Then my friend Maureen said she'd signed up this year but couldn't make it, and did I want to take her place? Before I could think too hard about it, I said yes despite the crazy start time of 8:15 a.m., immediately after the elite runners.
Here they are, ready to climb fifty-six stories. That's 1,098 steps.
The No. 1 guy, bouncing up and down, is Ricky Gates, who also finished first.
Here's a video of the start:
Now here's me! Standing in line, waiting my turn and thinking, "Wait, why am I doing this? Where's the coffee?"
Because let me tell you, there were a lot of very fit people there, all decked out in their cardio-gear, heart monitors strapped on, calf muscles bulging, ready to kick some ass.
Well, I wasn't about to let my own ass be kicked, dammit. So, here's me at the starting line, about to step onto the blue mat that picks up the signal from a chip tied to my shoe.
And here's me on the 35th floor – more than halfway! – stopping for water. There were three or four water stations along the way. And cheerleaders!
I did it! And I didn't even need the barf bucket. (Yes, some people did.)
The view was pretty spectacular, and a photographer was on hand to document the moment. I got her to take a shot with my camera, too.
My face was pretty red!
Now, you maybe wondering what my time was. Ricky Gates, age 27, the No. 1 guy, ran it in 5:51. Cindy O'Neill, age 46, the top female finisher, ran it in 8:05. Me? I walked it in 20:50. Putting me in 26th place, however briefly.
Yes, those are just the preliminary results. Runners were starting every 8 seconds until 1 p.m., so if I stay in the top 1,000, I'll be doing pretty well! I'll find out in a day or two.
Thanks, Maureen, for helping me get my butt in gear!