Climb your way up 30 flights of stairs in Dayton skyscraper for a good cause

Right now, on Amazon, you can buy a StairMaster 8-FreeClimber for $7,695. That also comes with free shipping!

That is an awful lot of money to just be miserable and have sore glutes. But there is an event that embraces stair climbing as a fun time that also raises money for a good cause.

The Cole Climb will be held Saturday, March 16, at 9:30 a.m. at the Kettering Tower in downtown Dayton. The climb asks those brave enough to clamber up 30 flights of stairs either for fun or timed.

“It’s a challenge. It gets your heart racing. I know people have goals at the beginning of the year, so this is a good opportunity to see how you’re doing,” said Deonna Cole, event coordinator.

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The event benefits the Norris Cole Foundation. Norris is a professional basketball player who currently plays abroad in the Montenegrin League. Before traveling overseas, Norris was in the NBA and won two championships with the Miami Heat.

The athlete is also a Dayton native who graduated from Dunbar High School. While he is an athlete, he started this foundation to encourage academic achievement and build the character of young athletes.

“He wanted to give back to the community. He wanted athletes to be well-rounded. The foundation has a literacy program and a leadership program,” Deonna said.

Deonna is Norris’ older sister and works as a business analyst at Dayton Public Schools. She graduated from Wright State University in 2010, and wants the Cole Climb to grow.

“We usually have around 50 people sign up. We hope to have 100 participate this year, and we want more first responders and military members to sign up,” she said.

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Only two first responders have embarked on the Cole Climb the last two years, and they did so in their full gear. Any first responders or military members get a discount on the registration fee.

Besides first responders, adults and teams who try the climb, kids are also welcome to sign up. They only have to climb 10 flights of steps. However, they can do the full climb if they desire. The youngest person to complete the climb was a 9-year-old girl.

“It’s a family event. We have music, fun and there isn’t another event like it in Dayton,” Deonna said.

There is a practice climb scheduled for Saturday, March 9, at 9 a.m., one week before the actual event. Deonna said it’s a chance to test out the stairwell.

“Most people feel better after the practice climb. They try to challenge themselves to beat their own time the next week,” she said.

T-shirts are guaranteed to those who register by March 15. The cost for the timed and untimed climbs is $35. Military and first-responders pay just $15 to participate. Teams are also invited and the cost is $140 for a group of six.

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Participants can still sign up on the day of the event, but the cost goes up. Trophies and medals will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place climbers.

Race day registration and packet pick-up begin on race day at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Kettering Tower. And why the Kettering Tower?

“It’s the tallest building in Dayton. Also, they have been so nice to us,” Deonna said.

While Norris won’t be at the event, he will be home during the summer to continue helping Dayton youth reach their reading and leadership goals.

For more information, visit

You still have time to get that StairMaster and start practicing, which is a good idea since even a 9-year-old could complete the Cole Climb. Time to step up!


What: Cole Climb

Where: Kettering Tower, 40 N. Main St., Dayton

When: Saturday, March 16, 9:30 a.m.

Cost: $35. $15 for military and first-responders. $140 for a group of six.

More info: Website

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