61 Floors, the Hard Way: the Banyan Tree Vertical Marathon

[not my image] Vertigo Rooftop Bar, Banyan Tree, Bangkok

Yesterday my friends S and J and I participated in the 10th annual Banyan Tree vertical marathon here in Bangkok. The rules of the contest were as follows:

1. Sprint up the stairs to the top of the 61-floor hotel.

2. Go as fast as you can.

3. There is no rule three. Just run!

And I did just that. More or less. I ran up the first 10 floors and then I realized that there was no way in hell that I could maintain that pace for 51 more floors. So the rest of my ascent amounted to light jogging and brisk walking. But I didn’t stop.

I made it to the top in 11 minutes and 23 seconds, which was good enough for 184th place out of 513 participants. I finished 79th out of 159 in my category (men between the ages of 26 and 39). Here are the official results. The winning racer made it up in 6:19!

I was happy with my showing, given the fact that I didn’t train for the event. S and J, who also went in blind, did really well — they each managed top-15 finishes in their categories. (We ran separately.)

The race concluded at the Banyan Tree’s aptly-named rooftop bar, Vertigo, pictured above. Considering that it was 8 a.m., and given the state of our cardiovascular systems, we had water, not cocktails, to celebrate finishing. And then we took the elevator down.

Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal, based in New Delhi. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I read, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. Join the growing group of readers who get my weekly email newsletter.

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