While this year’s event has been canceled, this was supposed to be when some adventurous types would head to Switzerland to take part in a race like no other: a run up a world record staircase.
The Niesen Stairway Run is what they call it in English.
Niesen is the mountain; it’s 2,362 meters high and nicknamed the Swiss Pyramid because of its shape.
It’s got gorgeous views of the Alps and plenty of hiking trails, but many people take a train to the top where they can eat, shop, sleep over or just marvel at the scenery.
Along with the train is a very long staircase, 11,674 steps in all.
And it’s for staff only, except for once a year, when they hold the stairway run.
There’s a set number of participants – spots fill up quickly – and while the start times are staggered to avoid traffic jams, each runner is trying to get up there as quickly as possible.
Top racers can do it in under an hour, though plenty of runners will stop to catch their breath.
11,000 steps is a lot.
Plus, when your choices are climb thousands more steps, or turn around and see mountain views, it’s hard not to be tempted.
The organizers say the people who registered for this year’s run are automatically entered for next year.
To practice, you could find the nearest flight of stairs, and go up that like a thousand times.
And remember: the race route is up, then up some more, and after that, up.
Over the past year, a lot of us have done video calls and meetings more than ever before – but those are definitely not new.
The YouTube channel Techmoan did a feature recently of Sony’s Face to Face video phone from the late 1980s.
Users plugged their landlines into the devices, and they could send each other grainy black and white images through the phone lines.
Do you think they had to ask each other to unmute the way we do these days?
Niesen flight of stairs (Niesen)
Video phone (Techmoan on YouTube)