Jason Larson

Birthdate: 9 July 1983

What is your occupation? Engineer

What/when was your first climb? I was introduced to the sport in 2009, but started climbing in 2012. From 2013 to mid-2016 I’ve done over 100 races and 50 climbs.

How many climbs have you completed? 54 as of May 9, 2016 with many more scheduled!

Why/how did you start? I started as a challenge to myself. I kept going to improve my performance and hopefully to win a race or two….

Do you have a favorite climb? Why? The inaugural World Trade Center 1 climb was amazing to be a part of. The pre-race ceremony was incredible to witness in the streets of Manhattan steps from the world trade site. Empire State Building due to its iconic status both as a building and a race is also an excellent one. I’ll also never forget the first ever tower running world championship race in Doha, Qatar. I never thought I’d be traveling halfway across the world for these things….Then, my local climbs and some exotic (international) ones make the list as well

Least favorite climb? Why? Ones that don’t get the “race” aspect of it right. Timing issues isare a big thing at these sometimes, and poor organization can really hurt as well. Events need to understand that some people train hard to race, others simply participate, others go to watch and cheer. When a climb organizes itself properly they can be amazing events, regardless of venue and format (fundraiser, race, etc). If a climber is new to the sport, I recommend looking into a race that gets these things right – there are plenty out there that do..

Why do you climb?  For the challenge, for the competition, for fitness, for the people involved

Are there other sports you’re passionate about? Trail running, running, triathlon, cycling.

Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb?  No – crossing my fingers.

How do you train? Running, trail running, cycling, triathlon, and…..climbing stairs. One of these almost every day!

Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? I’ve made some great friends with many of my fellow climbers all over the country from coast to coast. It’s one of the great things about this sport! I also have a bunch of friends overseas now, and it’s great to know that I could see someone I know at virtually any race no matter where it is in the world. The community in the sport is excellent.

I could go to races in NYC, LA, Chicago, Seattle, Florida, and the list goes on. I’ll likely see experienced racers I know at events; Alex and Sproule at a race in NYC. Over in LA, I’ll certainly see Jeff, David, and others. I couldn’t leave out the captain of this sport and Jane’s brother Mark Trahanovsky either! The founder of the West Coast Labels team.  Dr Scott and Scott Stanley seem to be almost everywhere, and Josh, Oz and others are tough competition in the Midwest region. Sue lives down in Fla, and PJ and Dan are up in the Pacific NW.

I have to give a specific shout-out to my mentor Eric Leninger though. He’s a real champion of this sport, and he’s given me training tips and we’ve swapped racing stories for the last 3 years. His experience and tough work ethic has inspired me to be the best I can. Before I had met Eric, it was the legend Jesse Berg from Chicago that drew me in to the sport. I had heard the name before, and it was an honor to race with him a few times.

Who inspires you?  Winners

Do you have a good luck charm or any superstitions or pre-race rituals?  Maybe a pre-race snickers bar…someone taught me that at one time. Also post-race pizza and burgers never seems to do me wrong

What's on your iPod during workouts/competitions? I never listen to music during workouts/races

Do you have a website or blog for those interested in learning more about you?      One day….

If we had numbers on our jerseys, what would your number be?  8

What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives? Despite the challenge it’s incredibly rewarding. You see cities and locales in ways most people don’t ever get to after reaching the top under your own power. And knowing that you accomplished it yourself only adds to the experience. I highly recommend that everyone give it a try at least once.

You never know, you may just like it. Every time you drive or fly into a downtown with a building you’ve climbed you see it and are reminded of the time(s) you tackled it yourself.

Is it hard? Yes. All workout and competitions are. But is it rewarding? Also yes. Very much so, and in a very different way than most events. I could say much, much more but for now I’ll just suggest you try it out…..