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Minnesota man climbs stairs 205 times

STILLWATER -- Bruce Janke arrived at the Main Street stairs in downtown Stillwater at 8 a.m. Saturday and started climbing. For the next 12 hours, he climbed steadily up and down the steep, winding outdoor staircase that rises from South Main Street.

STILLWATER -- Bruce Janke arrived at the Main Street stairs in downtown Stillwater at 8 a.m. Saturday and started climbing.

For the next 12 hours, he climbed steadily up and down the steep, winding outdoor staircase that rises from South Main Street. By the time he stopped at 8 p.m., Janke had recorded 205 flights.

The stairs, which climb to Broadway Street on the bluff overlooking the St. Croix River, rise 115 vertical feet. Which means Janke climbed 23,575 feet, the equivalent of climbing to the top of the Empire State Building - spire included - 16 times.

Janke, who works at his Stillwater home trading stock and equities, shared one of his flights with two veteran Main Street stair climbers: Jeff Krull, whose highest total flights is 103, and Brian Burkholder, whose highest total flights is 140.

When Krull and Burkholder heard that Janke was going farther than they had ever climbed, they stood at the top of the stairs, brought him Gatorade and cheered him on.

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“Bruce is nuts!” said Burkholder. “He’s been indoctrinated into the ‘Crazy Stair Club’! We’ll be here to bring him to the emergency room.”

Saturday’s climb made Janke “mindful of what a unique and point of interest the stairs truly are - a place where people meet to train, share time together or just pass time and view the whole city on a beautiful day,” he said.

“It’s amazing how so much of life can be sorted out or left behind on those stairs, sharing conversations, supporting others, there’s always a good laugh to be had. It’s just that kind of place.”

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