Photos (clockwise from top left): Red Bull; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Base 2 Space
For a total departure from your typical 10K or trail run, move on up with one of these six vertical races. They give “taking the stairs” a whole new meaning, while skyrocketing your calorie burn and frying your quads and glutes. They each require you to scale a peak — whether you’re sprinting up the staircase of a famous skyscraper or climbing a ski slope. Your reward: Killer views and an even more killer workout. Bragging rights also await at the top.
RELATED: 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination
6 Vertical Races That Will Challenge Your Running Skills
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
1. Red Bull 400
When: September 30, 2017 Where: Park City, Utah
In the third annual running of this race, you’ll swap out steps for a ski jump in Utah Olympic Park. Running 400 meters might sound like an insignificant distance — but it’s a near completely vertical course. (If that sounds like too much, sign up for the 4×100 meter relay instead.) To make the ascent even tougher: Park City has an elevation of 6,870 feet right from the start. Scale to the top and you’re sure to feel on top of the world.
Photo courtesy of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Base 2 Space
2. Base 2 Space
When: October 1, 2017 Where: Seattle, WA
Climb 52 stories (or 832 steps) up one of two intertwining, open-air stairwells in this sprint to the top of Seattle’s famous Space Needle. Hang out in the observation deck afterward — 520 feet above the ground — to soak up sights of the surrounding city. The event raises money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and if you’re one of the top fundraisers or first finishers, you could win the chance to walk the building’s Halo. Only a handful of people have done so since it opened in 1962.
RELATED: The Best 10K Races Totally Worth the Travel
Photo courtesy of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
3. SkyRise Chicago
When: November 5, 2017 Where: Chicago, IL
For this late fall race, you’ll take on the world’s tallest indoor stair climb. Hoof it up the 103 floors (that’s 2,109 steps) of Chicago’s Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the western hemisphere. The view of the Windy City from up above is quite breathtaking — though you’ll probably already be breathless from the run to the top.
4. Empire State Building Run-Up
When: February 2018 Where: New York, NY
Earlier this year marked the 40th anniversary of this climb to the top of one of the most iconic buildings in the Big Apple. During the sprint, you’ll cover 1,576 stairs over 86 flights. Take some time at the top to give your lungs a breather, as you soak up the sights of Central Park and other Manhattan landmarks.
RELATED: The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World
Photo courtesy of American Lung Association in California, Fight For Air Climb Los Angeles
5. Fight for Air Climb
When: April 14, 2018 Where: Los Angeles, CA
The American Lung Association sponsors many races to the top of skyscrapers across the country. This one, in the modernist Aon Center in downtown LA, involves running up 63 floors or 1,393 steps. Sign up with a team to raise money to help people with lung disease and you’ll feel even better about hitting your peak.
Photo courtesy of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
6. Denver CF Climb
When: July 2018 Where: Denver, CO
You can find stair races across the country that raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. But take on this one, at Sports Authority Field in Denver, and you’ll hoof it up and down 3,865 steps inside the stadium. If fundraising for kids with CF weren’t inspiration enough, let fire fighters and police officers on the course put some pep in your step. The race has a whole entry category dedicated to first responders running in their full uniforms.
Read More Step Up Your Running Game with This Stair Workout The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back
Photo: Courtesy of Jocelyn Bonneau If you’ve just run your first marathon, you might relate to the common “never again” sentiment as you struggle to move your Jell-O-like legs. But once the soreness wears off and you’re basking in the glow of your achievement, it’s natural to wonder how much more you’re capable of. Regardless of age and experience level, many repeat marathoners share the desire to crush their personal best. Perhaps that’s running it under four (or even three) hours, or qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon. Whatever your...
Photo: Twenty20 The pull-up is the original badass move. Sure, there are plenty of ways to show off just how strong you are, but the pull-up is unmatched. It demands back, shoulder, arm strength, not to mention a strong core, too. But if you finally want to learn how to nail one (or 10), you might be intimidated by the challenge. And we’re not going to lie to you: It takes work. “You’re moving your whole bodyweight on your hands, which is something you typically don’t do. It’s like learning...
Photo: Twenty20 If you equate stability balls with core work only, you’re selling them (and your fitness results) short. Adding stability ball exercises to your workout is a great, simple way to increase the difficulty of your favorite moves. Using just this tool, you can challenge both your upper and lower body in new, creative ways, explains trainer Tara Romeo, CSCS, CES, director of the Professional Athletic Performance Center in New York. (If you don’t already have one at home, we like the URBNFit Ball.) RELATED: 5 Stability Ball Exercises for a...
Photo: Twenty20 You’re in your twelfth week of marathon training, and one morning you wake up to a sharp pain around your knee. You wait a few hours and pop a few ibuprofens, but the pain doesn’t subside. Who should you see? While it’s always a safe bet to consult your doctor, chances are they’ll recommend seeing a physical therapist, too. Physical therapists can help treat injuries and ease joint pain, but they can also help you become fitter and healthier, overall. Karen Joubert, a licensed physical therapist in Beverly...