The inaugural event of the 10th year of the Dubai Fitness Championship (DFC) is one for the record books. It is a time trial climbing 160 flights of stairs inside the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
At 828 meters (2,716 feet) with 2,909 individual stairs, the Burj Khalifa is a magnificent sight to behold as it towers over the city of Dubai, but it’s equally daunting to think about climbing it stair to stair. The event, officially called The Burj Khalifa Challenge, kicks off the DFC, which begins on the morning of December 2, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Out of place events in DFC history
Athletes have competed in a number of off-site events at the DFC over the years. One of the first off-site highlights was called The Stick, a 32-kilometer bike race. Since then, the athletes have run through the desert, swam in the pool and bathed in the ocean, even once in the shadow of the Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel in Dubai.
The first two practices of the 2021 competition took place at Ski Dubai, snow and all, inside the Mall of the Emirates, where athletes had to complete 500 meters on a ski erg and a 400 meter race up and down a slope .
How does this work?
Since the stairs are narrow, athletes will have to ask other competitors to move out of their way as they climb the building. Contestants are scored on a chip timer and will be released one at a time with a two-minute buffer between each.
The men’s qualifier starts from the last place and the event expands to the first men’s qualifier. The women’s team will continue in the same way as the men’s team.
Challenges for athletes
There are some obstacles during this workout that you can’t easily train for: no air conditioning, an element of elevation change, and the ability, or need, to use handrails to help you climb the endless flights of scales it is likely that very few have practiced.
The ability to adapt to some of these challenges with little or no preparation time is a skill that can be very valuable in this sport, this is one of those times.
Will there be a live stream for this event?
Athletes will be on the stairs for most of the race, although occasionally they will need to exit one staircase and enter another. Although this is a unique and fascinating test, there will be no live broadcast due to the difficulty of filming.
Setting up the weekend
This is the only event in which the athletes will participate on the first day of competition. Competitors will reconvene on Saturday at 16:00 GST (Dubai local time) at the Coca-Cola Arena to continue the competition.
Featured Image: Kirill Neiezhmakov via Shutterstock