The New York Times Identifies the Next Big Thing: Stairs


How did you get from your building’s lobby to your office this morning? If you took the elevator, you missed out on the sporting world’s newest trend, something called “climbing stairs.” It’s so hot right now, the New York Times ran a piece today about its rampant popularity.

Don’t believe it?

Tower running, as the indoor variety of the sport is known, has become so popular that two European organizations recently began ranking the racers.

Apparently the politics of stair-climbing are so fraught with controversy, two independent governing bodies are required. One can only imagine the bureaucratic quagmire if people start walking down flights of stairs as well.

German business consultant Thomas Dold is currently the undisputed stair master. He is competing for his sixth title at tomorrow’s Empire State Building Run-Up. The guy knows his stairs, and he’s got some advice:

“If you take one step, I guarantee you won’t win,” Dold said, “because there will be another guy who takes two.”

And three steps? Well, that’s just crazy talk.

Surely climbing stairs has staying power, unlike ping-pong, chess boxing, quidditch, and other fly-by-night niche sports.

Spots for tomorrow’s Empire State Building Run-Up are all filled, but if you live in a walk-up, you can participate from home.

Glory at the Top Flight for Runners [NYT]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 31, 2011

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