As kids, we watched hamsters running in their wheels, pedaling their li'l legs for hours, yet going nowhere. As adults, we became human hamsters on StairMaster machines, climbing countless flights of stairs, but never moving off the ground floor. Break away from the "virtual" stair climb on Saturday, October 1, when the "25th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb & Firefighter's Challenge" hits downtown Phoenix. For $25, you can race other participants up 40 flights of real stairs. The good news? There's an elevator on the top floor. The bad news? "The doors to the elevators on every other floor will be locked," says event director Jean Gnojewski. A separate competition features firefighting teams from all over the Valley competing against each other in full gear. "The firefighters get real competitive," Gnojewski says. "They all want the bragging rights." Climb ever higher at Arizona Center, 455 North Third Street. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Call 602-224-0068. -- Niki D'Andrea
Tri to Remember
Do the ath
Can you run six miles? Swim across a lake? Bike 25 miles to the mall? Test your stamina in the Carlos O'Brien's Triathlon and Duathlon on Sunday, October 2, at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, two miles north of State Route 74 in Peoria. Youth competitors are grouped by age, with kids as young as 7 cycling and running to test their medal -- and win one. Adult activities include an Olympic-style triathlon with a 1,500-meter swim and a condensed sprint version for beginners. "It's a beautiful but difficult course," explains racing director Mark Konietzka. But for a desert culture rooted in outdoor activities and daily tests of heat endurance, it's well worth it. "Last year, we had [more than 400] entrants, and this year we're expecting even more." Races begin at 6:30 a.m. For info and cost, visit www.trifamilyracing.com or register online at www.active.com. -- Wynter Holden
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Team up with a buddy and tear down the track during the 222 Lap Enduro at F1 Race Factory, 317 South 48th Street. The three-hour challenge takes place Sunday, October 2, and includes 24 teams of racers competing for cash prizes on F1's quarter-mile track. Each European kart boasts a nine-horsepower Honda GX motor that can propel karts at speeds of up to 45 mph. Participation requires an annual racing license and a $200 entry fee, but watching and heckling is free. Doors open at 9 a.m., and the green flag drops at 10. Call 602-302-7223 or visit www.f1racefactory.com. -- Steve Jansen