Stair Climbing Sport

The purpose of this web site is to promote the sport of Stair Climbing. Every year several stair climbing races are held around the world with the competitors running up the stairs of some of the tallest buildings and towers in the world.

World class athletes from running and cycling regularly compete in such events and some have specialized in stair climbing races only. There are prizes, awards, and recognition given for the top finishers for men and women and by age groups.

Stair climbing is one of the most grueling sports, requiring competitors to move their entire body weight vertically, instead of horizontally.  Pictured above left are Thomas Dold and Suzy Walshman, winners at the Empire State Building race. Thomas Dold is one of the all-time best stair climbers (see Events and Records link). He has won numerous races around the globe in stairclimbing and is also a champion at backwards running, breaking numerous world records in those events.

See this group devoted to stair athletes and participantsstairclimbing group on facebook

Benefits of Stair Climbing

  • Stair climbing burns about twice as many calories than any other sport or activity.
  • Because it is a grueling sport, stair climbing requires less time to do the same intensity of a workout. For example, if you run 30 minutes per day, the same workout intensity could be achieved with 15 minutes of stair climbing.
  • Stair climbing is a total body workout. It makes the arms stronger with the use of the arms pulling you up with the use of the rails (or banister) which is allowed and encouraged. Stair climbing especially builds muscle mass in the legs, including the quadriceps and calfs. It is an aerobic sport as it works the cardio-vascular lung package. Stair climbing becomes an anaerobic event after about 10 to 20 flights of stairs as it strains your aerobic capacity to hold an intense load on the cardio-vascular package to the top of a very tall building. Since the contest is vertical, even a 70 story race up is not a total sprint and requires endurance, sprint, and muscular strength to complete in a fast time.
  • Stair climbing is excellent for cross-training. Runners, swimmers, cyclists, rowers, soccer (or football), and others find stair climbing to be helpful with its total workout. Cyclists, skiers, and rowers are especially attracted to the muscle mass in the legs which can be developed with stair climbing. Remember the 1976 Picture of the Year? Sylvester Stallone played the boxer, Rocky Balboa and one of the most famous scenes in the movie was when Rocky was training for the big fight with many exercises and ended with a run up the stairs to a museum and raises his arms in triumph at the top with the hit music “Gonna Fly Now” playing.
  • Stair climbing does not require the purchase of any expensive equipment. It can be done almost anywhere. You could practice stair climbing at any public place that has many flights of steps, including, but not limited to: your apartment building, condominium building, your house stairs, the stairs leading to a public building, the library, or at a gym.

Contact us: david (at) (replace the at word with the symbol, no spaces)


In October 2004, archaeologists in Austria found a stair case that is believed to be at least 7,000 years old. Stair cases have been around almost from the beginnings of civilization.

Numerous religious leaders liked to climb mountains for prayer, meditation, and to give teachings and the climbing at many of these places is virtually identical to stair climbing.  Jesus taught at The Sermon on the Mount;  Moses climbed Mt. Sinai, Mohammed went to the mountains surrounding Mecca to a cave, and the Buddha climbed Vulture Peak in India to meditate and give instruction on the Dhamma.

DISCLAIMER: Stair climbing is a grueling, strenuous sport and such a sport should not be embarked upon without first consulting your physician. If such a strenuous activity as this is started without being ready or fit, physically and/or emotionally, serious health consequences could result, including death. Consult your physician.