FOURTH STREET STAIRS — Matt Richter-Sand will be celebrating his 31st birthday this Saturday, but he won’t be indulging in any cake and ice cream.
Instead, he will be scaling the physically-challenging Santa Monica Fourth Street stairs a total of 100 times.
Richter-Sand describes this feat as a BHAG — or Big Hairy Audacious Goal — that he tries to accomplish every year. This year he says he will be climbing the equivalent of 10 Empire State Buildings.
“It’ll be a fun day,” he said. “I expect to be out there for at least half of the day, if not longer.”
Aside from being a unique choice for a birthday celebration, Richter-Sand hopes that his day at the stairs will raise awareness for the American Diabetes Association, a charity to which he gives 5 percent of his company’s profits every month. Richter-Sand is a United States Air Force veteran and founder and CEO of NX Fitness, a Santa Monica company that helps people manage their weight and get fit.
“I’m trying to help solve the obesity problem,” said Richter-Sand, who exercises at the Santa Monica stairs two to three times per month.
Richter-Sand’s mother is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which is another reason the fight against the deadly disease is so important to him.
Richter-Sand won’t be alone on his birthday.
“My friends are gonna show up and run most of it with me,” he said. He also invited anyone else who is interested in running the stairs to join him.
After he is finished exercising, Richter-Sand said he will “probably just hang somewhere in Santa Monica” to celebrate the rest of his birthday with his friends.