Mar 15, 2016
Huskies Race Up Space Needle Stairs

As a team-building exercise, and a way of learning that there are no shortcuts to success, the University of Washington football team raced up the stairs of Seattle’s Space Needle building earlier this month.

“You go through adversity (and) you can’t take no easy ways out,” cornerback Sidney Jones said. “You can’t take the elevator, as it was here. You’ve got to take the stairs to success.”

According to The Seattle Times, the climb up the 52-story building was grueling, and before it even took place, the team handed out liability waivers for the athletes participating to sign. At the top, one linebacker vomited into a trash can.

“Driving up here I thought, ‘All right, I’ll just jog all the way up there; it’ll be cool,’” running back Myles Gaskin said. “Nah. You still feel it now. My lungs (are) all hot right now.”

“At first I was like, what? This is insane,” linebacker Azeem Victor said. “I’ve been here before, but obviously I took the elevator.”

While the public is usually not allowed to set foot on the Space Needle’s stairs, they were invited to climb them as part of the “Base 2 Space” fundraiser. Part of the challenge for the Huskies was to beat the prior fastest completion time, which was about five minutes. The best effort from UW players was from safety Budda Baker, who reached the top in about six minutes. 

“Everybody got up here, so that’s all it is (about),” Gaskin said. “Just get up here, enjoy it and be able to tell your kids and your family, ‘Hey, man, I ran all the way up there.’”

When all members of the team had reached the top, Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim Socha gave a brief address about what the exercise meant. After a few minutes enjoying the view and taking pictures, the team took the elevator back down.

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