Every year, a few times a year, people have the opportunity to climb or race the 1776 steps to the top of the CN Tower. On Saturday, it was finally my turn to do it. I managed to raise just under $500 for the WWF (though, feel free to add more!) and climbed to the very top with surprisingly little grumbling.
I arrived at around 8:30, the tower and surrounding area were full of people and bustling with energy. Some people had already finished the climb (registration started at 6am!) as I was arriving, and it got me wondering if anyone ever did it more than once in a day (perhaps next year will be the year to find out and do it myself?)
It’s kind of chaotic and there was a lot of pre climb walking around back and forth and outside, but eventually you get to the base of the tower, and it’s showtime. I found it strange and unfortunate that we couldn’t take mp3 players up with us. For me the difference between a good run and a phenomenal run is good music. Oh well, c’est la vie. I’m sure they have their reasons for this “no hands” policy, but I’m not a fan of it.
Cute children’s drawings of encouragement line the inside of the stairwell at every new floor. And seriously, they were appreciated (by me). While 15% of the time I laughed derisively as the posters that said things like “you’re almost there!” when I knew those kids and their adorable little panda drawings were lying to me (floor 30 does not equal halfway at all darn it), they were mostly cute enough to make me forget that my lungs were saying “stop the madness already.”
My favourites were the pictures of turtles saying “Slow and Steady Wins the Race” (and there were a few of those) though the picture of the sad snow leopards saying “Please Don’t Let Us Die” might win the award for more inspiring (or depressing?).
Overall, it was an amazing experience and I hope to repeat it next year to support the great work of the WWF and to challenge myself to beat this years record. Earlier this month I claimed I would start training for it, but in all honesty, I just stepped up my efforts running and weight training, but not really stairs climbing at all. I’m great at running up 10 flights of stairs at a time because of the many many times I’ve done it at the office, anything more than that… gets a little tough. I have a better idea of what I need to do for next year. If you are interested Martyn Wong has some great suggestions on how to prepare for the climb.
On the bright side, I got to meet the WWF Panda, so I’m pretty thrilled.
Thank you to the WWF for all the work they do and their great volunteers, the CN Tower staff for making things go reasonably smoothly, and all the awesome people that sponsored me on this climb! You’ll be getting your thank you cards in the mail very very soon!