Participant Resources

Find information for the Stair Climb in-person and virtual events, plus social media assets to use for your fundraising.

Stair Climb 2021 Logo

Stair Climb Participant Resources

We are so excited that you will be joining us on Saturday September 11, 2021 at our live in-person stair climb!

Reading and following these simple instructions will help assure that race day will be a safe and enjoyable day for everyone.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! We will not allow day-of registration and registration will be closed on the Wednesday before the climb.

COVID-19 PROTOCOL: All participants must provide proof of vaccination or negative covid test. You may pre-submit your information HERE, or you may bring it with you on race day. We will have an expedited line for anyone who submits proof before 6pm Friday 9/10. Please CLICK HERE for most up-to-date information. All California residents may request a digital vaccination record at MyVaccineRecord.cdph.ca.gov.”

MASK MANDATE: All participants, volunteers, staff and vendors will also be required to wear a mask at all times. This includes indoors during the climb and outdoors in the plaza. It must be a well-fitting mask, no kerchiefs or buffs/neck gators allowed.”

YOU WILL BE ASSIGNED A START WAVE TIME IN ADVANCE. Wave times will be emailed to you by Wednesday 9/8. Waves will be every 15 minutes between 9am and 11am. You will not be allowed to enter the building until your wave time is called.

The race will begin at the street/plaza level and will go to the top. Water stations and EMS personnel will be placed strategically along the way.

Once you reach the top, you will then take the elevator to the Plaza level where you can celebrate your accomplishments with your friends and family.

If you are under the care of a physician, please consult your doctor and obtain his/her permission to enter this race given the details of the race.

Train and hydrate. Hydration should occur well in advance of race day as well as during and after the race.

This is a vertical race to the top. There are 1197 stairs to the top, and many turns. If you are new to climbing stairs, then start slow and build up your tempo.

To reduce the risk of injury, place your entire foot on the stair each time. The average race time is approximately 25 minutes.

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Course Information

Building Location: 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94104

Google Map (click here)

Number of floors: 52 floors (1197 stairs).

Course:
  • The course is 52 flights for a total of 1292 stairs.
  • The average time walking the race is approximately 25 minutes (in full fire gear, faster without it). Practice 25 minutes of stair climbing at the gym and you will get the idea.
  • There will be a water station at approximately every 10 flights, and you will be able to opt out of the race at any time (nobody ever has), preferably at a water station.
  • Once you start the race, the only way down is via elevator. You will not be permitted to walk down.
Registration:

All climbers must obtain their race materials on the day of the climb (not ahead of time) so please arrive early.  You must register in advance of the race as registration will close at 5pm the Wednesday night BEFORE the race.

Start time:

Please be at the location at least 45 minutes before your start time to receive your packet, bib number and other items. You can use this opportunity to take pictures with first responders, stretch, hydrate and gather your team (unless you are racing as an individual). We will also have an opening ceremony – more details of timing will be sent to you before the event.

Parking:

There is limited public parking available at 555 California Street. Public transportation/ UBER /LYFT is highly encouraged. Public parking (hourly/paid) is available at various garages in the area.. Many parking facilities in the area are closed on Saturday. The race is not affiliated with these parking providers so please contact them to make sure that they are open on the day of the race.

Building Rules

  • All Persons attending the event are subject to search at all times (participants and spectators included).
  • Leave large bags and personal belongings of value at home.
  • The hosts will have a bag drop for small belongings of little to no value. All bags are subject to search.
  • The hosts are not liable for lost or stolen items, including those left at the bag drop.
  • Any item that is a weapon or can be used as a weapon is prohibited. This includes fire axes, police batons, etc.
  • ​All participants will be required to sign a waiver containing other terms in order to participate in the event.
  • ​No relay teams.

Covid-19 Protocols

  • All Covid rules and regulations must be observed. All participants and spectators will be required to follow the guidelines we put into effect on event day.
  • Please check HERE for the latest requirements
  • Anyone who does not wish to abide by these rules will be asked to leave the premises.
  • There will be no refunds of registration fees if you do not wish to attend due to enforced Covid regulations.
  • Race management will take all necessary precautions to keep the outdoor and indoor/stairwell spaces clean and sanitized. We will have hand sanitizer and hand wash stations available.

Event Safety Procedures

Medical Personnel

Trained medical personnel will be located in the stairwells, at the top of the building and in the plaza.

Emergency Procedures

In the event that an emergency is reported in the building, you will be instructed what to do over the P.A. sound system. Paramedics will be located in intervals along the climb. If you witness an emergency while climbing between paramedic stations, immediately notify emergency personnel in the stairwell. Please wait for instructions, do not panic.

Water Stations

Water stations are located throughout the stairwells, at the top of the building and in the refreshment area.

Passing

Always announce your presence and your intent to pass the slower climber. Climb on the rail side of the stairwell. Pass on the outside.

Children

Please note that all climbers and volunteers must be at least 12 years old by event day in order to participate. Children under 12 are welcome to enjoy the festivities at the plaza level.

Disqualification/ Non-finishers

The host reserves the right to disqualify you for any unruly behavior or any behavior that does not comport to the standards of the event, at the discretion of the Hosts.

In the event that you are unable to finish the complete climb, please signal a race marshal and you will be escorted down to the Plaza via the elevator. Emergency medical services and water stations will be strategically placed along the route.

Weather Considerations

It will be a Saturday in September. The weather is San Francisco is unpredictable so please bring clothes for cold or windy weather in the Plaza.

Personal Music Devices

You may wear a personal music device for the race as long as the volume level allows you to hear any instructions from building or host personnel in case of an emergency. Preferably in on ear only.

Awards

Individual Climbing Awards:
  • Fastest overall male and fastest overall female (for in-person event).
Fundraising Awards:
  • $150 - Shirt, medal and bib
  • $350 - All of the above plus hat
  • $750 - All of the above plus hoodie
  • $1000 - All of the above, plus special VIP amenity for the 2022 climb

We will also have social media and Fundraising Friday prizes which will be announced periodically. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter - or open your weekly emails - to be notified of these opportunities.

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

Check out or FAQ page, or email us at [email protected]

Thank you for registering to raise funds for First Responders in need by participating in the Virtual Stair Climb.

Reading and following these simple instructions will help assure that race day will be a safe and enjoyable day for everyone.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! In order to fundraise and receive the shirt/medal/bib you need to register and sign our event waiver. Each participant must register individually to be eligible for fundraising awards. Registration for the virtual event is free. But in order to receive your swag, you must raise a minimum of $150 and submit proof of having done the climb.

If you are under the care of a physician, please consult your doctor and obtain his/her permission to enter this race given the details of the race.

Train and hydrate. Hydration should occur well in advance of race day as well as during and after the race.

To reduce the risk of injury, place your entire foot on the stair each time. The average race time is approximately 25 minutes.

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Course Information

The virtual climb will coincide with our in-person climb. You can participate from anywhere!

  • You can complete your virtual “climb activity” any time. between Friday, September 3rd to Sunday, September 12th
  • We will provide you with a link to upload your climb stats and send us a screenshot.
  • Fundraising starts now and will end on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
  • For the virtual “climb” you have the choice of a number of different activities, not just stair climbing.

Location: Anywhere! Your town, your staircase, your choice
Date: Any day between Friday, September 3 and Sunday, September 12, 2021
Time: Any time. Whenever is convenient for you!
Length: Choose one of the following to make it an equal length to the in-person event:

  • Climb: 1197 stairs
  • Step-Ups: 600 step-ups
  • Walk: 7500 "strides" or 3.75 miles of walking
  • Swim: 1200 meters swimming
  • Run: 2 miles running/hill sprints
  • Cycle: 20 miles cycling
  • Design your own program (contact us for details)

Event Safety

  • You are responsible for choosing a safe route. You have lots of flexibility on when to do your climb activity, and what route to follow.
  • Don’t work out in unsafe areas alone (unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails).
  • Wear reflective clothing or lights if you’re climbing, hiking, walking, running or biking outdoors at dawn or dusk and stick to routes that are well-lit.
  • Use protective gear when appropriate — for instance, helmets when cycling.
  • Look both ways before crossing. Obey traffic signals.
  • Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
  • When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.
  • Stay hydrated, use sunscreen, don’t overdo it.
  • If using a personal music device, be sure to keep volume low or have it in only one ear so you can hear approaching vehicles, cyclists, and other people and dogs.
  • Let someone know your planned route so they know where to find you if you don’t return.
  • Since you are doing this activity on your own, we will not have medical personnel onsite in case of emergency.

Covid-19 Protocols

  • Try to find a stairwell or location that is not crowded with tourists or other locals looking for a good workout. Or perhaps do your activity before or after the crowds dissipate.
  • If you live in a city where "open streets" have been created for pedestrians, those can be a good resource, as well.
  • Follow guidelines from local, state, and federal agencies on how to stay safe. Depending on your area, you may need to wear protective equipment, maintain safe social distance, and/or obey curfews/stay-at-home orders.
  • If local regulations, conditions, or your personal risk factors/comfort prevent you from doing your climb activity outside, please contact us for alternate methods of completing/logging the event at [email protected].

Awards

Fundraising Awards:
  • $150 - Shirt, medal and bib
  • $350 - All of the above plus hat
  • $750 - All of the above plus hoodie
  • $1000 - All of the above, plus special VIP amenity for the 2022 climb

We will also have social media and Fundraising Friday prizes which will be announced periodically. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter - or open your weekly emails - to be notified of these opportunities.

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

Check out our FAQ page, or email us at [email protected].

Did you miss out on previous emails for our Fundraising Friday series? Or just want to review them all at once? No problem! Here is a recap of all of the tips we sent out in 2021. Have anything you think we should add? Let us know! Email [email protected].

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  1. Start by giving yourself a donation. People are more willing to give if they see you are already on your way to your goal. Give a $10 or $25 or $50 donation to your fundraising page to show that you are passionate about the cause.
  2. Jazz up your Fundraiser page. When you registered, you should have received an email from our registration/fundraising site with instructions on setting up your personalized page.
  3. Add your photo, change your personal fundraising goal, and add a story of #WhyIClimb. The more you personalize, the closer to the cause and to you your donors will feel. Please reach out to [email protected] if you need help finding or setting up this page. You can add pictures or videos, change the title, change the copy, and more.
  4. Ask, and ask often. Get out there and ask people to join your team or make a donation — the more people you ask, the better. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! Set a reminder to ask at least one person every day. You can do this by calling, texting, emailing or even tagging them on social media.
  5. Find a personal Connection for people to want to give: Contact or tag people who you know are, or have a connection to, First Responders. Maybe someone you know who lost or had a home saved by firefighters. Maybe someone who had their life saved by an EMT. Someone who has a kid who has a dream of someday becoming a Police Officer...
  6. Try to get 10 people to give you $15. Or 15 people to give you $10. Donations don’t need to be large to be impactful. Every little bit helps!
  7. Post on Social Media. People can’t donate if they don’t know about the event!
  8. Let people know where/how to donate: Go to your personal fundraising page and copy the URL. You can paste that into a post on your social media page and ask people to donate to your goal. Post a photo of you or of a first responder to draw attention. Tell a personal story of #WhyIClimb (tip: while creating a fundraiser for NFRF on Facebook or Instagram is quick and easy, we don’t recommend it in this case. Any funds you raise there, while still going to NFRF, don’t count towards your personal fundraising award goal. We are working on creating that integration, but for now the only way to get donations to count towards your personal goal is to send donors to your personal page).
  9. Get your company's support. Many companies encourage their employees to support favorite causes. Create a company team for the climb, or ask if your company will match your fundraising goal if it's achieved.
  10. Ask donors if their company matches donations. Many companies match employee’s donations to nonprofits , so ask your donors if their company matches. If so, contact us and we can manually add the match to your account before the actual match arrives.
  11. Post to Nextdoor. Facebook and Instagram are not the only social media outlets available. If you are a member of Nextdoor, you can share your climb there. You can reach out to your neighbors and let them know that you are fundraising and participating in this stair climb. Neighbors love to support people in their community.
  12. Share your personal #WhyIClimb story. Post a photo of you climbing stairs, or use one of our pre-made social images in the Participant Resources page. You’d be amazed at how many people will be moved by your story and want to donate.
  13. Send personal emails/letters. This old-school approach really does work. Write a letter to your uncle or grandma who might not be active on social media or email. Yes, we can accept a check - just be sure they fill out the offline donation form, and write your name on the check memo line so we know who to credit the donation to. More info on this in our event FAQs
  14. Try writing a personal message. Reach out in a social media post or an email (or even go traditional with a handwritten letter) to let people know what you’re asking for and why. Explain how funds raised through the Stair Climb impact the lives of First Responders. Feeling shy or have writer’s block? Here is some suggested wording to get you started:
  • “I am training to take to the stairs to raise funds for First Responders with Post Traumatic Stress Injuries. I am climbing 1197 stairs <or insert the personal activity you choose to do> in support. Please help us help those who help us by donating to my fundraising page <insert YOUR page link>. My goal is $500. Every donation helps!”
  • “Hi! I’m raising money to help First Responders with Post Traumatic Stress Injuries through the National First Responders Fund. I’m participating in this year’s National First Responders Stair Climb, the virtual athletic and fundraising event that supports First Responders across the country. It’s happening September 3rd to 12th, and for just $15 you help me get to my goal of $150!”
  1. Aim high and don’t lose sight of your goals.  Setting a fundraising target will help motivate you to achieve it. The initial goal should be the $150 minimum to get your participant shirt and medal. If you exceed your initial goal, don’t stop fundraising. Reach towards the $350 hat goal, or the $750 hoodie goal! People will be more likely to donate if they think you still need to reach a certain number. You can change your goal from the “dashboard” of your fundraising page.
  2. Work with local businesses for matching donations. Try asking your favorite local coffee house or other business for a matching donation. Promise them that if they donate $100 to you, you will give them proof that you will “match” it with donations from other donors.
  3. Remember to say THANK YOU! The most important part of fundraising is making sure to say thank you. Let your donors and team members know how much their support means to First Responders in need. A quick personal phone call or handwritten note can go a long way. Keep your supporters up to date on how much money you have raised and how close you are to your goal. Let them know when you have completed your climb and how proud you are to be supporting First Responders. These small gestures can help you retain supporters in the future and perhaps entice them to make an extra donation to help you achieve your goal, or even participate themselves next year.
  4. Collect check or cash donations. Many donors prefer to write a check. Download the offline donation form here.
  • All check donations must be received in our office by Monday September 20th to count towards your fundraising goal (so please mail before that). You can also send us a picture of the check and form that is being mailed if you think it is going to be late.
  • Please do not mail cash. If you receive a cash donation, keep the actual cash for yourself and write us a check or do an online donation in that amount.
  1. Join our Facebook group for training tips, workouts, inspiration, and more. This is a great place to connect with other fundraiser athletes and share your story of training for the climb. We can all inspire each other on our journey.

Thank you for your participation and support. We can’t do this without you!

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