WHITEFISH — Climb, conquer, cure, and donate -- that’s the mission for Whitefish Fire Department volunteer firefighter Justin Horn as he gets set to participate in the world’s largest on-air stair climb competition in Seattle.
This will mark the third straight year that Horn has climbed Seattle's Columbia Center -- the tallest skyscraper in the state of Washington -- in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.
Horn exercises frequently in preparation for the event including 90-minute-high intensity cardio sessions every other day. He said being mentally prepared is his first priority.
“Practice, you just try to find a way to block out the noise and just put your head down and go,” said Horn.
Some 2,000 firefighters will participate in the climb which has raised more than $28 million for cancer research since its inception in 1991.
Horn said firefighters come from across the world to participate in the climb.
“Literally around the world. There’s firefighters from New Zealand, Europe -- just about every edge of the world and of course all over the country,” Horn told MTN News.
This year, Horn will be climbing in honor of his dad’s late wife Donna, who lost her battle to cancer in August of 2018.
“Donna was a very special person; she was a naturopathic physician, believed whole-heartedly in helping other people," Horn aid. "And in honor of her I have found this as a really good way to pay tribute to everything that she has done in the past."
Horn’s goal is to conquer the climb in roughly 15 minutes, ascending more than 780 vertical feet of elevation.
The 29th annual stair climb will take place March 22 in Seattle. Click here for more information about the event.