Hustle Chicago FAQ

Have questions about the event? We developed a list of frequently asked questions to address your concerns and help you better understand how the climb works. 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.

COVID-19 Safety

What steps are you taking to keep climbers safe?

To ensure the safety of all climbers, volunteers, and building staff, we continue to follow all federal, local, and state public health guidelines around COVID-19. We are taking additional precautions as we return to an indoor venue, including:

  • 50% event capacity to allow proper social distancing.
  • Increased time between climber starts to reduce congestion in stairwells.
  • Requirement for all participants and volunteers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 72 hours of event.
  • Requirement for participants to wear masks, depending on updated local guidelines.

If Hustle Chicago cannot take place indoors on February 27 due to COVID-19 restrictions, RHA reserves the right to transfer all registrations to an outdoor alternative event in the spring of 2022.

I’m concerned about COVID-19 safety or am unable to climb in-person this year. Is there a virtual option?

You can still help people living with asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and other lung diseases. Sign up for the Hustle Virtual Climb!

Virtual climbers receive a Hustle Chicago t-shirt, bib, and commemorative medal. In addition, you can access our virtual climb platform to track your activity and interact with other virtual climbers.

Make the fitness challenge a fun part of the virtual experience. Climb on your own in the gym, your basement, or your building’s stairwell. However, there is no requirement to prove you’ve climbed 94 flights on your own. Your key role as a virtual climber is making a difference through fundraising.

You’ll have full access to the RHA Fundraising Toolkit and be able to create a personal fundraising page to help with your efforts. Virtual climbers also qualify for fundraising contests and incentive prizes! Please note that virtual climbers are not be permitted to participate in the in-person climb on event day.

Before You Climb

Learn more about what you can expect on event day and what you will need to prepare for your climb.

How does the climb work?

All Hustle Chicago stair climb participants are assigned to a 15-minute climb wave and start their individual stair climb within that window. You should plan to arrive and be ready to line up one hour ahead of your assigned climb wave.

The Full Climb sponsored by Omron starts at 7:00 a.m. The Half Climb begins at 8:00 a.m.

You’ll be amazed at how efficiently thousands of climbers move through 875 N. Michigan and up the stairwells. You will spend time in line during the event but we have perfected the climb wave system to minimize your wait as much as possible.


Each Hustle Chicago® participant is assigned to a “wave” time. Climb waves begin every 15 minutes. You and other climbers assigned to your wave will be allowed to line up at the stairwell entrance approximately 15 minutes prior to your wave time. Climbers are then released into the stairwells in intervals to ensure a safe and regulated event.

The Full Climb sponsored by Omron starts at 7:00 a.m. with waves typically scheduled through 3:00 p.m.

The Half Climb begins at 8:00 a.m. with waves typically concluding by 10:00 a.m.

Can I pick what time I climb?

Although individual participants can’t request specific climb wave times, there a few ways to influence your assigned time.

• Register as a Lung Health Champion – One benefit of committing to raise $1,000 is selecting your climb wave time preference.
• Create a Team – All team members will be assigned to the same wave. Minimum team size is two participants – if you want to climb at the same time as a friend, consider forming a team!
• Register for the Elite Climb – Participants in this division are assigned to the 7:00 a.m. climb wave.
• Register for the Firefighters Climb – Teams and individuals are assigned to the 10:00 a.m. climb wave.

We assign climb waves in advance of the event and all are final. With thousands of climbers expected, it’s not possible to accommodate individual requests for specific wave times or change times once assignments are made.

Your climb wave is shared in your event packet at packet pickup. RHA is not able to provide this information by phone or email. Want to receive your climb wave time early? Sign up to receive your packet by mail and your time will be mailed along with your event shirt, bib, and other materials a few weeks prior to the event date.

I’m climbing Hustle Chicago! What do I need to do before arriving at 875 N. Michigan?

Every climber receives a packet including your climbing bib, start time, timing device, t-shirt, pins, and additional event information. You’ll also receive a virtual goody bag with offers from our partners and sponsors!

If you’re climbing as an individual (not with a team), you will need to pick up your event packet in advance of the event. Team packets will be shipped 2-3 weeks prior to event to team captains. Participants may pick up for other individual climbers if you know the correct spelling of their full name and climb category. Please note that your event bib included in the packet serves as your ticket for entry at 875 N. Michigan Ave. and we cannot let you in without it!

Individual climbers can do one of two things to get their packets:

1) Pick up climb packets from the Respiratory Health Association office on event weekend. The building is located conveniently in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

1440 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-628-0200

Friday, February 25
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 26
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


2) Order climb packet to be mailed before the climb. Individual packets will be shipped 2-3 weeks prior to the event. There is a $17 fee per packet. Climb packets can be ordered until January 31.

NOTE: There is no packet pick-up on event day! Individuals who do not pick up their climb packet during the designated packet pick-up times will forfeit their climbing spots.

Day of Event

Thousands of people are expected to attend Hustle Chicago® stair climb. Please review additional important information below to make your experience as smooth as possible!

How do I get there?

Transportation to 875 N. Michigan and parking costs are the responsibility of each climber. See below for various options to get to the building on event day.

CTA Bus Routes
We encourage you to consider public transportation due to the number of people present on event day!

CTA’s #151 and 146 bus routes will drop you off directly in front of 875 N. Michigan. Visit or call 836-7000 (any area code) for CTA travel information.

Discounted parking is available exclusively at the 875 N. Michigan Parking Garage ahead of time by using the reservation tool below. You may access the garage from the Chestnut or Delaware side of the building. As part of security procedures, uniformed personnel may check vehicles entering the 875 N. Michigan Parking Garage. Please allow extra time for this security check and obey all instructions given by 875 N. Michigan staff. We suggest leaving your coat and belongings secured in your car. Please note your wave’s start time to ensure you select the correct time parameters for your parking pass.








Spot Hero
Save up to 50% when you book a parking spot in advance at a nearby garage.

Bloomingdales Building
Parking garage located at 900 N. Michigan Avenue. Discount available with any purchase, e.g. coffee.

Water Tower Place Valet
Available at the Hilton Suites Chicago. Parking rate is $28 up to 2 hours and $36 for 2 – 6 hours.

Nearby Parking Garages

• Park at 100 East Walton
• East of Michigan Avenue on Delaware Street
• West of Michigan Avenue on Delaware Street

All prices are subject to change without notice.

I want to stay nearby before or after the event. Do you have any recommendations?

We are excited to partner with the Hilton Chicago/Magnificent Mile Suites! Extend your Hustle Chicago stair climb experience and stay pre- or post-event at the official hotel sponsor of Hustle Chicago stair climb.

What kind of security can I expect at the building?

We are guests of 875 N. Michigan, which houses both businesses and personal residences. Please be courteous to all. Security procedures must be followed and security personnel will be present in all areas. Car and bag checks may be done in the parking garage and other areas and is left up to the discretion of 875 N. Michigan security.

To ensure everyone’s safety, climbers are not permitted to leave the stairwells unless escorted by security, who will be stationed at 10 floor intervals (approximately). 875 N. Michigan security will be in radio communication and prepared to assist you in case of an emergency.

Are restrooms available?

Before you climb, restrooms are located on the Concourse/Garden Level BEHIND the Cheesecake Factory (not inside) and in 360 CHICAGO Gift Shop behind the entrance desk. Facilities are also located at the finish line in 360 CHICAGO — men’s on the north side, women’s on the south side. No restroom facilities are accessible from the stairwells. Like all large fitness events, lines for restrooms are likely to be long.

Can I check my coat and other gear?

Yes! We have several options available to you, all outlined below.

A small-bag gear check is provided at the Hilton Suites Magnificent Mile, 198 East Delaware – the same convenient location as the Hustle Chicago After Party. While the gear check room is monitored by event volunteers, RHA cannot accept liability for lost items. Bring only necessities and leave valuable items at home.

A coat-only check is available on the Garden/Concourse level at 875 N. Michigan where you enter line-up for your climb. Space is extremely limited and you will not be able to store tote bags, duffel bags, phones, cameras, keys, etc. There are absolutely no exceptions at coat-only check. If you have small items to store on event day, visit Gear Check at Hilton Suites before coming to 875 N. Michigan.

• To keep the walkways open and safe for all participants, items cannot be left unattended. Found items will be removed by RHA volunteers and/or security and will not be available for return.
• Use a bag that has unique marks, tags or other identifiable characteristics for easier retrieval from Gear Check.
• Keep checked items and size to a minimum.
• Event photos are provided so you can leave your camera equipment at home.
• Please do not bring other valuables to the event.
• If you park at 875 N. Michigan, leave your gear in your vehicle.
• If you have guests attending the event, consider having your guests hold your small-bag items while you climb.

Do you take photos at the event?

Yes, we have professional photographers on-site to capture the day. A variety of photo opportunities are provided to capture the climb experience including your individual climb!

What happens if I have trouble or need help while I’m climbing?

Medical assistance is available throughout the entire event. Medical staff will be on-site for those who may need assistance throughout the event in various areas including the concourse level, stairwells and at the finish line in 360 CHICAGO. They are easily identified by their red shirts with white print. An ambulance with paramedic staff will also be on site. Any volunteer can assist you with accessing medical personnel. If you must exit the stairwell in case of an emergency or you are unable to complete the climb, please seek security, volunteer or medical staff for assistance to be properly escorted. Do not exit any floor without 875 N. Michigan security personnel!


Climb Training and Safety

Do you have tips for training?

We’ve assembled great training tips for Hustle Chicago® stair climb, provided by our friends at Fleet Feet along with past climbers.

  • Once or twice a week punctuate your workout with a number of higher intensity bursts. This will help condition your body and mind for “the burn.” This type of workout also burns more calories than a moderate workout of the same duration. For example, complete a 10-20 minute warm-up followed by 10 x 1 minute hard & 1 minute easy and a 10-20 minute cool-down.
  • Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
  • Experiment with your clothing, shoes, and accessories before the event. There is nothing worse than finding out your lucky shirt chafes you on floor 35. You may want to try a dissolvable lozenge strip to aid in those dry stairwells.
  • Be consistent. Working out 3 or 4 times a week the 4 weeks prior to the event will be much more beneficial than pulling two-a-days the 3 days before.
  • Be smart. No one cares if you complete a world record time in practice, Leave something in the tank for the big day.
  • Don’t neglect the upper body. Pulling on the handrails with your arms is perfectly acceptable and just as important as pushing with your legs.
  • Fuel well. Try to eat some carbs and protein within a half-hour of your workouts. You’ll feel much better in the next workout because you’ve fueled your body for adaptation.
  • Stay hydrated. Good hydration practices will speed recovery from workouts and prepare you for your best possible experience on the day of the event.
  • Don’t get psyched out. Yes 94 flights (or 52 for that matter) on foot is crazy, but why would you be doing it if it weren’t? You can do it. We believe in you. Somewhere in the first 3rd you’ll start to feel like you’re drowning. Just put your head down and pull with your arms and you’ll be feeling better soon!

Gear Recommendations

  • Synthetic or Merino wool socks
  • Body Glide!!
  • Cough drops or dissolvable lozenge strips
  • A tested (not brand new) pair of running shorts
  • A tested (not brand new) t-shirt or singlet
  • Sweatband/hat/visor

Do you have tips for preparing to climb on event day?

As the Official Provider of Physical Therapy for Hustle Chicago, Athletico is happy to provide the following tips to ensure a healthy climb.  Also, be sure to visit the Athletico booth at the Hustle Chicago After Party and allow our experts to stretch you out after reaching the top! 

Warm-Up & Recovery Tips Presented By


1) Strengthen Your Hip Flexors

In addition to quadricep and gluteal strengthening, add “flavor” to your training with mountain climbers and standing hip flexor strengthening. Focus on fast, lighter weight repetitions to mimic the drive necessary for bounding up steps. Also make sure to incorporate calf strengthening. Train the explosive portion necessary to propel your body up stairs with exercises like wall jumps, skipping, jumping rope or rapid jumping.

2) Focus on the Task

Practice running stairs. While multiple flights are optimal, even a single flight will be beneficial. For shorter flights, perform multiple sets or train for a specific duration of time. Run up and walk down. Think creatively for places to practice – parking structures, football stadiums or local businesses are great locations.

3) Incorporate Explosive Training

Jumping rope, plyometrics and step taps all fulfill this criteria. Work to achieve rapid foot turnover. Your goal is to make rapidly negotiating stairs automatic. Form is key to plyometric training as injuries and increased joint loading occur as form fails.

4) Don’t Neglect Abdominals

Abdominal and “core” strengthening is essential to keep your body upright and provide a stable foundation for the lower chain. Optimally, train abdominals in standing to mimic race conditions – medicine ball throws and planks can both be effective.

5) Stay Flexible

Stretch hamstrings and calves for maximum force generation. Before training, use dynamic warm up inchworms and straight leg kicks. Following a workout, long duration stretching can be used. Incorporating daily stretching or foam rolling into any exercise program helps to balance strength and prevent injury.

6) Train Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing and proper breath control is essential to any endurance activity. Breathing with the belly rather than the chest is the key. Deep controlled breathing prevents side cramps and optimizes oxygen flow to working muscles. Alternate the exhalation phase between right and left foot strikes. Stairwells are dusty and dry, so breathing is especially important.

For the complete article, click here.

No matter how your pain starts – from stair climbs to daily activities – we can help.  Athletico would like to be your first option when seeking medical care. Through our free assessment, we can save you time, money, and instill peace of mind while recommending treatment options to get you back to doing the things you love. Free assessments are available at any Athletico clinic location or virtually from a mobile or desktop connection. Don’t delay the recovery process, schedule your free assessment today.


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