Leninger trims own Oakbrook power hour record, joined by Ruvalcaba, Liking with 12 climbs
by Josh Jackett
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.—Where power hour stair racing is concerned, Eric Leninger isn’t simply in a class by himself—he’s the standard-bearer.
The 32-year-old Chicago-area towerrunner, currently ranked No. 5 in the US among male towerrunners, lived up to his résumé once again at the Feb. 14 Oakbrook Terrace Fight For Air Climb, where he took home his fourth win in the five years the event has held a power hour.
Leninger made his way to the top of the 31-story, 680-step Oakbrook Terrace Tower a total of 12 times in the hour. His total composite time of 48:56 bested his previous fastest 12-climb time of 49:31, set at the 2012 Oakbrook Terrace FFA.
In addition to his Oakbrook Terrace power hour dominance, Leninger also shares the record for most climbs achieved at power hours in Springfield (13 in 2012), Orlando (11 in 2013), and Milwaukee (7 in 2010).
In the five years the Oakbrook Terrace power hour has existed, Leninger has achieved 12 climbs each year he’s participated. The only year no one achieved 12 climbs was in 2013, when Leninger didn’t participate. The 2015 climb was the first year anyone else made it to the top 12 times, as Chicago-area runner/towerrunner Dan Walters became the second person to achieve the feat.
Leninger had company in the 12-climb club for the second straight year, however, as 31-year-old Liz Ruvalcaba and 13-year-old stair racing wunderkind Robert Liking each persisted through a dozen quick climbs apiece.
Ruvalcaba, the No. 8 female US towerrunner, became the first woman to achieve the feat, eclipsing the 11-climb mark held by stair climbing greats Cindy Harris and Kristin Frey, which she had also tied last year. Ruvalcaba totaled 51:51 in her dozen times up the building.
Liking, ranked No. 48 among all male US towerrunners, became the youngest to reach 12 climbs, as he completed his in a total of 52:23.
Only one other participant reached the top of the Oakbrook Terrace Tower as many as 11 times. That was the 47-year-old Harris, who did so for the third time in her career. Ranked No. 4 among all US women, it was also her third time climbing at this particular power hour. Her 51:38 finish ranks as her second-fastest 11-climb finish behind her 49:04 in 2012.
Rounding out the podium on the men’s side was 43-year-old Chicago-area towerruner David Hanley, who was the fastest among anyone who completed 10 climbs. The No. 19-ranked male climber amassed a total of 51:49 across his 10 climbs. As for the women, it was 29-year-old Anastasia Netzel, whose nine climbs totaled 50:42.
A total of 569 participants climbed in the Oakbrook Terrace FFA, with 60 of those participating in the power hour. In addition to the hour-long climb, the event also offers a triple climb, a double climb, and a single climb.
The climb is one half of a pair of Chicago-area American Lung Association Fight For Air Climbs. The second of the two is a four-building climb slated for Sunday, March 6, at Chicago’s Presidential Towers apartments.
Full results for all Oakbrook Terrace Tower FFA climb options can be found at http://theracershub.com/files/1015-2738.txt.