CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Athletes, firefighters and survivors tackled the “Fight for Air Climb” on Sunday and raised thousands of dollars in the process.
The event took place at Carew Tower. About 600 people stepped up the stairs, facing 45 floors as part of the climb that is put on by the American Lung Association.
“It’s a lot of stairs to climb," said Amy Ullman, Development Manager for the American Lung Association. "It’s different than a foot race on the ground because you’re climbing stairs.”
There were several different ways that participants could participate. Some people took part in the “vertical mile challenge,” which meant they had to climb one mile up and one mile down, all within a three-hour time period.
About 100 firefighters in full gear also scaled the 804 stairs. Others made the trek in teams.
Many people were climbing in honor of people they had lost.
“It’s very near and dear to their heart, that they’re climbing for people that have passed away, unfortunately from lung disease, or some kind of lung cancer,” said Ullman.
Dan Klocke took second place in the competitive part of the climb. He said he has been doing the event for more than a decade, and it was his own personal experience that inspired him to take part in it.
“Being an ex-smoker kind of drew me to it, and the more I’ve gotten involved, and just see how much they do, wants me to continue to raise money and help support the cause," said Klocke.
More than $99,000 has been raised thus far. Organizers said that the money will be put towards research, advocacy and education.
“We’re trying to help with COPD, with lung cancer, with lung disease, with asthma, and just basically put an end to that," said Ullman.
Klocke said that training for the climb is not easy, but he believes it is worth it.
“You get the training in, your legs get used to it, so it’s just a matter of getting it done," said Klocke.
Organizers said there are 44 climb events scheduled nationwide each year.
In 2018, they brought in more than $7.4 million combined.