Do you go by a nickname? B. (within my family)
Birthdate: 17 August 1971
What is your occupation? Senior Housing Developer
What/when was your first climb? ESBRU 1999
How many climbs have you completed? 35-40
Why/how did you start? It sounded bizarre and I was curious.
Do you have a favorite climb? Why? Willis Tower - I grew up in St. Louis and visited Chicago as a schoolboy. It was the first skyscraper I had ever been in. And I hold the record.
Least favorite climb? Why? ESBRU - although it’s getting better, this is by far the most stressful of all my climbs. It’s the most well-known climb in the world and it’s my home course. I see it every day!
Why do you climb? There is something very appealing and visceral about seeing the height of land and getting to the top to survey your surroundings. And after 25 years of endurance sports, I can admit that I’m a masochist.
Are there other sports you’re passionate about? Cross-country skiing, cycling and sea-kayaking.
Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb? Too many injuries to mention, but the squeakiest wheels are plantar fasciitis in both feet, a shoulder and an elbow.
How do you train? I run stairs in a 40 story tower where I used to live (with and without weight) lift, rollerski, cycle and meditate.
Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? "Stair race training buds" are generally great people, but I’ve become especially good friends with Jesse Berg, David Hanley, Jason Larson, Madeleine Fontillas Ronk and Stephanie Hucko. Above all, though, I have to give Mark "The Godfather of Stair Racing" Trahanovsky credit for introducing me to this exceptional group and for being such a key supporter of my own racing.
Who inspires you? My children, people who have changed their lives through tower running and the beneficiaries of the many charitable organizations that put on stair races.
Do you have a good luck charm or any superstitions or pre-race rituals? I use the same shoe bag I’ve carried my race shoes in since high school. And yes, I adhere to exactly the same meals, timing and training in the days leading up to a race. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
What's on your iPod during workouts/competitions? I rarely exercise with music...I feel too cut off from the world when I do. Before races, I have a playlist that includes The Method, Robbie Williams, Everclear, David Garza, Bill Withers, James Brown, The Beatnuts, MC Solaar, The Rapture, Tom Petty, Iggy Pop, Penelope Houston, Paul Oakenfold, The Heavy, Jeff Buckley and Elvis Presley
Do you have a website or blog for those interested in learning more about you? At the dawn of the digital age, I decided that I would rather be out enjoying my sports than spending even more hours in front of a computer enhancing my digital presence.
If we had numbers on our jerseys, what would your number be? 8
What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives? Life is hard enough as it is...don’t put any more limitations on what you can achieve. I’ve had some good stair climbing results with more years and less talent than my competition simply because I was tenacious about setting lofty goals. And embrace your inner masochist - suffering is clarifying. The first time I heard someone say, “pain is weakness leaving the body,” I thought it was motivational bullshit. But the more time I spend racing, the more I realize that as long as you’re not injuring yourself, pain lets you know you’re alive.