A lot of people run or jog for exercise, but I bet few people in that group are willing to take a few flights of stairs to go up to their office or home. Even when the lifts are busy, people prefer to wait a long time to take the lift to go up a few floors. Why is that?
I kid you not, there are actually two phobias named after the fear of climbing stairs: climacophobia (fear of climbing) and Bathmophobia (fear of the sight of stairs or slopes). But the most common reason for not climbing stairs is probably the exertion that one imagines is required to climb stairs.
But there are so many benefits of climbing stairs: It is good for your heart, it can be done on rainy days, it is free, and it burns a lot of calories!
Photo: At the start of the vertical run. Each wave of start had about a dozen runners. I waited behind an earlier wave for my start.
When I first started stair walking, I did 10 floors, with a break at every two floors. I practised once every week, and it took me a couple of months to get use to doing twenty floors in one go. Two days before the third Vertical Run at Shangri-La at the Fort that was held on July 8, 2018, I practised walking up forty floors.
Since I participated in the first Vertical Run Manila in 2016, I knew what to expect, therefore I was quite relaxed while waiting for the start.
The stairwell was well lit and clean. There were staff making cheering sound at some floors, and water was served at some floors.
My wave was scheduled to start at 10.21am. There were about a dozen of us in that wave, mostly men.
My plan was to walk up to the top. Running would be too much for me, and I knew would have been exhausted long before I reach the top. I did not give myself any pressure other than aim to reach the top.
At the lobby, we started on time. Because it rained last night the stairwell was not too hot or humid. There was ventilation and the machine was noisy. It took me about 4 flights to get used to the sound, temperature and humidity.
I let everyone in my wave pass me, so that I could take some photos. When I reached 15th floor, I was passed by the first runner of the next wave, 10.24am. On 27th floor I was passed by a runner from 10.27am. On 59th floor by a runner from the 10.30am start. On the whole, about a dozen or two people from the later waves passed me.
I also passed a couple of 10.21am runners on the way up.
At the finish.
At 60th floor, the finishing floor, they announced my name and time, like they do for all runners. My time was 20 min 13 seconds, about two minutes slower than last year, but I was ok with that. I got my finisher medal. It was very sunny and hot on the roof deck at 60th floor, so I did not stay long. The wait for the single lift going down actually felt as long as the walk going up!
View from 60th floor of Shangri-La at the Fort. You get this view either by owning a unit on the top floors of Shangri-La at the Fort, or join the annual vertical run.
When I reached the assembly area on 5th floor, the gym of Kerry Sports Manila, I had a chat with the team that flew in from Hong Kong to manage this event. I was told that the oldest participant of this run was 69 years old. The oldest runner that they had met was a 75 years old man in a Hong Kong vertical run, who finished the full challenge. This gives me hope that I can still be fit enough to do this twenty years from now!
Finishers celebrate at the assembly area of the event, at the gym of Kerry Sports Manila, 5/F Shangri-La at the Fort.
The annual Vertical Run at Shangri-La at the Fort is a unique fun run. It may not be the most value-for-money fun run around, nor does it have much party atmosphere (which I do not miss), but it gives you an additional good reason for practising stair walking!