Racing 1,679 Steps Up the U.S. Bank Tower

Fleet-footed runners'll try to ascend 75 stories as fast as possible (and for a fine cause).

Did you grow up in a multi-level house? Then you likely recall being asked to run upstairs to fetch something for a parent or sibling. And you likely recall how you could easily turn the trip up fifteen or twenty stairs into a ten-minute lolligag. (We were all kids once, right? You know.)

But could you take 1,679 stairs in ten or so minutes? That translates into 75 stories, if you're trying to visualize what exactly 1,679 stairs look like. Well, 75 stories, at least where the U.S. Bank Tower is concerned, a structure that is commonly known as "The Tallest Building in the West."

Several racers and walkers do that each year, with one very important cause in mind and on their heart: Raising funds, support, and awareness for the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA. It's a bustling center, indeed, and given that some 75,000 kids live within a couple of miles from it, funding and maintaining those essential Y youth programs is key.

Think, then, of the racers going up those 75 stories, quickly, with those 75,000 kids in mind.

The date for the up-up-up stair climb is Friday, Sept. 27, so if you're in the area of the U.S. Bank Tower, you're just as likely to see men and women rockin' the sneakers and shorts as you are financial types in suits.

And, nope, not every participant will run; that's not required of the people raising funds for the Y. Still, some runners do jog -- even sprint -- up all 75 stories. And those times? You can see the elite tallies from 2012 here. Jesse Berg, the top finisher, completed the 1,679 stairs in 9:35.

That's a big whoa. Think of that next time you have to dash upstairs for a sweater or magazine, then multiple your 16 or 17 stairs by 100.

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