There will be plenty of huffing and puffing going on at the Bi-Lo Center on Saturday morning, and it will be for a worthy cause.
The Upstate Fight For Air Climb will be held downtown at the Bi-Lo Center to raise money for the American Lung Association. It is the third year the event has been held.
The Fight For Air Climb pits teams of firefighters and other teams against each other to see who can raise the most money for the association. At 9 a.m. Saturday, firefighters and other climbers will scale 1,310 steps at the Bi-Lo Center while being electronically timed. The registration of $25 per person and additional fundraising minimum of $100 per person has thus far raised more than $26,000.
The firefighter competition will include firefighters from the Wade Hampton Fire Department, Travelers Rest Fire Department, Parker Fire Department, Greenville Fire Department and others. The participants in that climb will have to wear their gear.
"When you're talking about everything a firefighter wears, turnout gear, the air pack, you're talking about between 45 and 60 pounds," said Reggy Batson, firefighter for the Wade Hampton FD.
The 9 a.m. climb will be for firefighters and regular climbers. For those seeking more of a challenge, the "ultra climber" competition will be held at 8 a.m., and will require participants to climb the entire arena for a total of 3,743 steps.
Awards will be given to the fastest climbers in each category.