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The 2018 Climb Hot Springs event had 59 registered participants. 

Hot Springs - Climbers from nine states stepped up to the challenge Saturday, September 22 for Climb Hot Springs the third annual competitive stair climb event sponsored by the Hot Springs Rotary. Hot Springs is unique in offering one of only two outdoor, competitive stair climbs in the United States. Participants chose either a three-mile or seven-mile course featuring Hot Springs’ historic staircases, sandstone architecture, and scenic vistas.

As more people are ascending to new heights, all puns aside, according to the Towerrunning World Association, the growing sport of stair climbing now includes over 200 races annually. StepJockey (, funded by the UK department of Health, touts Harvard research that stair climbing is the best kept secret in preventative medicine. Adding steps to your routine is a highly efficient form of exercise to improve muscle and bone strength while reducing BMI and risk of heart disease and diabetes. Some studies show that whether walking or running, challenging yourself vertically will increase caloric burn 50% more than the equivalent time of flat land activity.

Responding to the niche sport of stairclimbing, Race Director Curt Lout originally came up with the event for the Rotary to promote fitness and also add an economic boost to Hot Springs. From the competitive sport’s genesis at the London Tower in 1905 to more recent events at the Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower, serious climbers like Joshua Duncan of Carpentersville, IL add Climb Hot Springs to their circuit. Duncan who shaved thirteen seconds off his previous time to be the overall seven-mile winner last year, says his favorite part of the run is combining the stairs with the level aspects like running along the Fall River through town. Now a staple at Climb Hot Springs, Duncan is known for his sportsmanship, taking time to acknowledge and cheer on everyone from kids and elderly leisure walkers along the route to his fiercest competitors. He was again the seven mile winner this year with a time of 54 minutes and 42 seconds. 

Considering herself more of a “stroller,” Laurel Park of Chandler, AZ is also back for round three. To stay in shape, Park says, “I keep coming back because I force myself to do things that are physically demanding several times a year. I don’t like working out and when South Dakota presented itself I really enjoyed it and wanted to do it again. I went by myself last year and this year I have girlfriends tagging along. I like the town and enjoy the experience. I do Bisbee (outdoor stair climb in Arizona) every year too, which has more stairs but is shorter. South Dakota isn’t too crowded yet and I like to take my time and enjoy the scenery. Since I was here for the first Climb Hot Springs, I think it would be a neat goal to do Climb Hot Springs every year until I can’t do it anymore."

To experience that perfect amalgam of athleticism, architecture, and natural scenery, all new and returning climbers are welcome for fitness and fun. Climb Hot Springs “race features” included a long sleeve t-shirt, healthy lunch, and finisher medals. For the seven-mile race, additional awards were  presented to overall male and female winners in each age group.

Climb Hot Springs benefits the local Rotary Club to support scholarships for Hot Springs High School graduates, community projects, and global efforts to promote peace, fight disease, and build healthy, thriving communities. Last year, the Rotary raised $1,000 for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and $2,000 for scholarships and the community band shelter in Centennial Park.

Additional sponsorship is provided by Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises, Ace Hardware, BNSF Railroad, State Farm Insurance-Bill Graves, Sonny’s Super Foods, Nelson’s Oil and Gas, First Interstate Bank, Fall River Health Services, Evans Orthodontics P.C., Hot Springs Dairy Queen, Ina Winter for Legislature, and Challenge! (

Seven mile results

PlaceNameCity/StateSexSex PlaceChip TimePace
1JOSHUA DUNCAN (# 153)Carpentersville, ILM10:54:427:48/mile
2TIM FAGAN (# 149)Rio Rico, AZM21:04:379:13/mile
3WILLIAM CHARLES (# 169)Rapid City, SDM31:04:449:14/mile
4MARK HOWARD (# 163)Rapid City, SDM41:06:469:32/mile
5BRIAN DAUNT (# 147)Hot Springs, SDM51:07:149:36/mile
6SARA LOUT (# 151)Hot springs, SDF11:08:239:46/mile
7Joseph Zolnowsky (# 158)Upper Montclair, NJM61:11:2110:11/mile
8Lori Burchfield (# 125)Hot Springs, SDF21:15:0810:43/mile
9TAFFY HOWARD (# 164)Rapid City, SDF31:16:3610:56/mile
10KATHY FRANK (# 146)Helena, MTF41:17:4611:06/mile
11KAYLYN DEITER (# 140)Sioux Falls, SDF51:18:3711:13/mile
12JACKIE TEBBE (# 124)Sioux Falls, SDF61:18:5811:16/mile
13TODD HAWLEY (# 159)Armour, SDM71:21:3511:39/mile
14SYDNEY LOCKHART (# 145)Hot Springs, SDF71:21:5311:41/mile
15MASON VAN ESSEN (# 143)Sioux Falls, SDM81:22:2411:46/mile
16NYNA NYGAARD (# 126)Sioux Falls, SDF81:23:3511:56/mile
17SHANA CUNY (# 157)Hot Springs, SDF91:23:5111:58/mile
18DON FAGAN (# 150)Omaha, NEM91:25:3612:13/mile
19ERIN MAIROSE (# 141)Kimball, SDF101:26:2412:20/mile
20MIRABELLE ADAMU (# 170)Rushville, SDF111:27:2012:28/mile
21KATIE TRAMP (# 154)crofton, NEF121:29:0512:43/mile
22susan swindal (# 167)custer, SDF131:29:2012:45/mile
23RICHARD BURFIEND (# 156)Rapid City, SDM101:33:3013:21/mile
24PEGGY OWENS (# 160)Hot Springs, SDF141:40:0414:17/mile
25ANDREA CONOVER (# 142)Sioux Falls, SDF151:49:3815:39/mile
26LAUREL PARK (# 161)Chandler, AZF164615:59/mile
27DUSTY PENCE (# 127)Hot Springs, SDF171:53:1916:11/mile
28MAUREEN BURFIEND (# 155)Rapid City, SDF181:55:5816:33/mile
29ELIZABETH DURHAM (# 144)Hot Springs, SDF191:57:0716:43/mile
30Isaiah Cox (# 168)Hot Springs, SDM112:02:0217:25/mile
31LARISA COX (# 152)Hot Springs, SDF202:02:2117:28/mile
32MONA TOWNE (# 162)AZ, AZF212:10:4618:40/mile
33Frank Mason (# 165)Hot Springs, SDM122:24:0020:34/mile
34Lynn Mason (# 166)Hot Springs, SDF222:24:0220:34/mile

Three mile results 

PlaceNameCity/StateSexSex PlaceChip TimePace
1Joe Polonsky (# 311)Palmer Lake, COM10:21:277:08/mile
2RILEY LOCKHART (# 303)Hot Springs, SDF10:31:5710:38/mile
3Kim Polonsky (# 310)Palmer Lake, COF20:32:2310:47/mile
4SHANNON LANDRY (# 318)Rushville, NEF30:32:2610:48/mile
5CAROLYN ENGLUND (# 309)Colorado Springs, COF40:32:2810:49/mile
6JOLENE KAYSER (# 306)Blackhawk, SDF50:33:0411:01/mile
7Jessica Graham (# 321)Rapid City, SDF60:35:2611:48/mile
8Roger Johnsen (# 320)Rapid City, SDM20:39:5113:16/mile
9KEVIN CHANG (# 314)flushing, NYM30:40:0213:20/mile
10Jaycherie Little (# 322)Rapid City, SDF70:43:2714:28/mile
11JJ DOHERTY (# 308)Pine Ridge, SDF80:44:0414:41/mile
12HEIDI MORGAN (# 301)Hot Springs, SDF90:44:3714:52/mile
13DARRYL ANDERSON (# 316)Gillette, WYM40:45:0315:00/mile
14CATHY MCGEOWAN (# 315)Gillette, WYF100:45:0415:01/mile
15ERIN CANCINO (# 312)Wheatland, WYF110:45:0415:01/mile
16PAUL GIRARD (# 313)Guernsey, WYM50:45:0815:02/mile
17JOSHUA LANDRY (# 317)Rushville, NEM60:45:2415:07/mile
18TERRY SLAGEL (# 302)Hot Springs, SDF120:47:1015:43/mile
19DIANNE CARTER (# 305)Licking, MOF130:47:1015:43/mile
20KELLY BEDNAR (# 304)Hot Springs, SDF140:47:1515:44/mile
21BARBARA SHARP (# 307)HOT SPRINGS, SDF150:50:2016:46/mile
22Chris Pannill (# 300)Hot Springs, SDM70:52:5917:39/mile
23JOANNE GEISER (# 319)Hot Springs, SDF160:53:5517:58/mile
24EBUN ADELONA (# 323)HOT SPRINGS, SDF171:06:2522:08/mile

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