Do you go by a nickname? No Padraig hasn't given me one yet. :0)
Birthdate: 2 April 1978
What is your occupation? Technical Assistant
What/when was your first climb? Empire State Building 2011
How many climbs have you completed? 25
Why/how did you start? It was a complete coincidence that I got started with stair climbing. I was looking at information about New York City in December 21 as I was planning on going there for a holiday in the Summer of 2011. I searched about the Empire State Building and the third or fourth result on the search engine came up with a link to the Empire State Building RunUp. As I had had the chance to walk up the stairs from the 8th floor to the 86th floor on a previous visit to the ESB and also I had started running a few months earlier, I decided to click on the link to see what it was about. The webpage stated that applications for the registration into the race was open only for the week where I visited the webpage and I think there was one or two days left to write an application. At that time you had to write a short essay as an application so I wrote a short story about who I was, what my fitness level was, and why I wanted to do the race. Upon completing the application, I was informed that I would get an answer by the first full week of January (the race was on Feb 1). I forgot pretty much all about having sent the application and didn't give it much thought that I hadn't received an answer. By the second week, I received an email from the organizers saying that they were happy to inform me that I had been accepted to race up the ESB. Wow! I had no valid passport, no travel arrangements, no stair climbing experience, no nothing. A few hectic weeks later and with a brand new passport, I set out for New York. And the rest is history as they say.
Do you have a favorite climb? Why? One favorite climb? No.
Least favorite climb? Why? Willis Tower Chicago if I had to pick one, just because it was so brutal and steep. I've only done it once and maybe I just had a bad day but really steep steps are not my favorite thing. I'm short.
Why do you climb? The first climb was a result of my wish to travel. When I found out that other stair climbs were held all over the world, it was a great way to combine my travels and my (at that point) rather newly refound wish to be and stay fit. I know myself well enough that I need some sort of goal to keep motivated and stair climbs are for me a perfect way to stay motivated. Having gotten to know quite a few people in the US also helps me stay motivated to be healthy and fit enough to do stair climbs and be able to spend time with them.
Are there other sports you’re passionate about? Not really The goals of my workouts are the stair climbs.
Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb? No.
How do you train? I haven't access to any stairwells in the area where I live so for the most part I run bike or go on a cross trainer. Basically a lot of cardio workouts. Sometimes I wear a backpack with 25 lbs of extra weight when I bike around a short loop in my city which has some incline. In the weeks before a race and if I have the chance, I travel 2 miles by train to the capital of Denmark (Copenhagen) to train in a 16 floor building.
Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? Not really but I have been fortunate enough to be invited home to some of the climbers even staying at someone's house at one climb. I have a great impression of all the climbers I have been fortunate enough to meet. Especially in the US.
Who inspires you? There are different kinds of climbers who inspire me. Some of the climbers have incredible stories of weight loss some have issues with injuries pain heart attacks cancer etc which they need to overcome to be able to climb. I have struggled with overweight and lost about 6 lbs at one point so I can somewhat relate to some of the issues In cases where serious illnesses are involved I can only be amazed of the will power of some people and this is highly inspirational. Also the super elites of stair climbing are inspirational to me. Every stair climber knows the feeling of exhaustion after a climb and I think it is amazing that some of the elites are on a fitness level which sometimes just boggles the mind. It inspires me to keep pushing myself when I workout without being disillusionized about my own ability.
What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives? The stair climbing communties in Europe and the US are two very different things at the moment. The European scene is made up of a larger share of what you would call Elite athletes, meaning athletes coming from other sports like track and field, crosscountry running, cycling, mountain running, where they are also highly skilled athletes If you want to be in the top of any European races you have to be really really good! Most races are organized as a “race” and not primarily as a fundraiser as most races in the US are organized. The American stair climbing scene (and the rest of the world, too) is primarily set up as fundraising events. The majority of participants are doing the climbs as a way to support an organisation and not primarily as a “race.” A common trait of stair climbing around the world is that you will see many of the same people if you do more than a few climbs It's a relatively small community but with the amount of events, especially in the US, the number of climbers is increasing and therefore the number of climbers who come back for more will surely also increase. More and more research is also been published about the benefits of stair climbing: short workouts – maximum results. A statement which surely will appeal to many people.