Hustle up the Hancock in Chicago


Hustle up the Hancock is an annual charity race to climb to the top of the John Hancock Center in Chicago.  It is typically held one of the last Sundays in February.  The race is put on by the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago.  Although the full climb is already sold out for 2015 (I believe it generally sells out within 30 minutes or less) – the half climb is still available for those who wish to register on their website here –


There are two options available, a full climb and a half climb.  The full climb is 94 stories, and the half is 52; the first few stories that you climb are rather long and the start is in the basement.  It is a race and everyone is timed who climbs, although the elite/fast climbers are allowed to go first in the morning as they are actually quite fast and competitive!  Per wikipedia the record for the full climb set in 2007 is 9 minutes and 30 seconds.


I don’t recall what my times have been, but more than double that!  It is a challenge to simply keep pushing yourself along and going, it is quite the stair stepping exercise.  My first year I started off doing two steps at a time, as I often do when going up a set of regular stairs; I figured I would do that, go to single, and toggle back as I felt like changing things up.  About 8 flights out I figured out that was not going to happen – went to single steps, never to return to two again!  Once the top half of the full is reached, about every other floor there are people with water available, cheering you on to keep going – frequently with medical staff sprinkled in as well…

Wikipedia puts the top floor at 321 meters, or 0.2 miles high; the full climb is 94 stories.  Although it is quite intense, looking at these stats it doesn’t seem like much in comparison to the Grouse Grind!  Still quite a challenge and a fun time to see if you can beat yourself and your friends.

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