Climbing Up For Air Event Recap

Climbing Up For Air Event Recap

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On February 16, 2018
  • Comments

Running Up For Air, a do-good endurance challenge founded by local ultra-athlete Jared Campbell as a personal experiment, has grown over the last several years to become a bonafide fundraising event with hundreds of participants – i.e. fellow masochists with good hearts.This year, the event captured our hearts as well, and with Jared’s blessing, the “UFA Series” kicked off with the addition of a climbing challenge.

CUFA’s inaugural event was 8 hours of pizza eating, good doing and some friendly (read: brutal) competition for the grand prize (read: bragging rights). With over 250 participants and generous donations from our sponsors Rocky Mountain Power and Sunus Solar, the event raised roughly $7,500 for Breathe Utah, who will use the funds to improve Utah’s air quality by evaluating and advocating for reasonable, science-based, practical solutions that can be implemented by individuals, business practices, regulation, and policy.

The doors of The Front Climbing Club opened into a colder-than-it-has-been-but-warmer-than-any-winter-ever morning to awaiting athletes, and in walked Up For Air’s first dual athlete – Mindy Campbell (pictured in purple). Mindy battled the walls for hours before heading off to RUFA for more pain and the only gain being her contribution to Utah’s air quality nightmare.

CUFA participants flooded into the gym throughout the day and were welcome to show up anytime during the 8-hour event to climb as many routes as possible. But, the ultimate winners arrived promptly at 10AM, battling it out up and down and up and down until the moment the clock struck 6. Four strapping men were in nothing short of a brutal death match for the win. Dripping sweat and stumbling their cards to the score table, these four put up 402 routes between them!! Alas, there could be only one winner with Stephen Lindsey maintaining his lead over Seth Reelitz. The world’s first CUFA champion walked proudly to the podium with 125 routes under him and a new 70-meter Beal rope held proudly above him in victory.

The drama continued to unfold as our female winner was announced by a 1-route margin, who took her place next to our male defender – a place she is very familiar with because the two have been married for 10 years (we have no idea how long they’ve actually been married, but they are actually married)! 

Tears were shed, arms were pumped, the 10th pizza run of the day was quickly being devoured and the overflowing bowls of gummy bears and chips were but a faint memory. But above all, hearts were full of joy knowing that what was done was done for the betterment of mankind and Utah’s smoggy air. We stood more than 250 strong as a community of climbers, advocates and people who are just really tired of breathing bad air, and climbed 1746 routes in the name of progress. We were supported by cheerleaders from Breathe UtahSunus SolarBlack DiamondPatagoniaBeal and Better Boundaries, and together we worked for change.

We will watch proudly as Breathe Utah uses our efforts over the next year to enlighten our government and educate our youth. Thanks to all who participated and if you missed out this year, it isn’t too late to donate to the cause, just check out Breathe Utah’s page for ways to get involved, and catch us next year! Stay tuned endurance lovers – The Front has more endurance challenges in store this year and, as always, it will be for another good cause!