Monday, October 20, 2008

The Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb

A Perfect weekend in Bisbee - The Great Stair Climb
Saturday, October 18th, 2008

By Kimberly Miller
Bisbee Arizona is located not too far from Tombstone, AZ and is a great little place to visit anytime of the year. It is full of unique art and antique shops and even more full of history as an old mining town. There are cement stairs all though out the city that the copper miners used and most of the steps are still in working conditions thanks in part to the Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb Event. The event is a unique combination of running 4.4 miles and climbing the aptly named 1000 stairs.

This was the 18th year of the event which had us and other runners trekking through the streets of the city and up 8 separate sets of stairs totally actually 1037 steps. Although the mileage is not huge the elevation of the run and the steps and just the fact that the city is at a high elevation makes for a challenging but thrilling run. The first (almost) mile is a downhill run (nice due to what is to come) and then the first set of steps makes one realize that the run will not be too easy. Mostly on the steps due to the amount of runners, individuals are walking briskly upwards and then taking off when reaching the top until getting to the next set of steps. The steps are old but well managed and since there are houses situated at all levels in the city so most of the time the runners are going past homes as they rise upwards. Many of the city’s “eclectic” citizens cheer on the runners from their yard offering words of encouragement and smiling faces. As a participant in this year’s race I really appreciated and enjoyed the kindness of everyone, not only the people putting on the race but also the other racers – it was a great vibe. This was a very competitive event and chip timed but there was no pushing or rushing one another on the steps. People allowed others to pass if they desired and if one had to step aside to get a breath they were given easy access back to the steps when they were ready. What a great race.

Michael and I both did very well. We both came in 11th for our age/gender category out of 61 in my group and I think 64 in his (RESULTS HERE). Michael was 116th overall with a time of 44:32 and I came in 321st with 52:37 – out of a total of over 1100 runners. It was not only a great race but also a great weekend. We enjoyed being able to eat our own food (our old hotel had a kitchen), we meet some great folks from Phoenix (Bill and Greta – and their Aunt too), and Oh By The Way if you get to Bisbee eat at Cafe Roka! It was the best meal Michael and I have had in a very long time! I had the artichoke and mushroom lasagna and it was a flavor explosion! Michael had the Chicken and said it was better. Great service and outstanding food.

Overall Bisbee is a great little weekend trip anytime, but for sure was a special weekend for the Stair Climb. We will be back next year – and Michael says look out Ice Man Competitors (this is another event with 155 stairs and a 10lb block of ice….)

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