The Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb


One of the most popular events in Bisbee involves walking or running up and down nine staircases and on winding, hilly streets for 4.5 miles. The Bisbee 1000 is the only outdoor stair climb in the nation, according to the event website.

The 23rd Annual Bisbee 1000 is Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. In addition to the actual races, there’s a costume contest, awards ceremony, spaghetti dinner, and a craft beer festival with more than a dozen breweries.

The inaugural event was hosted in 1990 when Cynthia Conroy saw stair-climbing become a fitness trend and adapted it to bring tourists to Bisbee for a fundraiser that benefited school health programs and nonprofits that encouraged healthy lifestyles.   The event is managed by Bisbee Vogue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization.  According to the Bisbee 1000 website, Biisbee Vogue’s “mission is to create, promote and support initiatives and organizations that enhance the economic vitality, health and wellness of citizens in southern Arizona.”   This amazing organization is supported by a well-involved local citizenry.

Personally, I prefer walking, but for those who want a cardio challenge while taking in town’s scenic views, the Bisbee 1000 is a phenomenal option. You can watch a video of the steps here and here.

It’s also highly in-demand; the event has sold out at 2,000 participants the past two years. You can register here for $75 for adults, $15 for kids ages 5-18, or for the Ironman Ice competitions (running + tongs + a 10-pound block of ice up 155 stairs) for $20 for an individual or $35 for a duo.

Better lace up and start training now, because last year the fastest male runner finished in 31:53; the quickest female participant clocked in at 38:41. If your pace is slower, worry not, several participants took nearly three hours, so you’d be in good company.

If you’re not a local and want to stay overnight in Bisbee, you should plan to book a hotel or vacation rental many months in advance.  Seriously.  Bisbee hotels and vacation rentals sell out quickly for the Bisbee 1000 weekend.  (We booked our Bisbee vacation rental out almost a year before the 2013 race.)

Like the event on Facebook for more news and check out Flickr for photos submitted by race attendees.

The event is always held the 3rd Saturday in October.  If you don’t attend in 2013 but want to attend in 2014, check their website for more information.  And remember to reserve lodging well in advance!