Yesterday was the NY Road Runners Club's 30th Annual Empire State Building Run-up. And, yes, the runners were wearing shorts and T-shirts when they emerged on the skyscraper's roof. Thomas Dold (above, left) of Germany won the men's race in 10 minutes and 25 seconds while Suvy Walsham (above, right) of Singapore (and Australia, apparently) won the women's in 13 minutes 12 seconds. (American Cindy Moll-Harris finished second, at 13:24.)
The Empire State Building's 1576 steps is equivalent to a 1/5 of a mile, but many runners find it harder than regular races. New Yorker Fiona Balyly, who finished third in the women's race at 13:25, explained to the NY Road Runner's Club, “It’s harder than a marathon. You’re going at maximal effort right from the start. You don’t want to go any harder, but you have to go harder." And the race's start is a serious scrum: Check out this photograph.
But the most touching story might be the one of 76-year-old Brooklyn triathlete Al Puma, who completed the race in just over 27 minutes. Even though Puma, who lives in Manhattan Beach, told the Daily News, "At my age, it's getting tougher and tougher to do this," we're not sure we could climb to the top in a hour, let alone a half hour.
Photographs of the 30th Annual Empire State Building Run-up by Adam Rountree/AP