Robson resident the queen of vertical running

Dennis O’Loughlin

It has been a very busy vertical running season for 74-year-old Marsha O’Loughlin so far in 2019. She has competed in nine or more vertical runs from Dallas to Mexico. The Dallas runs were held at Reunion Tower and the Ross Building. In March she competed in the Stadium Stomp at the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, TX. Runners ran all the way around the stadium going up and down the stadium stairs. Marsha finished that run in 29 minutes and was the first female in her age group.

Most of those runs were to raise money for worthwhile charities, including Cystic Fibrosis, American Lung Association, and First Responders organizations. Her most recent completive vertical runs were in Houston, Texas and Acapulco, Mexico.

She competed in the “Tunnel 2 Towers” vertical climb in Houston Sept. 21. That is a national run that raises money for first responder’s families that lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001 twin towers tragedy in New York City. Funds not only help families of firefighters and police personnel, but also for those who died years later due to the lasting damage of debilitating lung diseases. She also ran the Climb for a Calling in Fort Worth, TX on Sept. 8 for 9/11 victims. It was 110 floors (40/40/30 back to back).

The Houston race was held at a 43-story building. Marsha finished first in her age group and finished ninth in overall female runners. She completed the vertical climb in 14 minutes, 37 seconds. However, after she finished the competitive run, she ran it two more times.

In late September, she traveled to Mexico to compete in a three-building vertical run in Acapulco at the Gran Prix Hotel at the invitation of Team Mexico. The races were held over a three day period. The first building was 54 floors, the second was 28 floors, and the third was a 72-story building. All vertical runs were both up and down the stairs. Marsha finished the first 54 story race in 14 minutes, 26 seconds, the second 28 story race in 5 minutes, 20 seconds, and the third 72 story race in 13 minutes, 59 seconds. Marsha is ranked number one in the 70 to 79 age group by Tower Running USA in the United States.