904's FittestIssue 09 • January 2013

904’s Fittest: Troy Alston

When you look at the Jacksonville skyline do you ever wonder, “how fast could I climb to the top of the tallest building downtown?” I didn’t either until last month when I heard about local athlete Troy Alston and him being a world known Tower Climber. Tower Climbers are athletes that race up the stairs to the top of various buildings around world. The average person has a hard enough time walking up 2 flights of stairs let alone sprinting up 30, 40 and in some cases more than 100 flights of stairs.

The first thing I had to ask was how does somebody get into this sport? Troy told me about his track practices where they often had to run the bleachers and when he heard about the American Lung Association’s Stair Climb event he thought it would complement his running just like the bleachers. “It’s a lot different from the bleachers though when you get in that stairwell, the first time up I hit a wall around the 10th floor” Troy says. I personally was introduced to that wall when I tried to beat one of Troy’s record times of 4:43 with a sad 6:13. Your lungs and legs burn like you wouldn’t believe!

Though Troy is currently being recognized quite a bit for his stair climbing abilities, he’s far more than a stair climber. He is also a local Cross-Fitter and an impressive track athlete. His passion for track began when he cheered for his cousin who ran the hurdles in high school. Troy used to set up bikes in the backyard and practice hurdling over them, which turned into to high school track events and eventually try-outs for the 400 M Hurdles in this passed year’s Olympics. He missed a qualifying time by just seconds but is hopeful and working hard to earn his ticket to Rio in 2016. In the meantime the next time you look at the downtown skyline maybe you’ll think about Troy races up the stairs or even think about a climb up those stairs yourself. You can find out more about our local Lung Association’s stair climb at fightforairclimbjacksonville.org.

Anthony Duran

Anthony Duran

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