Stewart, 26, took the stairs to the top of the Hilton hotel in Springfield, Ill. 116 times for a total of 38,000 feet, breaking the previous record of 33,000 that was set in 2011 (video below).
To put that in perspective, Mount Everest has an elevation of 29,029 feet.
Apparently, Stewart is in very good shape because he is a physical education teacher at a local school.
“Seeing all my runners and athletes and students out and climbing behind me, there’s no way I could slow down,” Stewart told WICS. “Some of them did 12, 13, 14 climbs behind me. It’s just amazing to be that kind of influence on them.”
Another reason Stewart made the climb was to raise money for the American Lung Association‘s annual “Fight for Air Climb,” which he has done since 2011.
“Justin’s climb really sets the stage and really kicks off the Fight for Air Climb season, and it really gives us the opportunity to put lung cancer in the spotlight and helps us raise funds for awareness of the disease,” said Sarah Tapscott, a spokeswoman for the American Lung Association.
The Towerrunning World Association, which tracks this type of activity, wrote on its Facebookpage just how historic this moment was:
After 9 hours, 51 minutes and 56 seconds Justin Stewart made the 63rd step of his 102nd climb up the Springfield Hilton. It was a historic step. When making this 53694th step Stewart has broken the 12 hour solo stair climbing record. The former record of 33000 feet was set by Chris Solarz from New York, experienced stair runner and multiple winner of World Cup races.
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