Racing the Eiffel Tower

I haven’t accomplished everything on my To Do list today, but at least I can say that I jogged to the top of the Eiffel Tower in 21 minutes and 17 seconds.

"Eiffel Tower Style" photo by Flickr user Jerome Bon
“Eiffel Tower Style” photo by Flickr user Jerome Bon

Theoretically, anyway.

See, my gym has a stair-climbing machine, and one of its programs lets you choose from a variety of “famous stairs.” After discovering last week that the Empire State Building was too short for my desired 20-minute warmup, I chose the Eiffel Tower instead.

The Eiffel Tower’s total height is 1,063 feet tall, or about 81 stories. That’s a pretty good climb, right?

Although my Eiffel Tower “run” today was only in my mind, I have actually visited the building in real life and had the pleasure of walking down the stairs from the observation deck. I’m not sure I’d want to run up them, though; not only are they quite numerous, they’re also made of the same “puddled iron” design as the rest of the tower – which means you can see right through them all the way down to the ground below!

Definitely not something you’d want to do if you’re afraid of heights.

But if you do visit the Eiffel Tower, you’ll get a fantastic view of Paris – which is partially why I decided to give my Case of the Cunning Linguist detective, Venus Delmar, an office in the most recognizable building in the world. What better way to solve crimes than by pondering the city’s souls from on high?

A view from the Eiffel Tower's second floor - "resting @ the eiffel tower" photo by Flickr user looking4poetry
A view from the Eiffel Tower’s second floor – “resting @ the eiffel tower” photo by Flickr user looking4poetry

Finally, an interesting historical tidbit for you: In 1906, 120 people actually raced up 730 of the Eiffel Tower’s stairs to the second floor. The winner of the race made it up in 3 minutes and 4 seconds. Sacre bleu, c’est très vite! (Holy blue flames, Superman, that’s fast!) Guess I’ll have to work on my time if I want to keep up with the vertical racers of the early 20th century.