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You have to admit, it takes a certain breed of person to participate in an event like this, and we'd love to hear your story. Maybe it will inspire others in their personal fitness goals. If you were at last year's Run the Register, what's the most memorable experience you had? If this year is your first time, what got you interested? Send an e-mail to [email protected], and we'll post your story on this page.


Ok - so last year, my buddy Mike Mc. said "Hey Lizzy ... wanna join the team?"

Personally, I thought he was slightly nuts ... but I now know he is completely nuts and one of my best buds! Mike, Lyn and others have CoPD. Nasty condition that some know of because of the ads on the television. What they don't get is that it is serious, life threatening and all the rest.
People like Mike and Lyn have had life really bite them in the royal rumpus room and are not taking it lying down. They both get out there and compete in races - including half and full marathons. The thing for me is that my life would be so much less wonderful without these two being in my corner ... and I'm in theirs.

Jackie put it best: On Sunday, February 22, I will be taking part in the Anthem Run the Republic stair climb to raise funds for the American Lung Association of Colorado. People all over the state of Colorado benefit from ALAC's efforts to improve air quality, help people kick the tobacco habit, teach children how to manage their asthma, assist lung disease patients in leading fuller and healthier lives, and research cures for lung diseases.
Last year, I got in this building and tried to chase down Jackie. I ended up in a corner talking myself down out of an asthma attack. I was fairly terrified and passed by friends and amazing athletes. You know - finishing was amazing! I wanted to throw up and die, but the feeling that I couldn't get enough air ...
Time to think.

I would sincerely love a donation to the Lung Association for Team CoPD+ ... Let's help out my friends ... in the mean time ... oh my gosh that's a lot of stairs!!! Better yet -- join the team and have some fun with us! Come on ... race ya to the top!!!
Gotta walk! Lizzy

This was my first stair climb. I must say it was difficult but not as hard as I thought it would be. I was pleased with my time of 21 minutes to the top! I participated as part of a 68-person team with co-workers from EnCana Oil & Gas. Our office is in the Republic Plaza. I will be celebrating being 10 years cancer-free in October of this year.  Yeah for me!!
I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at 37 years old in 1998. I lost my grandfather in 1978 from lung cancer and my grandmother from emphysema in 1991 so I've been touched personally by lung diseases. So glad I could be a part of fundraising efforts for the American Lung Assoc.
I will be going up to the top again next year!

Best Regards,
Debbie Cullen

This year's Run the Republic was my 6th stair climb - 3rd in Denver and 3 in Chicago's Hustle up the Hancock.

I first became aware of the event when I noticed the Hustle up the Hancock was a benefit for the American Lung Association and happened to fall on my Dad's birthday - February 26. I lost my dad to lung cancer in 1999 so this seemed serendipitous and I decided to do it. It was certainly a challenge, but I felt like it was a great way to honor my dad.

Upon moving to Denver in 2004, I was pleased to find the inaugural stair climb also fell on the same weekend. I have enjoyed participating each year as the event has grown and I look forward to my 7th climb next year!

Erin Haddigan

My interest came by chance. I have been working out on the stair climber when a friend was telling me about last years climb the Register well that particular weekend of that race I was out of town. We kinda discussed about the race and how fun it was. So I looked up the race on the Internet and found out it was going to change buildings to the Republic tower well it turns out that I worked on the Republic Tower as a Iron worker. I help set the steel from the basement to the roof and in the top of the east elevator shaft our traditional topping out beam we put our names on it. My dad at that time was the Iron worker superintendent for the Republic tower so I have a lot of memory's of working there.  My dad passed away Sept. of 01 from lung cancer so my climb was dedicated to him. Look forward to next year race.

Marvin Clemens

In January 2007 I was just a normal 26 year old kid who had just moved to Colorado a few months earlier to enjoy all of the outdoor activities that it has to offer.   Later that February with one trip to a doctor about a persistent cough and I became a 26 year old kid with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  The same 26 year old kid who had never touched a cigarette in his life and who had no family history of cancer.  After 18 weeks of chemotherapy, 15 weeks of radiation therapy, a surgery to remove the baseball sized tumor from my lower left lung (leaving me with only 4 of the 5 lobes of my lung), surgery to remove my right adrenal gland where the cancer had spread, and one last surgery to remove the tumor that had spread to my brain, I realized I needed to maintain some semblance of normalcy in my life.  A co-worker told me about this stair climb that benefited the ALAC and I thought this would be a perfect time to not only do something that seemed impossible through the course of my treatments, but also a chance to raise money for a cause that has become very close to me.  The 55 flight climb was definitely a challenge, but a challenge that I successfully accomplished step-by-step and one I intend to accomplish next year as well.   My battle with lung cancer will still continue, but I will hopefully conquer this challenge the same way I conquered the stair climb...step-by-step.

Nick Linstid

Hi there! I'm a first timer and only just found out about this event this past weekend when I went to get a salad at Cava Greens. My mother passed away from a long battle with lung cancer less than 2 weeks ago on Feb 7th 2008.  I thought it was a sign and I had to do it!  She was young, quite active, worked hard, loved to travel, and played golf until she was homebound!  But she smoked most of her adult life.  Her entire family, including siblings and parents passed away mostly from lung cancer and/or other cancers.  Her father worked in asbestos for many years, and died of mesothelioma.  He did not smoke but all the other family members did.  I have never had a cigarette myself and it saddens me that smoking takes so many llives.
I'm in pretty good shape and was anxious about 53 (yikes) flights.  But when I read stories of people running up with their oxygen tanks and people with lung disorders, I was so amazed with their strength and ambition.  I'm quite excited for the race and cannot wait to be apart of something so meaninful with so many others!  I've even solicited my friends and have had some great donations- I'll continue to do this every year in honor of my mom. 
See you all on Sunday-
Dawn Eldridge

Unity Business Networks is challenging any other telecommunications company to try and beat Unity's average time in the third annual Run for the Republic. Under terms of the wager, the company with the slowest team (measured by average time) in the 53-story event Feb. 24 will contribute an additional $500 to the American Lung Association.
"If there is a telecom team out there with at least 10 team members participating in the climb - bring it on!" said Unity President Bob Paulsen. "Unity Business Networks emphasizes a balance of work, fun and family, with an appreciation for good health.  Participation in Run the Republic addresses all those ideals while supporting a good cause.  We hope other companies will join us!"  To respond to Unity's challenge, call 303-410-4971, or email [email protected].

This will be my first time doing this event. I did the Colorado Lung Association  RUN THE ROCKS back in Oct. 2007. I have been getting in great shape over the last few years and running has been a big key to my overall fitness.  I am doing the Run the Republic in honor of my mother Ruth Hallin. She has emphysema due to years of heavy smoking. She also has congestive heart failure.  I think of her often and how she is not able to get up out of bed much and how hard it is for her to breathe. 
Climbing these stairs will be a tough one but not as tough as the battle that I see my mother going through. I will be going to visit her back in Oregon March 6-10. I will be so proud to show her the photos from the climb and I will show her the medal that I got for her! This is going be a very special event for me and I am really excited to see so many others who have joined up. READY SET GO!!!!! It's time to climb!
Rebecca Hallin 

I'm signed up to Run the Republic this year and I saw the request for alumni stories in the most recent newsletter.   I'm not actually an alumni of the Denver stair climbs, but in 2000 I "Hustled Up the Hancock" for the American Lung Association in Chicago... all 94 floors.  I'm not in as good a shape as I was in 2000, but I'm looking forward to this event as well.   Based on my past experience, I have to say a slow and steady pace finishes the race!   I had a blast walking up the Hancock and I'm excited to walk up the Republic too.   Thanks for coordinating the event... I still need to work a bit more on my fund-raising, but I'm still committed to my goal!

Take care,
Barb Straight

The COPDer's + team is back for a THIRD year, to meet the ultimate lung challenge for persons with respiratory problems. Who are we? Some of us have COPD = Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and we carry our 15 lb. tanks of supplemental oxygen on our backs to make the climb, which adds to our challenge. The + PLUS represents other lung diseases, plus professionals in the respiratory field along with our support group of friends. Join us. Help make this a big team to gain some needed recognition of the 4th largest killing disease. Not many patients' gain enough strength to do this climb, so we hope you will join us to represent a friend, relative or loved one who is or has struggled to breathe. Hey, I am, age 69, with 55% ratio of lung power. If I did the last two years stair climb in a few seconds over 21 minutes, you could try to do it with us?we are slow and steady. Mike with lungs worse than mine wants to do it twice in a row. We do other events such as half marathons to SHOW that folks with lung disease can rehabilitate, get moving and do more than they thought they could. Any age any stage benefits from moving/exercise. That applies to you too. It does take some practice to condition your calf muscles. Come on, how often do you have a nice climate controlled place to exercise like this in the severe winter weather? It is FUN! Go as fast or as slowly as is right for you...see you at the top for a team picture.

Roxlyn G Cole Pulmonary Rehab Advocate Blog >>

I participated in the Run the Register because of my lung impairment and I like spending money for worthwhile causes. But really I like to challenge myself. You see even thought I go to the health club almost even day I only need oxygen when I do spin class or get on a tread mill not when I lift weights. I started out in October every year. I went down in a stretcher the first time. It was so hard. The next time I paced my self and stopped for breaks. My heart rate makes me do this. This is my third year training again and I would not miss it for the world. I still need oxygen to work out. Not all the time which the call 24/7 in my world. I watch everyone there with great lungs that has no clue what it is like not to be able to breathe! This is what this Event is ALL About.

This time I signed up with my oxygen backpack and magazine business LifeBack carriers and Everything Respiratory and I am hoping to bring everyone over here from   Grand Junction that watches me at the heath club and my town.

Holly Lockwood. Grand Junction, CO

I participated in the climb last year through my company. It was an experience I will never forget as shortly before the climb took place, I got bronchitis, and trying to climb with bronchitis was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  But it made me realize that although I normally do not have lung or respiratory problems, many people struggle with these types of illnesses on a day to day basis.  So, although I don't work for that company anymore, I enjoyed doing the climb and the experience I had last year so much, I created my own team this year.  I started a weight loss competition with members of my family, and since the competition is over at the same time as the climb this year, I thought it would be a perfect way for us to finish off our weight loss success.

Tiny Zapfe

I decided to Run the Register for two reasons. First, I try to make a habit of participating in worthwhile causes. Spending a day on an activity that contributes to society leaves me feeling far better at the end of the day than just doing the same old chores or just seeking entertainment. That's how I found out about it in the first place; from the Wells Fargo volunteer website. But the primary reason I did it was the physical challenge. This time last year, I was overweight and out of shape. Even though I wasn't sure I would be able to succeed, I decided to register to motivate myself to train.  Just working out can be a drag, but having a goal and a deadline gave me a reason to get off my chair and get on the stairclimber.  After I registered, I discovered a third reason.  I recruited a team of my co-workers.  Some of us trained together, and it was a great bonding experience.
    The actual climb was difficult for me, as I said I was overweight and out of shape; but I did it!  I was one of the slower climbers (I remember being passed by a woman carrying the baby she had just delivered a few months before!) But the sense of accomplishment was fantastic!  Afterwords, everytime I saw the register building in the skyline, I remebered that I had taken on a challenge and succeeded.  That sense of accomplishment gave me confidence when I felt discouraged.  Since the climb I have lost about 30 pounds, and though I'm still no athlete, I'm looking forward to my new goal -- to finish the climb in half the time.
    It's true that climbing over 1,000 stairs may not be everyone's idea of fun, but I found the experience so rewarding (not to mention, it makes a great story to tell your friends) and I can't wait to do it again!

Stacey Shepherd

My most memorable memory is watching my wife Marilyn Sundt coming up the stairs on the last few steps. It brought a tear to my eye.

You see, she has very badly damaged lungs from an illness that resulted in ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) which has left her to be permanently on oxygen.

She was a very active woman who has climbed 20 fourteeners, downhill, cross-country skied, exercised 3 times week, but this illness all but wiped out much of her activity EXCEPT the exercise.  So doing this climb was a huge accomplishment.

Andy Mirdik

P.S. We are signed up for this year's run again.

I'm competing in this event at 46 (novice division) in commemoration for my father who passed away in 1978! My dad's only wish in life was for me to excel in athletics. To be the best-that's all he wanted. He suffered with cancer for two years before succumbing to this dreadful disease.

Despite not becoming a professional athlete, I've made a vow to myself to try and get in the best possible shape of my life before I reach 50. In trying to reach that goal, I decided to Run the Register once again. The training it takes to prepare for this event will only further my overall goal, to be in the best shape of my life!

I competed in a previous stairway climb some 25 years ago. One thing I remember about this stairway climb was the fact that there was no air in the stairway, or at least it didn't seem as though there was. I ran about 8-10 floors and was dead tired. I did finish the climb, but my time was not worth mentioning! My goal is to train as hard as I can, in hopes that I can be the best, just as my father would have liked!!! I'll give it everything I have!!!

Stephen Moran

As it gets closer to the actual event, I am getting nervous.  You see, as of February 9th, I have been a non-smoker of 4 months (and was a smoker of 14 years).  Yeah for me!  It was important for me to do this event, although every day I train I think that smoking was a lot easier.  However, all the commercials of being 35 or over and the damage smoking could do, finally got to me.  I listen to Alice 105.9 daily and heard about the run the register race.  I have tried to quit smoking before, but this was the first time I could actually say that I didn't want to smoke anymore.  I've been training, but the thought of 1014 steps seems overwhelming. 
In the process of preparing for this event I have also lost my job (my company closed their doors on Friday) and ending up having an allergic reaction to hair dye if you can believe it!  I have been to several doctors and finally was diagnosed on the 19th.  Unfortunately the dye had to come off which meant so did my hair (my hair is so fine, that this was my only option) thankfully I had a whole inch of new growth so I will be running this with my new very short hair do....
Although this event seems so overwhelming, I am thankful for this opportunity.  Even with all the changes going on in my life, it is important that I do make it to the top...not for anyone else, but for me.  I know it will be hard but I just plan on taking my time and get my medal!  So , if you see a short haired girl with lots of dolphin tattoos, please give me some encouraging words.  I know I can do this....I'll see you at the top!

Meredith Brannon

At the gym today, I walked by the stair machines (walked RIGHT by them while stairing them down) and noticed that a women had a stickie note on it that said 1014. The note was pretty old and crumbly.  I asked her if she was doing the Register on Sunday and she smiled- she said that she has been training all year to do it. Last year she did it and realized how out of shape she was, and it motivated her to get into shape. She was pretty proud of herself and ready to go this year. She didn't say what time she was going for in completing it, but  rather wanted just something "respectable" and when she gets to the top- she can marvel at the view and not how bad her lungs ached. I thought that was a great motivator!

Stacey Simms
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