GASP, GASP — sorry — PANT-PANT, SPIT — give me a sec — GASP, WHEEZE — sorry, but I've been out of breath since I first heard of the sheer craziness Mark Beffort and friends have concocted for downtown this Saturday.
It's called Little Willie's Triple Dog Dare — a competitive stair climb in skyscrapers Beffort co-owns. It's apparently the first in Oklahoma City.
Some 200 stair climbers — runners, walkers, and surely some people just along for the trudge — will take either the Dare, the Double Dog Dare or the sinister Triple Dog Dare, all in a festive holiday atmosphere starting at 8 a.m. at Leadership Square, 211 N Robinson.
• The Dare: Run or walk up and down the North Tower of Leadership Square, 22 stories — GASP!
• The Double Dog Dare: Run or walk up and down Leadership Square plus up and down Oklahoma Tower, 210 Park Ave., 31 stories — GASP, GASP!
• The Triple Dog Dare: Run or walk up and down Leadership Square, Oklahoma Tower and the South Tower of Leadership Square, 16 stories — GASP, GASP, GASP!
Of course, it's not as crazy as it might sound. Competitive stair climbing is its own sport, it turns out.
“Every year, several stair climbing races are held around the world with the competitors running up the stairs of some of the tallest buildings and towers in the world,” it says at www.stairclimbingsport.com, a website that promotes the events. “World class athletes from running and cycling regularly compete in such events, and some have specialized in stair climbing races only.
“There are prizes, awards and recognition given for the top finishers for men and women and by age groups. Stair climbing is one of the most grueling sports, requiring competitors to move their entire body weight vertically, instead of horizontally.”
Beffort, a triathlon competitor, said one of his fellow local competitors came up with the idea. He said 200-plus are expected to compete, with most taking the Triple Dog Dare. He said the first one to finish could be done in 20 minutes or so — that's when I reached for an oxygen mask (kidding, but DANG) — and that most would be done in an hour or so.
An aid station will be set up. Volunteers will be on hand at the bottom, middle and top of each building for anyone needing assistance.
A massage therapist will be on hand for afterward. Prizes will be awarded by age group and to the top three overall men, women, firefighters and teams.
The basic entry fee is $40. Three-person relay team fee is $70. Firefighter entry fee is $35, and firefighter relay team fee is $60. Puppy Dog fee (ages 10 to 16) is $20. Puppy Dog relay fee is $35.
Sponsors are Grubb & Ellis-Levy Beffort and First Mortgage Co. Proceeds will go to Norman-based SaBaR Youth Triathlon. For more information, and to register, go to www.littlewilliestripledogdare.com.
What ... fun. Y'all knock yourselves out. If I competed in something downtown involving dogs, it'd more likely be a hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island, 428 W Main.