No skyscrapers, no problem for Fight for Air climb

Firefighters are avid participants in stair climbs across the nation, including the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb on Saturday in North Charleston.

Editor’s note: The High Notes column by Abigail Darlington will return next week.

When it comes to athletic challenges, the sky seems to be the limit, figuratively and literally.

Take for example, stair climbing. It’s definitely been a niche challenge for years. The Empire State Building Run-Up marked its 38th year in February. The spread of stair climbing may have been limited, in the past, to cities with skyscrapers or by the fact that climbing stairs seems like such drudgery, even by exercise and fitness standards.

Yet it’s still here and growing, though not quite like CrossFit, yoga and obstacle “mud” runs of the past few years. There’s even a USA Stairclimbing Association, stairclimbing enthusiast Facebook pages and plenty of charities hosting events.

Charleston’s only stair climbing event, the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb, will mark its sixth year 7-11 a.m. Saturday at North Charleston Coliseum.

The Climb and Firefighter Climb consist of more than 1,500 steps, while Elite Climbers will climb the entire North Charleston Coliseum for a total of more than 5,000 steps.

Similar to a traditional 5K or 10K race, participants wear bibs and timing chips to accurately rank the climbers in this “vertical road race.” Awards will be given to the fastest climbers, fastest firefighters and top fundraisers.

The cost for an individual is $25, but fundraising minimums are $100 for the 1,500-step climb and $150 for the 5,000-step climb.

Proceeds from the event allow the American Lung Association’s local chapter to continue lung health programs for community members. These programs include a day-camp for children with asthma and their parents called Camp Breathe Easy, Freedom From Smoking clinics and Better Breathers Club support groups, in addition to supporting vital lung health research. or (843) 556-8451.

Running on beach sand with no shade in sight on a muggy morning is almost as daunting as running 5,000 stairs inside the coliseum.

But the Isle of Palms Beach Run, which started as the Sand Shark Run, marks its 23rd year Saturday on the beach next to The Windjammer. The 10K run and 5K run and walk start at 8 a.m. Youth fun runs begin at 9 a.m. The fees are $35 for the runs and walk and $15 for the youth runs.

Some of the most challenging poses in yoga are handstands and when confronted with doing one in a class, there’s no time to work on perfecting it.

That’s where workshops come in handy. One such workshop will be conducted by instructor Ji Hwang at 2-4 p.m. Saturday at The Yoga House of Charleston, 1836 Ashley River Road in Charleston. The fee is $20.!events/c1iqs

The fourth triathlon in the five-race Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series this summer, and the 99th since the event began in 1991, will start at 7:15 a.m. Sunday at James Island County Park.

Competition will heat up in the triathlon, featuring a 600-yard lake swim, 12-mile bike and 5K run, as much as the weather as athletes prepare for the championship race on Aug. 9.

Fees are $60 for Charleston County residents and $72 for non-residents.

Meanwhile, the organizers of the triathlon, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, also want your feedback on making county-wide bike and pedestrian improvements. The collaborative effort is being called the Charleston County People to Parks Plan.

A plan in development since 2012 is now moving into its final phase. At this stage, area residents are encouraged to submit input towards an existing facilities satisfaction survey as well as a web-based wiki-mapping survey that will highlight potential bike/pedestrian routes.

Area residents who want improved bike and pedestrian facilities should visit the survey and wiki-map at

The deadline to comment is July 31.

The commission has teamed up with representatives from the county, the municipalities of Charleston, Mount Pleasant and North Charleston, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government and the nonprofit Charleston Moves on creating the plan. Alta Planning, a national bike and pedestrian planning firm, provided consulting work on the plan.

“We’re trying to build on the great local bike routes and bike-pedestrian plans already in place, while also recognizing gaps in that existing infrastructure,” says the commission’s Land Resource Manager Matt Moldenhauer. “P2P will propose a basic cross-county network of bike and pedestrian facilities that future community-level improvements can link to.”

Among the events in the week-long Charleston Pride Festival is the Old-Skool Field Gay, starting at 1 p.m.

Among the activities is a giant slip-and-slide and a “big tug o’war finale.” DJ Lonitron (aka Loni Lewis) will supply the music, Jaisee Alexander will emcee, and Autobahn and King of Pops will be on hand to feed the masses. Bring sunscreen, coolers and water guns.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516.