Hustle Chicago® Stair Climb at Soldier Field FAQ

FAQ’s for the 2023 event at 875 N Michigan Avenue coming in Fall 2022.

Have questions about the 2022 event? We developed a list of frequently asked questions to address your concerns and help you better understand how this year’s climb will work. Click on the down arrow in each box to show the answer.

Still can’t find what you need? Email us at [email protected] or call 312-628-0210.

General Event and Safety Information

How will you prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep climbers safe?

Please note: Our health and safety policies below have changed based on improvements in COVID-19 positivity rates, increased vaccination rates, and decreases in hospitalizations. We prioritize the safety of all participants and will continue to monitor and follow guidance from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). This includes any restrictions on the size of in-person gatherings.
  • Outdoor event: Hosting the climb in the open air, where COVID-19 spread is known to be less likely, means we can offer a safe experience. In addition, staff at Soldier Field will be onsite and following strict procedures for cleaning and sanitizing, including restroom areas.
  • Masks: RHA will follow any local, state, federal, or venue protocols required at the time of the event. There is currently no mask requirement for outdoor events, and they will not be required at Soldier Field. Participants, volunteers, staff, and guests are encouraged to wear a mask in areas at the event where large numbers of people gather – such as the start line, after party, etc.
  • Vaccinations: While the 2022 event will not require participants to provide proof of vaccination for entry, we strongly encourage all participants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, we recommend all participants take a Covid test within 72 hours of the event and do not participate in case of a positive test.
  • Social distancing: Social distancing guidelines will be encouraged throughout the stadium. Each staging area of the climb will have six-foot markers to keep climbers spaced apart, and climbers will only be allowed to start their climb once the individual in front of them reaches a pre-identified marker. Additionally, Soldier Field’s wide common spaces and walkways allow for social distancing – which will also include designed crowd flow patterns to assist in keeping people at an appropriate distance from each another. Restroom areas at Soldier Field will be open throughout the 400 level of the stadium with limited capacity at any given time.
  • Event participants, sponsors, vendors, guests, and volunteers who may be experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, or who have recently been in contact with a person experiencing symptoms, are asked not to attend the event.

Do I have to wear a mask during the event?

RHA will follow any local, state, federal, or venue protocols required at the time of the event. There is currently no mask requirement for outdoor events, and they will not be required at Soldier Field. Participants, volunteers, staff, and guests are encouraged to wear a mask in areas at the event where large numbers of people gather – such as the start line, after party, etc.

How will the Soldier Field climb work?

Participants will climb in one of eight assigned sections of the stadium’s upper deck (400 level), in waves that include ten climbers. Climbers will go in loops, taking the stairs of their designated section up and down as many times as they can during a 20-minute period. Each stair section will be designated for one-way foot traffic and climber start times will be spaced out to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Climbers moving at a faster pace cannot pass people in front of them. For your safety and the safety of others, we will ask you always keep a six-feet distance from other climbers.
  • Due to the need for social distancing, we will not be tracking individual climb times. Climbers are welcome to bring their own fitness trackers or timing devices with them if they wish to record their progress.
  • Event staff will time and release climbers to begin their 20-minute time slot individually.
Note: Climbing 7-8 full loops (up and down) is most like the 1,632 stairs at our traditional 875 N. Michigan Ave. climb (formerly known as John Hancock Center).

What if I need a break or cannot finish my climb?

If you need to take a break while climbing, the seating area in each section will be open. We will ask climbers to step at least six feet into an empty row to take a break and then re-enter at a time they can keep enough distance from another climber. If climbers are unable to finish, they can notify a volunteer and exit their designated loop.

Will there be food and water available?

Bottled water will be available at the staging area before you start your climb and right after. There will also be bananas and oranges available once you complete your climb. We will also feature an after party with music, food, drinks, and giveaways – all under the iconic Soldier Field outdoor colonnades!

What happens if there’s rain on event day?

We will host the event rain or shine. Soldier Field personnel can prepare the stadium under reasonable weather conditions. In the event of any extreme inclement weather, Soldier Field will notify Respiratory Health Association and Hustle Chicago of any decisions within 24 hours of the event. Event organizers will then notify participants via email of any last-minute changes, cancellations, rescheduling, etc.

How many steps are at this year’s Hustle Chicago?

Each section of Soldier Field has between 104-110 steps to the top and 104-110 steps down. The number of steps each climber takes will depend on how many loops they make.

Where do I get my registration packet?

Packet Pick Up will be available on Friday, May 13 from 10 AM - 6 PM and Saturday, May 14 from 10 AM - 4 PM at Respiratory Health Association’s office in the West Loop. If you would prefer to have your packet mailed to you before the event, please sign up for the packet mailing and we will mail your packet to the address provided during registration. If you are on a team, your packet will be mailed to your team captain. Packets will include a moisture-wicking event shirt and bib that will include your climb time.

Where do I go on event day?

Climbers should enter Soldier Field through Gate 45 across from the Field Museum (on McFetridge Drive) and proceed up the Plaza walkway. To ensure everyone’s safety and limit contact with climbers, you should have received your registration packet prior to event day either at Packet Pick Up or by mail. Please remember to bring the bib included in your registration packet as this is required for entry into the stadium.

What can I bring with me to climb?

We encourage you to “pack light” and only bring what you can carry as we will not offer gear check this year. You may bring a small backpack, but you must always keep it with you while inside Soldier Field.

Can I invite guests to watch me climb?

Yes, guest passes can be purchased here. Guests will receive exclusive access to the stadium, view the climb from the 300 level seating section, attend the after party under the iconic colonnades, and cheer on their favorite team or climbers.

Can I pick my start time? How will I find out when my climb starts?

Only Lung Health Champions (people who register at our highest fundraising commitment) can request a start time. These times are not guaranteed, but we do our best to accommodate requests as a thank you for their outstanding fundraising commitment. We list all climb times on event bibs. You will receive this on your bib with your other registration materials prior to event day. Climb times begin between 7 AM - 3:30 PM.

What should I know about arriving at Soldier Field on event day?

If you are driving to the event, parking is available in the North Garage on Museum Campus Drive. Parking is available for a $25 fee for four hours. Soldier Field security and management will be onsite throughout the event. Bag checks are at the discretion of Soldier Field security personnel and may be required (and will follow venue regulations).

I don’t feel comfortable climbing in-person. Can I still participate?

Yes! We encourage people to consider our Hustle Chicago virtual experience – a fun, interactive fitness journey you can take (virtually) with other lung health heroes. Registration for the virtual climb is $25 and includes a t-shirt and finisher medal. We also welcome virtual participants to fundraise in support of Respiratory Health Association, but it is not required.

What is your refund policy?

Registrations are final. While we are not able to offer credit, transfers, or refunds for last-minute illnesses, work-related conflicts, personal emergencies, or events beyond our control, you are always welcome to substitute someone in your place, as we understand that these things happen. If we are unable to host the event on May 15 due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will work with Soldier Field to reschedule the in-person climb (if possible). If we are unable to continue with a Soldier Field climb in 2022, participants will be contacted with further information. All fundraising efforts for Respiratory Health Association as part of the 2022 climb are non-refundable.

Registration and Fundraising

Registration is open! Register here. As event capacity for this year is reduced, and registration will close once full, we encourage people to register as soon as possible to secure a spot.

How much does the event cost?

Every climber will pay $155 upfront to register for the in-person event. This includes a $55 registration fee, which covers event costs and provides each participant with event materials, a specially designed t-shirt, and finisher medal. It also includes a $100 donation minimum, which will be applied toward a participant’s fundraising goal. All donations directly support Respiratory Health Association’s community lung health work.

What do the event registration fees cover?

Every climber’s $55 registration fee includes:
  • Exclusive access to designated areas of Solider Field on event day
  • Name recognition on the iconic stadium LED ribbon
  • Souvenir short sleeve event shirt
  • A color finisher medal
  • An event bib with personal number and climb time
  • Access to on after party inside the Soldier Field colonnades
  • A personalized fundraising platform and leaderboard
  • A fundraising coach to help reach your individual pledge amount
  • Bottled water and post-climb banana or orange to re-fuel
  • Designated areas in the stadium to take photos
  • The ultimate fitness challenge and memories to last a lifetime!
Additional incentives are available for each fundraising level. Lung Health Champions:
  • Your name on Soldier Field jumbotron
  • Special LHC event shirt
  • Hustle Chicago® Incentive Prize TBD
  • Ribbon recognition on race bib
  • Opportunity to choose your climb time

Why do I have to pay a pledge upfront?

Your $100 minimum pledge to participate in this year’s climb at Soldier Field will support Respiratory Health Association’s important lung health work. Event participants like you share and support RHA’s vision of healthy lungs and clean air for all. Your donation makes it possible to raise lung disease awareness, provide programs to help people living with lung disease, fund research into finding new treatments for lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer, and to advocate clean air policies to help everyone breathe easier.

When does registration close?

Spots in the 2022 climb are limited. Unless sold out prior, team registration closes April 15 and individual registration closes April 29.

Can I register someone else?

Yes, you can register additional participants when registering yourself.

When is the fundraising deadline?

Friday, June 3. If you signed up for the in-person event at the Lung Health Champion level and have not met your fundraising goal by this date, we will charge the outstanding balance to the card you used while registering.

I’m doing the virtual climb. Can I still fundraise for Respiratory Health Association?

Yes, and we love your enthusiasm! While you are not required to fundraise as a virtual climber, we welcome your additional support of healthy lungs and clean air for all.

How do I get scheduled at the same time as another participant?

Consider creating a team to make sure you climb in the same wave as someone else. Teams only require a two-person minimum. If you are not creating a team and would like to climb together, please email us at [email protected] as soon as you and your climb partner register to request the same time. However, we cannot guarantee you will be placed together unless you create a team due to limited waves and our safety protocols. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.

Will there be an Elite division or Firefighter division this year?

No, not for this year’s climb. To adhere to social distancing requirements, this event will not be timed. We still welcome both Elite and Firefighter athletes to join us!

Is there an age limit to participate?

Yes, you must be 5 years or older to climb. Climbers are not allowed to carry a child with them.

I registered but can no longer participate. Can someone substitute for me?

Yes, you can have someone substitute in your place if you no longer wish to take part in the event. The payment should be handled between the original participant and the participant substituting. Contact us at [email protected] to obtain a substitution form.

Can I volunteer at this year’s climb?

Yes, volunteer registration is open! Spots are limited, so click here to register now to secure your spot. Volunteers are a key part of a successful event, and we appreciate your support. Have questions? Reach out to Jamie Blair at [email protected].

Teams

As in years past, we once again welcome teams to climb together! To keep everyone safe, we have made a few changes to this process for our 2022 climb at Soldier Field.

Can I create a team with both in-person and virtual climbers?

No, teams must include either all in-person (at Soldier Field) climbers OR all virtual climbers. Any teams mixed between the two options will be altered to reflect this.

I’m a captain registering a team for the virtual climb. Is there anything I need to do differently?

If registering a virtual-only climb team, we ask that you add ‘Virtual’ to the beginning of your team name (i.e., Virtual Stair Steppers).

Does it cost more to climb with a team?

Yes, there is a $125 team fee. This fee guarantees you will climb together, provides digital professional photos, and includes shipping of everyone’s packets to the team captain approximately two weeks before the event. All teams will be entered into a drawing for a $300 Revolution Brewing gift card or a $250 Visa gift card. Have more than 10 people? Skip the additional team fee(s) by emailing us at [email protected] to get a code and waive the fee. Please add ‘2’ or ‘3’ to the end of your team name (i.e., Stair Steppers – 2).

How many people can be on a team?

This year we are limiting team sizes to between 2 and 10 people. No spots will be held for climbers on your team; spots are available first come, first served. Teams must be made up of either only climbers participating in-person at Soldier Field OR only virtual climbers. Have more than 10 people? Skip the additional team fee(s) by emailing us at [email protected] to get a code and waive the fee. Please add ‘2’ or ‘3’ to the end of your team name (i.e., Stair Steppers – 2).

How can teams get their registration packets?

Registration packets for all team members will be mailed to the team captain. Team captains are responsible for distributing event materials to team members.

Can our team get a professional photo?

Yes, teams will have a team photo taken on site at the event this year. Make sure to round everyone up for a photo to remember your climb at iconic Soldier Field!

I want to organize a team of coworkers. Are you still offering the Corporate Climb?

Yes! We are again encouraging workplace teams to join us at the 2022 climb. The same team restrictions will apply to Corporate Climb teams. If you’d like more information or want to join us this year as a Corporate Climb team, find more information here. Have questions? Reach out to Alyssa Trybus at [email protected].

 

Have another question? Please reach out to our Special Events department at [email protected].