Chicago boasts many athletic challenges throughout the year. On Saturday, September 6, Chicagoans are challenged with this only open-air stair climb, Storm the Stadium. Participants can run, walk, or crawl their way through 6,000 stars at U.S. Cellular Field.
Boasting almost triple the number of stairs of the Willis Tower, Storm the Stadium is one of the country’s longest consecutive stair climbs. The inaugural Storm the Stadium event, held in fall of 2012 at Soldier Field, saw close to 1,000 climbers pushing their endurance to its limits. Organizers anticipate double the participants this September, as the event has attracted the attention of local challenge-seekers and national stair climbing devotees alike. 2014 beneficiaries of Storm the Stadium’s Charity Partner Program are Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Ladder Up and Special Olympics.
When signing up to participate, entrants can choose a Survivor team. These teams are captained by "Survivors," former contestants on the CBS television show.
Captaining the first public Storm the Stadium flight at 8:30 a.m., the Chicago-area’s own Jenny Guzon-Bae from Survivor: Cook Islands will join forces with Artis Silvestor, the explosive 55-year-old who beat stage 4 cancer to become a fan favorite in Survivor: Philippines. At 9:30 a.m., Roberta Christine “RC” Saint-Amour, the super-fit investment banker from Survivor: Philippines, will take the helm. And at 10:30 a.m., University of Chicago Economics student Spencer Bledsoe, the surprisingly successful underdog from this past season’s Survivor: Cagayan, will co-captain with former Miss America contestant and Amazing Race all-star Mallory Ervin.
After registering on-line for the celebrity Survivors’ team of their choosing, local climbers will be sent off in waves of 350 every 10 seconds, as their captains and blaring music spur them on, Rocky-style. The team with the lowest average climb time (adjusted with penalty points for any team members who don’t scale all 6,000 stairs) will be declared the winner.
For those not up for the full 6,000-stair challenge, a half-climb of 1,500 stairs up and 1,500 stairs down will be offered at 11:30 a.m. There’s also a growing elite bracket for those proficient climbers with previous competitive stair climb experience, which will open the event at 8 a.m.
To obtain additional information or to register to participate in this year’s Storm the Stadium challenge, visit www.stormthestadium.com. The web site also includes a 7-day stair climbing workout plan and injury prevention tips, developed by one of the country’s top vertical trainers. The entry fee is $65 until September 1, and $75 the week leading up to the event.