UPDATE: 2011 Empire State Building Run-Up

empirestatebldgThe 34th annual NYRR Empire State Building Run-Up is set to take place on Tuesday, 1 February 2011. Who knew there was such a thing as a tower climbing competition? Apparently quite a few people.

The most famous stair race and, according to the organizers, the oldest of its kind, the Empire State Building Run Up will test the limits of some 315 competitors from 19 states and 17 countries. The race is up 86 flights—1,576 steps—to the outdoor observation deck of the landmark Art Deco skyscraper and the tallest building in New York City.

If the thought of a broken escalator or elevator fills you with dread, then stay away from this competition. Only the fit and fearless need apply.

In 2010, Thomas Dold of Germany crossed the finish line in 10 minutes, 16 seconds. Three-time winner Suzy Walsham of Sydney, Australia, finished in 13:27 in 2009 and Melissa Moon won last year with a time of 13:13.

Dold, who graduated in 2009 from his college in Stuttgart, Germany, is a standout in the sport of professional tower climbing, with a lengthy list of victories around the globe, his own website, and several sponsors. Since December, he has commuted to Frankfurt twice weekly to train at the Main Tower, a skyscraper that is 200 metres tall (52 floors and nearly 1,000 stairs).

Cindy Moll-Harris, 41, of Indianapolis, will once again aim for her fifth title. Moll-Harris is the only woman to have won the race four times (1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003).

Last year, Ginette Bedard, 76, of Howard Beach, NY, and Piero Dettin, 72, of Venice, Italy, were the oldest female and male participants entered in the race. On the other end of the age spectrum, 24-year-old Kacie Lauren Fischer of Shell Beach, CA, and 18-year-old Anthony John Scimone of Lakeland, FL, were the youngest.

We all know stair-climbing is great exercise, and a quick way to get your heart pumping. Now you can get fit and win some accolades at the same time.

NYRR Empire State Building Run-Up FAST FACTS:

  • The race climbs 1,050 feet, or approximately 1/5 mile.
  • The 86 flights have a total of 1,576 steps (18-19 steps per flight).
  • Soaring 102 stories and 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the world’s most famous office building, and the tallest building in New York City.
  • The Empire State Building opened to the public on May 1, 1931.
  • Visitors reach the Observatory, on the 86th floor, by elevator in less than a minute.
  • Gary Muhrcke (12:33) and Marcy Schwamm (16:04) were the winners of the inaugural Run-Up, in 1978. Muhrcke also won the inaugural New York City Marathon, in 1970.
  • The fastest-ever NYRR Empire State Building Run-Up finisher, Paul Crake of Australia, reached the Observation Deck in 9 minutes, 33 seconds, in 2003. The women’s record of 11:23 was set in 2006 by Andrea Mayr of Austria.
  • Paul Crake and Al Waquie are tied for the most Empire State Building Run-Up wins (five).
  • In 2009, Thomas Dold of Germany and Suzy Walsham of Australia both successfully defended their titles, finishing the race in 10:07 and 13:27, respectively. It was Dold’s fourth title, and Walsham’s third.
  • Cindy Moll (now Moll-Harris) is the only woman to have won the race four times (1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003).
  • More than 300 people participated in the 2009 race, representing 25 states and 17 countries.
  • Since the inception of the race in 1978, there have been 3,662 finishers

The application for the invitation-only race is now CLOSED. Athletes can still get guaranteed entry by running for charity. Join the MMRF PowerTeam or NYRR’s Team for Kids. Empire State Building Run-up Application Request, New York Road Runners Club, 9, E 89th St, New York 10128.

Course Records

Paul Crake: 9:33 (2003)
Andrea Mayr: 11:23 (2006)

2010 Champions

Thomas Dold – 10:16

2011 Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by MMRF
Distance: 00.2 Miles, 00.3 Kilometers
Date/Time: February 1, 2011, 8:00 AM
Location: Empire State Building
Weather: 27 degrees, 92% humidity, wind NE 17 mph.


Overall Male Winner(s)

1 Thomas Dold                26      GER        0:10:10
2 Omar Bekkali               32                 0:11:25
3 Christian Riedl            30                 0:11:29

Overall Female Winner(s)

1 Alice Mcnamara             24                 0:13:03
2 Cristina Bonacina          35                 0:13:54
3 Cindy Harris               42                 0:14:03

Full Results

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