Monday, September 27, 2010

Rise to Chicago's Tallest Wonder

If you live in the city, namely Chicago, chances are you either fall into one of three categories when describing your home to work--and back again--transition. Choice one: You live and work in a high-rise, but you'll skip the steps and hop in the elevator. Choice two: You're not complaining but you use the stairs--and a lot of them--day in and day out to go to and from home and to and from work. Choice three: You're not a stair lover or hater, but you climb them regularly, and opt for the elevator just as often.

Identify with choices two or three? You're off the hook--you're a routine stair climber. Identify with choice one? Keep reading for details on an event you can't mimic during your daily commute to your desk (that includes me, a work-from-homer). But it's one of those workouts your body will thank you for afterward.

Legs: meet the stair climb. Specifically, meet SkyRise Chicago, the stair climbing event that takes you to the top of the tallest building in the United States, the Willis Tower, formerly known--and still called by some of us Chicagoans--the Sears Tower. On November 14, you'll ascend the 103 floors of the tower and climb its 2,109 steps to go from the ground level up to a breathtaking finish line at the Skydeck Chicago. This iconic landmark, or maybe I should say 'airmark' since it's 1,353 feet up into the sky--one that attracts tourists and locals alike--boasts panoramic views of the city, even four states if it's a clear day. Or check out The Ledge, a new attraction with glass boxes that jut out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck where many a visitor has snapped a photo. I can only imagine the views are as good or better than those seen from the John Hancock Observatory after climbing to the top at February's Hustle Up the Hancock. Yes, it's sad but true: this Chicagoan has only run by Willis and never inside.

And have no fear if you're doubting your abilities to climb to the top--bad knees, arthritis, ankles and the like--or physically cannot do it. You can still participate with a second option that's unique to SkyRise Chicago--using a hand-cycle that's mathematically calibrated to match the distance and resistance to ascend the 103 floors.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago hosts this second-year event which starts at 7 a.m. and runs until approximately 12 p.m. Proceeds benefit RIC and its world-class rehabilitation care and cutting-edge research. In the event's first year, it saw 1,800 participants and raised more than $650,000 for RIC.

Interested in participating this year? Registration costs $50 and all participants are also required to raise at least $100 in addition to the registration fee. But you only have until October 20 to get signed up--that's the date by which all participants need to be pre-registered. Click here to register at

Video grabbed from AbilityRIC on Footage is from the 2009 event.

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