Runners climb 53 floors in Denver’s tallest building |

Runners climb 53 floors in Denver’s tallest building

David Montero
Rocky Mountain News
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado – When they started at the bottom of the stairs of Republic Plaza, the runners were enthusiastic. Happy. Joking around with smiles and leg stretches. Boasting about the great times they would make.

By the time they staggered to the top of the 53rd floor, they were sweating. Tired. Not talking as much and putting their hands on their knees trying to catch their breath. Looking like beaten people.

Which was partly the point.

The American Lung Association today sponsored the fourth annual Anthem Run the Republic to raise money for the non-profit that fights for cures for diseases, clean air.

This year, 2,000 people showed up to suck wind in the stairwell, climbing ” sometimes walking while holding the rail ” and eventually finishing the journey to the top.

“It was very hard,” Shala Terfehr said at the top, still catching her breath. “It was much, much harder than I thought it would be.”

Terfehr was part of a team of 12 that has participated in the run every year ” usually with a theme attached. Last year they dressed up as Army personnel. The year before it was pirates ” including one who wore a lobster costume.

This year their theme was Western and all wore straw cowboy hats.

Maureen Brown, who also wore a plaid shirt, said she made the mistake of going on vacation last week and “had a few beers.” She said she won’t do that again.

But she still finished ahead of some of her teammates, though she acknowledged she hit the wall around the 10th floor.

“After floor 10, I asked myself, ‘What the hell am I doing?'” she said, laughing. “But we gave each other encouragement. It worked.”

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