Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH STAIR CLIMBING?  Stairs improve fitness and burn calories faster than virtually anything.  They are steeper than treadmills, incline trainers, or hills you can run outside. That makes them incredibly effective!  Yet, you can tailor them to your fitness level by moving as fast or slow as you want.  Once you try stair climbing, you'll see why it's sometimes called "strength training for endurance athletes."  It should be mandatory cross training for athletes, fitness junkies, those on weight-loss programs, and your hyperactive kids who refuse to go to sleep! 

WHAT DOES MY REGISTRATION INCLUDE?  All participants will receive an awesome tech t-shirt, finisher's medal, a sticker, admission into Reunion Tower and its amazing 360-degree views - which normally costs $17 all by itself - aid stations, food, aid stations, prizes, etc.  Oh yea, there will also be plenty to motivate you while you're zipping up the stairs.  

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?  The Dallas Vert Mile is proud to be one of the best stair climb values in the country!  While we encourage you to raise money or contribute to our charity partners, unlike most stair climbs, there is no fund raising requirement.  

If Registered By November 30th, the cost is just...  

 

Vert Sprint Race - 50 stories... $45.

Vert 1/4 Mile - 3 Laps / 150 stories... $55

Vert 1/2 Mile - 6 Laps / 300 stories... $65

Full Vert Mile - 12 Laps / 600 stories... $75

If you register on or after December 1st, the price increase will only be $10 more per event.    

IS THERE A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAN REGISTER?  Yes, registration is limited for all distances, but it's extremely limited for the multi-lap events.  They are limited to just the first 200 people to sign up for each event. So what are you waiting for?  Register right now and invite your family and friends to join you!  That is unless you want to guarantee yourself a victory.  In that case, just register 200 times, and soon, we'll be calling you the Champ!

HOW WILL PARTICIPANTS GET DOWN THE TOWER? Via the elevators.  There are two of them, and both will be available.  The trip down takes 68 seconds.  Part of the fun of a multi-lap stair climb is dealing with the elevators. Sometimes they're ready to move when you are, and sometimes they're not.  We tried to get the tower to install a fireman's pole for the decent, but they shot us down.    

HOW LONG MAY I HANG OUT AT THE TOP AFTER I FINISH?  We wish we could say forever, because the views are incredible!  However, our finish area at the top only holds 300 people.  So please enjoy the finish for up to 15 minutes before heading back down to either do another lap or celebrate with family and friends.  

ARE ELITE ATHLETES INVITED?  Yes.  A number of national and world ranked competitive stair climbers are registered and will compete.  They will be the first participants to start so the coast will be clear as they go flying up the tower. Accomplished runners who are new to stair climbing may also start with the elite group based on previous run times.  We'll ask you about that when you register.  

IS THIS A TOWER RUNNING  USA  POINTS RACE?  Yes!  The 2018 event was worth 200 points, making it the top points race in the region and one of the top six in the entire United States.  We expect the same in 2019.  A good result can contribute in a huge way to the national ranking of competitive climbers. It can also start you on your way towards becoming one! 

ARE YOU PART OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF GREAT TOWER'S WORLD TOUR?

Yes. It is one of only a few stops in the United States and dozen or so in the world.  The other towers include the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York. 

 

MAY WALKERS PARTICIPATE?  Yes!  Those doing the one-trip-to-the-top Vert Race and Fun Walk do not have a time limit.  Within reason, anyway. If you're still on the steps come summertime, we're going to come looking for you.  

 

Those doing the 12-lap Vert Mile Challenge will have 2 1/2 hours to finish.  That's the challenging part.  If you start the final lap before 2 1/2 hours have expired, you will be allowed to continue to the top.    

WILL YOU HAVE DRINKS AND SNACKS?  Yes. There will be fresh fruit and other snacks along with water and sports drinks.   

WHAT AWARDS CATEGORIES DO YOU HAVE? We've got lots of awards including those for the top three male and female finishers in elite, and age group categories from teenagers to senior citizens.  We have prizes for Clydesdales, which are men over 200 pounds, and for Athena's, which are women over 160 pounds.  And no, we won't make you weigh in - your integrity is good enough for us. Speaking of integrity, some of the bedrocks of our society are military, police, firefighters, and EMTs, so they get their own prizes too.  Firefighters and police officers will have the option of competing in full gear, workout clothes, or another category instead.  There may just be a few surprise award categories as well.  

DOES THIS EVENT BENEFIT ANY CHARITIES?  Yes.  It is supporting a number of terrific non-profit organizations. Please see our "Charities" page for more details.  

CAN I RAISE MONEY FOR A CHARITY?  Yes. We believe in giving back, and a portion of your registration fee will help us do that.  We encourage you to give back too, although it's not required to participate.  You can raise money for a cause you care about or donate directly. 

I WANT TO SUPPORT A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT IS NOT ON YOUR LIST?  HOW CAN I DO THAT? Send us an email at info@vertmile.com with your contact information and the charity you would like to support, and we'll see what we can do.  

WHERE CAN I PARK?  Reunion Tower has offered us $4 parking at their self service lot located at 601 Sports Street.  The Hyatt Regency, which is connected to the tower, offers valet parking on Hotel street.  You can also take the city's transit system, DART, to the Union Station stop, which is just steps from Reunion Tower.  Or, if you're a hard-core superstar who enjoys things more the harder they are, you can run, walk, or do cartwheels to the event as a warm up.  

ARE THERE ANY DISCOUNTS ON NEARBY HOTELS?  Yes, the Hyatt Regency, which is next door to Reunion Tower, has offered us a rate of just $125 per night.  The deadline to book for that rate is December 21, 2018.  Here's the link.  

HOW CAN MY COMPANY BECOME A SPONSOR?  Please contact us at info@vertmile.com.  We only work with sponsors we love and believe in, so if you sell cigarettes to children or snake oil to people looking to lose weight, we're not the right partner for you.  However, if you share our values and commitment to helping people be happy, healthy, and fit, please get in touch.  

CAN MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS, ETC. COME? Yes, although since the stairs have limited space, your loved ones probably won't be able to stand there and watch you walk or run by.  

 

So we suggest that they either do the race with you - at least the Vert Sprint Race and Fun Walk - or volunteer to help out. If they decide to climb and you go at different paces, you can meet up for high fives, hugs, and pictures at the top.

MAY I HAVE MY PHOTO TAKEN?  Yes.  For security purposes, Reunion Tower has asked that people not run the stairs with Go Pros or similar video cameras.  However, taking selfies or a shot at the top are okay.  Please leave your selfie sticks at home, though, since they can create a hazard on the steps.  We are working on having a photo team there that will work unbelievably hard to capture your picture.

I AM WITH A MEDIA ORGANIZATION. WILL THERE BE OPPORTUNITIES TO COVER THE EVENT?  Yes, please contact us at info@vertmile.com, and we will do our best to get back to you right away and assist in any way we can.  

 

ARE THERE AGE OR OTHER RESTRICTIONS?  Sort of.  The event won't be suitable for young children.  If you've ever tried to roll a stroller or carry a child up 50 flights of steps, you'll understand.  For kids who are capable of completing the event but under the age of 13, we ask that a parent or guardian participate alongside them to keep an eye on them. We love kids and want to get them into the sport, but at the tower's request, we need to ensure they don't play on the steps during the event.  

 

If you have any special needs, will be using the assistance of a service animal, or have concerns not answered here, we encourage you to contact us before registering at info@vertmile.com.  We will do everything we can to accommodate you.  

IS THE FULL VERT MILE EXACTLY A VERTICAL MILE?  Nope. It's more.  A couple of hundred feet more.  That's because we know how tough you are, 12 laps sounds better than 11, and you didn't actually want to do less did you?  We didn't think so!

HOW MANY STEPS ARE THERE? Do you really think we've counted?  We run out of fingers and toes by the second floor.  But some smartypants at Reunion Tower tells us there are 807 steps to the observation deck.  

HOW MANY STEPS ARE THERE PER STORY?  We'll be using two sets of stairs that criss-cross the whole way up, which is unique and super cool!  

 

The steps we'll use for the Vert Sprint Race and the first lap of all the longer races have six steps in the first flight, 16 in the second, and then 14 per flight until the very last one, which has 15 steps. The staircase has 57 1/2 flights.  

The steps we'll use for remaining laps for the Vert 1/4 Mile, 1/2 Mile, and the Full Vert Mile have 14 steps per flight until the last one, which also has 15 steps.  While this set of stairs has 56 flights, the total steps and vertical climbed is the same as the other set.  On this set, you'll run up steps for one story to get into the stairway that goes all the way to the top.  

HOW WIDE ARE THE STAIRS?  Wide!  A whopping six feet wide, which is wider than the stairs at most towers.  It's wide enough for three people to lock arms together and chant, "What do we want? An elevator! When do we want it? Now!"  Please don't do that, by the way.  

 

There's plenty of room for competitors to pass each other, especially during the longer events when a world-class climber might try to lap you just to say hello and tell you how fit you look.  If you'd like to see another picture of how wide the stairs are, you'll find one of our friends David flying up them on our Registration Page.  While you're there, be sure to click the red button to register before someone else beats you to it and you miss your chance. 

HOW TALL AND DEEP ARE THE STEPS?  - Seven inches tall with a tread (depth / width / run) of 11 inches, which is fairly standard in the United States.  

HOW WILL THE TIMING WORK FOR THE FULL VERT MILE?

You will have 2 1/2 hours to complete the full vert mile, which is a half hour longer than everyone had last year.  The timing portion will stop when you exit the stairwell.  However, the clock will still be ticking for your 2 1/2 hour time frame.   

In other words, you'll be timed 12 different times.  Those times are combined, and the lowest one wins.  The advantage of timing things this way is that, as long as you can climb the steps 12 times in the allotted two hours, you won't be penalized because you had to wait longer than someone else for the elevators.  

After the allotted 2 1/2 hour time limit is up, no one will be allowed to start another lap.  However, if you have already started your last lap then, you will be allowed to finish it.  

We should note that we are once again bringing in the best stair climbing timing company in the business - HAL Sports of Denver, Colorado - for the event. They time stair climbs all around the country, including the national championships, and have a reputation for getting it right!

HOW WILL THE TIMING WORK FOR THE VERT 1/4 MILE AND THE VERT 1/2 MILE?

It will be the same as the full vert mile except that competitors will have 45 minutes to complete the Vert 1/4 Mile and 1:30 to finish the Vert 1/2 Mile.  

WHAT DIRECTION DO THE STAIRS GO?  Up - you probably guessed that part - and to the right.    

SHOULD I WEAR GLOVES?  It depends.  Many elite stair climbers like to take the steps two-at-a-time (showoffs) and pull on the railing as they climb, and they find that gloves protect their hands.  Others prefer to single step it and let their legs do all of the work, so it's up to you.  We prefer to do the Harlem Shuffle when we climb, but that's just us.

 

ANYTHING ELSE?  Yes.  We think you're fantastic!  

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Photo courtesy Adrian Valenzuela

 
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Background photo courtesy Reunion Tower