Climb California Challenge
By Alan Reynaud
The SFFD was proud to be a part of the inaugural Northern California Stair Climbing event on March 31, 2007. This event has been held in other cities throughout the United States and San Francisco was not to be denied. Named Climb California, it chose the old Bank of America Bldg. (Shorenstein Bldg.) at 555 Cal. St. as its target site. It stands at 52 stories tall with 1,197 vertical steps to the top. All of this was put on by the American Lung Association and all donations went to their programs in preventing and researching the effects of lung diseases.

We all gathered early in the morning outside the building to get our bib numbers and to warm up. Electronic ankle bracelets were given to each racer to mark their individual time. Competitive racers went first followed by the team entries. All starts were staggered by 10 second intervals. SFFD was the first team to go up. And off we went! Roughly 11 steps and a left turn, again and again. 10 stories, 20, 30. At about this time, a photographer took a picture of your oxygen starved grimace. Finally, the top and the Carnelian Room! Like an oasis in a hot and dry vertical desert. Drinks, food, massages and what a view!

Everyone had a lot to be proud of. Not only making the climb but helping such a worthy organization as the American Lung Association. Special congratulations to Kevin Kuhn for being the fastest male in the 19-29 year range, and to Greg Collaco for collecting thousands of dollars in donations. Mark your calendar for the Second Annual Climb California on March 29, 2008.


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