I finished my very first CN Tower Climb!
I “woke up” at 5am (I barely slept all night because I was excited), made a smoothie, and then headed down to the CN Tower. It was dark, cold, and raining – not the best morning for wandering around outside looking for registration.
By the time I got to the registration line, it was 6am (registration was open from 6am-10am) and there was already quite a lineup:
Nevertheless, it went very smoothly and I was checked in and ready to go by 6:20am. I walked back to the CN Tower and had to go through multiple security checkpoints. After about 10 people checked my wristband (why?!) and I got hassled about my FitBit (the security guys thought it was a security tag, like I was wearing stolen pants!), they stamped my time card and I was off!
The staircase is neat. It’s wide enough for 2 people and there is a landing every 12 steps (big enough for 3-4 people to stop and rest). There is also a caged area to the side that’s open all the way to the bottom, so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic at all.
Because the stairs are really boring to look at, they put up paintings from kids. A lot of them had inspirational sayings or amusing and adorable phallic drawings of the CN Tower. There was a paramedic about every 12 flights; most of them were doing sudoku or reading but a few of them said encouraging things as I went by.
I made the mistake of starting out running. I don’t know why I did it; I made a point of telling myself NOT to go fast – to ignore other people and go slow and steady the whole way. For some reason I just got really excited and decided to ignore my only rule. Big surprise, by the 10th floor I was already really tired and had to slow down a lot to conserve my remaining energy.
I stopped about every 10 floors (and after ~80, every 5-8 floors). When I was stopped on floor 100, a huge personal trainer guy wearing a t-shirt that said “I LOVE BURPEES” came by and said “THIS ISN’T TOUGH, IT’S A WAKE UP CALL!” Then he made everyone who was resting on the landing fist bump him. I could hear him yelling cheesy motivational things for a while and it made me laugh and gave me a bit of extra energy towards the end. I could also hear a ton of footsteps below; it sounded like a stampede coming towards me and gave me a good push at the end.
The worst part was at the end – you think you’re done and they stamp your time card, but then you have to walk up another 10 or so flights of stairs! Gaaaah!
After I exited the stairs (finally), there was a lineup of volunteers and spectators cheering, which was fun. I walked around and noticed that there was a HUUUUUGE lineup for the West elevators and no one waiting for the East elevators. I asked a volunteer if we were allowed to take the East elevators and he said yes, so I got in line with 2 other guys. The 3 of us went down the elevator alone while everyone was waiting in line on the other side.
I ended up with a time of 35:43.
I was initially disappointed, because when I saw my time card I did some weird 7am math and thought I finished in just under 30 mins. But I still beat my goal of “finish it”, so I’m happy enough.
I had fun! I’d do it again.
- I’ll aim for a better time.
- I would not go any later than 6am for registration. By the time I got back to the registration area to pick up my t-shirt, it was about 7:20am and totally packed. I liked that the stairs weren’t busy. 6am was a perfect time to go.
Props to my boyfriend for getting out of bed at 5:30am to come to the CN Tower with me, holding my purse while I was climbing the stairs, and then buying me breakfast afterwards!