Maine Woman Tackles Boston Skyscraper in Support of American Lung Association

Anne Sleeman of Yarmouth raced to the top of One Boston Place on February 2

(February 15, 2013)

The American Lung Association of the Northeast’s longest running stairclimb celebrated its eighth anniversary on February 2. With a goal of 1,500 registered climbers hoping to raise $350,000, more than 1,700 people reached the 41st floor of One Boston Place, raising more than $432,000. Anne Sleeman of Yarmouth, team captain of ‘Kids on Time’, was among those to reach the top. Her team’s members came from all over the Northeast to climb.

In the summer of 2012, Anne’s godmother passed away from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She was a lifelong smoker. During the last three years of her life she was dependent on oxygen.  The passing of her godmother motivated Anne to start a team in her honor. She gathered 15 people to join her team; none whom had ever participated.

Sleeman’s team raised $3,375 for the Fight for Air Climb.  “I don’t think any of my team members would have done the climb if I hadn’t started the team,” said Sleeman.  Two of her team members even raised over $500, qualifying them as VIPs.

Another one of the ‘Kids on Time’ members climbed in six minutes and thirty-eight seconds. The average time for a climber at One Boston Place is 12 minutes. Anne says her team was motivated by the firefighters climbing in full gear stating “all the firefighters walked in and I thought to myself if they are going to do it in their gear, I can climb those stairs.”

“I like doing events that are unique like the stairclimb,” said Sleeman.  “It was overwhelming the first year because I didn’t really know what to expect.” This is the second year that Anne participated in the Fight for Air Climb, although it was her first year as a team captain. Last year she was encouraged by her trainer, Ryan Thomson, owner of Fitness Forged in Portland, Maine, who also happened to be a firefighter. He has had success in both fundraising and running the climb, qualifying as a VIP fundraiser and as the 3rd fastest firefighter in his age group. “Ryan has been instrumental in me preparing doing the climb,” continued Sleeman.

When asked if she is going to do the event next year Anne said, “I don’t see how we can’t with such a good turn out.” She says she and her team had a great time doing the climb this year.

When asked if she had any advice for future climbers, Anne suggested doing some cardio conditioning and preparing the legs for climbing. She said doing squats and lunges will help in training for the climb.

The firefighter challenge brought more than 400 firefighters to One Boston Place. Teams came from all over New England for a chance at the coveted Fastest Firefighting Team trophy, which the winning team houses at their station until the next climb. The fire department from Portland, Maine, has walked away with the trophy on three different occasions, including last year. This year, Portland was defeated by the Auburn Fire Department, also from Maine, by just four seconds. 

Participants and volunteers came from all over with one common goal; to support the American Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The American Lung Association of the Northeast reinvests 79 cents on every dollar to support that mission, through research, education and advocacy. With more than 34 million Americans living with various lung diseases like lung cancer, asthma and COPD the American Lung Association strives to one day eradicate the threat.

The 2013 ‘Race Up Boston Place’ Fight for Air Climb was generously sponsored by Kindred Hospital Boston,  Premier Sponsor;  CB Richard Ellis; Captivate Network; Kindred Hospital Stoughton; Boston Scientific; Poland Spring; Whole Foods Market; 100.7 WZLX; and Mix 104.1. The event was also made possible with the support of national Corporate Team sponsor, Kindred Healthcare.

To make a contribution to support the Boston Fight for Air Climb, or to learn more about Fight for Air climbs being held throughout the Northeast, visit   

Kids On Time Boston
Kids On Time Race Up Boston Place 2013

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