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400 expected for Salt Lake City's Fight for Air Climb event

SALT LAKE CITY — There will be a lot of heavy breathing downtown later this month when the American Lung Association sponsors its fifth annual Fight for Air Climb at the Wells Fargo building.

About 400 climbers are expected to climb the tower's 598 stairs to the 23rd floor on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker will make the climb at 10:40 a.m., and then serve as judge for the costume contest among climbers. The winner will receive two adult ski passes to Deer Valley.

Proceeds from the event benefit the organization's various health programs, including asthma camp for children, smoking cessation programs (for both teens and adults), asthma classes, COPD conferences and clean air advocacy. This year the goal is to net $60,000.

Almost 20 teams of firefighters have signed up to participate, and plan to climb the 23 floors dressed in 60-pound gear. Two will begin at 6.30 a.m. so they can make the climb 50 times before noon. Last year the man who climbed the most times went up 42 times and the winning female went up 27 times. The winning female plans to show up at 7 a.m. to beat her personal record.