3 Men Break Step Climbing Record Held By A Woman For 2 Weeks

by Danny Chew

On Saturday, December 26, 2009, at 6 am, triathlete (2 time Ironman finisher) Ken Delraso Jr., my 18 year old Nephew Steven Perezluha (back from his Alaska Trip with me), and I started climbing steps at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning Building. 17 minutes later, my friend (I've known since high school in 1978) Jonathan Pratt and Dirty Dozen finisher Ruth Cunningham started climbing. 15 pounds overweight and in poor shape, I backed off my pace after climbing up 6 times with Steven & Ken the first hour. Ruth finished with 43 climbs in 9 Hours, 15 Minutes. Three weeks ago, that would have been a new women's record, but two weeks ago, ultra-runner Diana Marongiu-Lutz broke her 40 times up record and the overall record (my 101) by doing 102 climbs in 23 Hours, 34 Minutes for a 155% increase. Ruth's boyfriend Justin Pokrivka (2002 Dirty Dozen winner) climbed with the lead group (Steven, Jon, & Ken) for about two hours.

Thanks to all of the people who showed up to climb with us. My brother Tom (has lived in Hong Kong, China for the past 9 years) set his PR of 25 climbs in just over 4 hours. Mark Hess did 14 climbs and Ken's Uncle Warren did 13. Also showing up to support Ken was his brother Marcus, and parents Ken Sr. & Barbara. Thanks to Ken Sr. for buying the tasty Subway hoagies - a nice diversion from our sweet calorie sources. Not even a bad toothache could prevent Don Erdeljac from climbing a few with us. He left and went straight to a dentist for an emergency root canal. Dirty Dozen pop provider Billy Kanarek climbed a few with us also. Many years ago he once ran up one time in 3 Minutes, 45 Seconds. Visiting Pittsburgh from his New York City Google job, David Petrou did one climb with me in street clothes. Steven's father John climbed up and down once.

After 8 hours, Ken dropped off the 6 climbs per hour pace Steven & Jon were setting, and soon joined me at 5 climbs per hour. After climbing up 72 times in 12 Hours, 55 Minutes, Ken called it quits - bettering his old PR (set in February) by two climbs. Jon Pratt's old record (set in February) was 68 climbs in 12 Hours, 10 Minutes. He stayed with Steven to help him do 71 climbs in 12 hours, then slowed down to my 5/4 climbs per hour. After climbing up 105 times in 19 Hours, 52 Minutes, Pratt stopped while he was 10 climbs behind Steven, and 10 climbs ahead of me. After doing 70 climbs his first 12 hours, Steven did two consecutive 7 climb hours, and had 100 in 16 Hours, 36 Minutes. He beat my old time (set in 2007) for 101 times by 1 Hour, 3 Minutes, and Diana's time for 102 times by 6 Hours, 40 Minutes. After 18 hours Steven slowed down, and we climbed together for the last 6 hours at a pace of 4 climbs per hour. For about two hours, Pratt held the second most climbs until I "passed" him at 4:20 am. Steven & I stopped at 5:52 am just 8 minutes short of 24 hours. Steven set the new record of 132 climbs or a Double Everest - twice the vertical elevation from sea level to the summit of Mt. Everest. His previous most was 51 times up, so he had a 159% increase! I ended up with 112 times up or the new second most climbs. Pratt's 105 times up (the new third most climbs) was a 54% increase from his previous 68. Former overall record holder Diana Marongiu-Lutz now has the fourth most climbs, and the female/women's record of 102 times up.

66 times up is 5.5 vertical miles or the equivalent of going from sea level to the top of Mt. Everest. Thanks to Ken Jr. for driving Steven & me to Oakland on Saturday morning. Thanks to Steven's parents (my sister) Carol & John for driving us home on Sunday morning, and cleaning our sticky mess up on the 36th floor as we laid on the benches like corpses. We hobbled around like cripples afterwards. The top 12 climbs (Everest Club) are now:

1. Dec., 2009 Steven Perezluha -- 132 climbs in 23 Hours, 52 Minutes rate of 5.53 climbs per hour

2. Dec., 2009 Danny Chew -------- 112 climbs in 23 Hours, 52 Minutes rate of 4.69 climbs per hour

3. Dec., 2009 Jonathan Pratt ---- 105 climbs in 19 Hours, 52 Minutes rate of 5.29 climbs per hour

4. Dec., 2009 Diana Marongiu-Lutz 102 climbs in 23 Hours, 34 Minutes rate of 4.33 climbs per hour

5. Feb., 2007 Danny Chew -------- 101 climbs in 17 Hours, 48 Minutes rate of 5.67 climbs per hour

6. Jan., 1993 Danny Chew --------- 86 climbs in 12 Hours, 02 Minutes rate of 7.15 climbs per hour

7. Feb., 2009 Danny Chew --------- 75 climbs in 16 Hours, 26 Minutes rate of 4.56 climbs per hour

8. Dec., 2009 Ken Delraso Jr. ---- 72 climbs in 12 Hours, 55 Minutes rate of 5.57 climbs per hour

9. Feb., 2009 Richard Burgunder -- 71 climbs in 15 Hours, 34 Minutes rate of 4.56 climbs per hour

10.Feb., 2009 Ken Delraso Jr. ---- 70 climbs in 12 Hours, 04 Minutes rate of 5.80 climbs per hour

11.Feb., 2009 Jonathan Pratt ----- 68 climbs in 12 Hours, 10 Minutes rate of 5.59 climbs per hour

12.Jan., 2014 Steve Cummings ----- 66 climbs in 11 Hours, 36 Minutes rate of 5.69 climbs per hour

These are photos Steven's parents took of us:


Danny, Ken Jr., Jonathan, & Steven on the Ground Floor


Steven & Jonathan Drinking on the 36th Floor


Jonathan & Steven Taking the Elevator Down to the Ground Floor


Danny & Ken Jr. on the 36th Floor


Ken Jr. & Danny on the Ground Floor


Steven on the 36th Floor


Steven & Danny Finally Finished


Exhausted Steven Resting After Setting New Record


Exhausted Danny Resting After 112 Climbs Up


Yellow Sheets on the 36th Floor to Keep Track of All the Climbs Up