Tag Archives: New York Road Runners Club

Mission Completed- I Ran Up the Empire State Building!

a man holding a medal
Nice views from the Observation Deck

In late December I signed up for an odd running event- the Empire State Building Run- Up.

Last night I headed into Manhattan to torture myself a little by running up the Empire State Building. I ran up 86 Floors which is 1,576 steps. Runners are released in waves so by the time I got started it was almost 9:30 PM.

a tall building with a bright top

There were over 700 runners registered for the event, the largest field ever. The race was well organized which is impressive due to the logistics involved. The run ended at the Observation Deck which was closed to the public for the race.

a blurry image of people in a hallway
Blurry Kelly Ripa photo

The beginning waves were open to invited runners. The first two were for runners competing to get to the top first. Wave 1 was for top women runners (about 7), Wave 2 was for top men runners (also 7). Wave 4 was for news and media. A friend had mentioned to me that Kelly Ripa was running. She was the biggest name there from what I could tell. After all of the media left the staging area Kelly was announced and she ran out to loud cheers. I tried to take a photo of her but the iPhone camera was way too slow so all I got was the blurry image above.

a group of people in a building
The Starting Line

While waiting around for my wave to run, I had plenty of time to think about what I had gotten myself into. I had trained on a stairmaster but I knew it was not at all like the real thing.

Running up the stairs in the Empire State Building was a painful and grueling task. It was extremely hot with little fresh air to be had. My legs started feeling a bit heavy before I got to the 20th floor, the first water stop. To keep motivated, I had my mind on the next stop on  the 65th floor. From there it was only 20 more floors to the top. It is much harder to breathe properly while running up stairs opposed to when I am running at the park. However, once I got to the top I actually felt pretty good. I was very tired and sweaty but my legs felt great. The only bother I had was a little pain in my lower back- probably more from sitting on the floor when working with my students at times.

a silver medal with a logo on it

All runners that completed the run got this nice, shiny medal. I proudly wore it while admiring the views from the Observation Deck. It was freezing up there and very windy but I braved the cold and took a few photos. (The photos were not so good since I was using my iPhone.)

a long sleeved shirt and a bag

All registered runners also received a couple of goodies. We were given a draw-string bag and a very nice long sleeve wicking T-shirt.

Overall, I am really glad that I participated in the event. I am looking forward to finding out how long it took me to finish later today.

I can’t say that I have the desire to run up the Empire State Building again, but then again you never know!