February 25, 2013 I ran up the stairs of the tallest building in Montana, the First Interstate Center in Billings Montana. While it is not the tallest building I will climb in the United States, at 20 stories it is the tallest building in the northern rocky mountain area, from Minnesota to Washington.
|Tallest Building in Montana - First Interstate Bank|
This was not associated with an official race so I had to find a proper way to run the building. I entered the building early in the morning and spoke to security/information at the front desk and explained my strange goal. They mentioned people used to exercise by running up the stairs and they had to put a stop to it for liability purposes. I asked to speak to the property manager and they sent me across the street to a very nice woman who decided to make a one-time exception to let me run up the stairs at a designated time when the facilities manager would be there to monitor my run. That was very generous of her, people in Montana are very very friendly.
|First Interstate Building Information Desk|
After some successful work meetings that day in Billings and before I drove to the airport I stopped at the First Interstate Center. I changed into my gear in the basement restroom and went to the security desk. After I signed a waiver the facilities manager asked me about what I was doing and how long it was going to take. I said “well its 20 floors so that should take me about 3 minutes and then maybe 5 minutes back down.” He laughed, shook his head and said “I’d be willing to wager on that one…you are NOT going to make it up there in 3 minutes!” I smiled and said “I’m not going to wager on it but I’m confident I will be under 3 minutes.” He laughed. Now there was some pressure to perform.
|Stairwell Looking Down Interstate Building Billings MT|
When I entered the stairwell I was impressed at how clean they were. It was a nice change from Vegas hotels. When I was at the Palazzo last Wednesday I didn’t get winded until I was 17 floors up so I figured I should be able to make it to the top before getting tired. Well I forgot about the 3,123 feet elevation in Billings so at the 9th floor the fatigue in my legs and lungs hit and I slowed down for the rest of the run.
I was happy when I stopped the timer on my iphone to see I came in at 2:57. Pretty good estimate and it was fun to show the people at the front desk I was under 3 minutes. Should have taken him up on the wager.
|Under Three Minute Stair Climb|
It’s funny the sense of accomplishment I get when I drive away and look at the building. I also get excited to call my sister Stephanie to tell her that I checked another one off my list. I really do think about my sweet handicapped niece multiple times during my run. I may not be the fastest at running up these buildings but I have a purpose that gives a deeper meaning to these runs and this goal.
2 down 48 more to go with the Stratosphere coming up Saturday.
|Beautiful Billings Montan Skyline View from Airport|