg Santana with a 13:51.  Third american and fourth overall was Shari Klarfeld with a 14:01


Congratulations to everyone who participated in this extremely tough elite field!

FFA jacksonville


One of the premier SE events, FFA jacksonville always draws a strong field.  


Winning overall was Troy Alston with a 4:19.  Second was Thomas Scott with a 4:37.  Third, from Illinois was John Osborn with a 4:41.


On the women’s side, US champ stephanie hucko won with a 5:21.  Kate Mays was second with a 6:26.  Susanne bergen was third was a 6:30.  

Oakbrook Terrace


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Oakbrook 2017 was yet another banner year for this perenially strong event.


In the banner power hour event, there was a changing of the guard on the men’s side.  When ten time participant, perenneial winner, and record holder Eric Leninger was forced to drop out due to injury, 14 year-old Bob Liking stepped up and won the event, the only person to post 12 climbs in the hour, with a 51:10 climb time.  Strong local climber George Patterson III, the only climber with eleven ascents, was second with 52:00 total climb time. Robert Klinko was third, completing 10 climbs in 50:14.


On the women’s side, first was Denise Skweres with 9 climbs in 47:56, Olivia Bukowski

Completing 9 climbs, and Sheryl Leonard-Schneck completing 8 climbs in 49:44.


In the sprint (one lap) event, we saw the return of Jesse Berg, winning with a time of 3:05. Erig Leninger was second, completing his first power hour climb in 3:08.  Robert Liking was third, his first power hour lap clocking in at 3:39.


First for women was Natalie Doolittle-Shadel, climbing the first tower in 4:28.  Second was Jill Paha, completing her first ascent in 4:34.  Third was 51 year old Lynn Degnan, climbing in 4:43



In an almost exclusively locals-only race, it was a sparse few out-of-town towerrunning veterans who took nearly all the top spots at the Feb. 18 Nashville Fight For Air climb. Troy Alston set a building record at downtown Nashville's Fifth Third Center, which saw participants scale 638 steps up to the 29th floor. The Jacksonville sprint specialist's time of 2:55.7 was more than a minute faster than Milwaukee-area climber Josh Jackett, who finished second in 3:58.4. On the women's side, Nashville's Amy Gardner took the top spot, finishing in 6:27.0. In its fifth year, the event did add a power hour, but it required participants to descend the steps back to the bottom rather than take the elevator back down. Only three people took part in the hour challenge, which was won by the Minneapolis-area's Brian Zamboni, who completed six up-plus-down laps in a total of 57:44.0. Nashville locals Matt Miller and Paul Morel each completed four laps during the hour.

Outclimb cancer:


Single climb times:

Just as light snow started to fall during the late morning hours of the SLC climb, multiple records fell at the Outclimb Cancer Challenge. Local athlete John Tribbia broke the men’s single climb record, moving the bar from Dustin Kazmar’s 3:05.3 in 2014 with his 3:03.7 effort. Christine Soskins pushed the women’s record to 4:19.1, compared to Julie Bryan’s previous record of 4:43.7 set in 2015. Christine was just getting started, though, as she set a new women’s multiple climb record with 50 climbs completed in the 6 hour event. Christine’s effort beat both Susette Fisher’s 45 climbs in 2015, and the previous men’s record of 48 climbs set by Kevin Van Loon in 2015. She couldn’t quite catch Josh Duncan, though, as he pushed the men’s record to 52 climbs. Other notable performances were turned in by male competitors Charles Konopa with 50 climbs and Michael Caviston with 48 climbs, and Leslie Howlett chasing Christine in the women’s competition with 48 climbs and a 4:22.8 first climb effort.


The fire department portion of the climb saw similar intense competition, with the Hill AFB FD narrowly beating out the SLC City Fire team by a mere 2 second average per climber. Hill AFB FD’s effort was led by Chad Carrier, whose 4:42.6 effort while carrying full gear missed the building record by 22 seconds.


Scale the strat


The 2017 US championship at the Stratosphere was another spectacular event.


With a very strong field lining up for the race, the question on everyone’s mind was, would the course record on 7:05 be broken after years of assaults by the very best climbers?


Race fans were not disappointed, as canadian Shaun Stephens-Whale won, setting a new course record with a time of 7:03.  Coming in second was US climber Justin Stewart with a 7:27, and rounding out the podium was Ralf Hascher with a 7:34.  


Filling out the second men’s podium was world #8 Gustavo Isaac Mendoza with a 7:39, US points champion Alex Workman with a 7:45, and Florida powerhouse Thomas Scott with an 8:03.


On the women’s side, the astounding Cindy Harris continued her amazing year, cruising to victory with a 8:30.  In second place, fresh off her incredible debut at empire was Meg Santanna with a 9:34.  In third was Julie-Rae Steinmeyer with a 10:09.  


In fourth place was Christine Soskins.  Fresh off breaking the old men’s course record at Utah’s 6 hour climb less than a day earlier, she put down an excellent time of 10:30.


Finishing off the second podium was Seattle’s Amy Brown with a 10:35 and local Jessica Pickett with a 10:35.  


With 617 finishers, the race set new records for number of participants and funds raised!



Someone looking at the race results early in the day could be forgiven for thinking they were seeig a race report from six years ago.  For part of the day, first place was Terry Purcell(10:25), participating in his first race since retiring several years ago.  Second only a second behind was Jesse Berg(10:26), also making a surprise return to racing after several years away.  Very close behind in third place was Eric Leninger(10:34), in a position he might have occupied several years back before a string of victories at hancock.  


This old-school triumverate was not to last, however; before the end of the day, firefighter and pro triathelete Andrew Drobeck weaved through the traffic of a crowded staircase and put down a very impressive 10:19.  One could speculate that in a clear staircase, he would have been capable of breaking the magical 10 minute barrier.  


Winning for women was local Climber Sheri Breese(12:54), second was Olga Starikova(13:21) and third was Jennifer Glenn with a 13:29.

Other notable February performances:

* Jacksonville towerrunner Jordan Brashears claimed his first-ever first-place finish with a time of 5:39 during the Feb. 12 Fight For Air Cincinnati at the 45-story, 804-step Carew Tower. His time was a 38-second win over second place.

* St. Louis-area towerrunner John Wilmas repeated as the Fight For Air Kansas City champion during the Feb. 26 event at the 42-story, 902-step One Kansas City Place building; his 5:21 finish was a 16-second improvement over his time at the event's inaugural 2016 climb. He also finished first with 7 laps during the event's first-ever power hour.

* Detroit-area triathlete Ryan Rivamonte smashed his own building record at Feb. 26’s Fight For Air Detroit, improving from 6:15.6 in 2016 to a ridiculous 6:03.2 at the 71-story, 1,050-step Renaissance Center. Prior to 2016, which was Rivamonte's first-ever stair race, the event ended one floor and 16 steps shorter, where the prior record was 6:21, held by former 8-time event champion George Hudock.