2015 Fight for Air Climb (Hartford)

When I registered for today’s American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb, I had two goals in mind:

1) Support the Horst Engineering Health & Wellness Committee (HAWC) Team.

2) Don’t get hurt.

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I think I succeeded in both. I know that support for the HAWC Team was strong. I got to spend part of the morning with six colleagues from our Connecticut operations and together, we have raised more than $1,300 to date. Thank you to our donors. A lot of the support came from our other Horst Engineering colleagues, vendors, and friends. At our quarterly all-hands meeting earlier this week, we raffled off a bunch of New England Patriots, New York Giants, BostonRed Sox, and New York Yankees regalia with all proceeds going to the cause.

HAWC Team

I didn’t fully appreciate the connection between stair climbing and the Lung Association until I reached the 38th floor of City Place I, Hartford’s tallest building. More than 320 people climbed the last 34 of those floors in the stairwell, and it was brutal. I led off our team and they rest of them followed at 20 second intervals. With chip timing (you wore the chip band on your wrist), they were able to send people off 20 seconds apart, all morning long.

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When I burst on to the 38th floor, I was gasping for air and my heart rate was jacked. I might have gone faster if I could have gotten my heart rate above 182 where it maxed out. I averaged 176, which is pretty good for a four minute burst. Before the race, I was worried about my calves and my pesky plantar fasciitis (left foot), but they seem to be fine and its my lungs that got worked over. I guess that’s the point. Between the nasty warm stairwell air (dust and particulate) and the out of control breathing, I singed my lungs. So, when it comes to taking care of your lungs, I have even more appreciation.

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This was my first ever stair climb. I trained for the event by jogging over to City Place from Horst Engineering’s Cedar Street plant. I ran across the Founder’s Bridge on a cold, but beautiful morning. My cool down took me down Main Street, past the music theatre, into Riverside Park, up on the dike, and across the Connecticut Southern Railroad Train Bridge, which is like 500 feet from Horst. The Connecticut River has flooded a little, but that is normal for spring.

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It is worth noting that their was a normal amount of water flooding Riverside Park for April. The 2017 USA Cyclocross National Championships are scheduled to take place in that park on a course that will have elements taken from the early cyclocross races that Team Horst Sports promoted there in 2002 and 2003. It’s a great venue, and will be even better if there is no flooding in January 2017. We did our races in October and December, and January should be OK, but you never know.

I might give this stair climb thing a go again in the future. I’ve always wanted to do the granddaddy of stair climbs, the Empire State Building Run-Up. It’s on the to-do list now.

Whenever I’m in City Place, I think of 1980’s Hartford when the Russian Lady was going strong (in its first incarnation), the Whalers were still in town, and business was vibrant in the city. The building now has a 30% vacancy rate and last fall, was sold for the second time in three years. Hartford is far from what it used to be and the lack of tenants in this building is just one sign.

Of course, if I worked in that building on a daily basis, I would take the stairs.

Race Results

1 Response to “2015 Fight for Air Climb (Hartford)”



  1. 1 2015 Fat Tire Classic | Life Adventures Trackback on 26 April 2015 at 8:20 pm

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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