Duane Friesen

Birthdate: 16 February 1962

Do you have a nickname? No

What is your occupation? Aircraft Quality Control Inspector for American Airlines

What/when was your first climb? February 2014, ALA Fight For Air Climb Tulsa Oklahoma

How many climbs have you completed? 12

Why/how did you start? I started in the winter of 2013/2014 because the roads were too icy to do much bicycling and that was the sport I had been doing to stay in shape. I didn't want to get out of shape so I started climbing the stairs where I work on my lunch time. It was after I got into the habit of doing the stairs that I heard about a stair race here in Tulsa. I signed up so I would have a goal to work for in my training. I had a great time at the race and visited with Ned Green who invited me to do more climbs and just like that I was hooked.

Do you have a favorite climb? Why? I love the Little Willies Triple Dog Dare in OKC. That race is the most exciting and I enjoy the variety of racing up and down and in between the buildings. I also enjoy the festive atmosphere with the Christmas decorations and music at this race held in December each year.

Least favorite climb? Nope, I like them all.

Why do you climb? I climb to stay healthy and strong and I love to compete with the wonderful people I've met doing the races.

Are there other sports you're passionate about? Cycling is the sport that I've loved for almost 15 years. This summer I started running and recently did my first organized race, a 15K.

Do you have injuries or issues you need to overcome to climb? No injuries or issues other than a body that is getting older every year and now that I'm in my mid 50s I feel it. I have to work harder each year to maintain my fitness.

How do you train? I ride my road bike and run and I climb stairs all I can. With limited time because of my work schedule, I find that climbing during my lunch or break time is a great use of time. I've also been able to get some of my coworkers started climbing stairs instead of eating donuts on their break.

Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? Scott Stanley and I have become good friends. We both work for American Airlines but I work in Tulsa and he is based at DFW so without stair climbing we never would have gotten to know each other.

Who inspires you? Ned Green definitely inspires me. I hope I can be in the shape he is in when I'm his age. I'll never forget that he told me his goal is to die a young man at an old age. Ned will always be a young man no matter what his age.

Do you have a good luck charm or any superstitions or pre-race rituals? No

What's on your iPod during workouts/competitions? 70s and 80s rock n roll for training but no music during races because I like to hear the climbers above me and below me.

Do you have a website or blog for those interested in learning more about you? No

If we had numbers on our jerseys, what would your number be? 7

What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives? Find a way to stay active that you really enjoy so that you can have fun while keeping your body healthy and strong. Once you've found what works for you set goals that stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone.