Over 300 Athletes From 19 States And 17 Countries Competed In A Race To The Top Of The Empire State Building, Climbing 86 Floors Or 1,050 Feet

300 Athletes Race To The 86th Floor Of The Empire State Building

Empire State Building Race

Think you’re in good shape? How does an 86-floor, 1,576-stair climb sound? Not going to try it any time soon? Well, yesterday (Feb. 2) more than 300 athletes raced to the top of New York’s Empire State Building, starting in the lobby and ending on the 86th floor Observation Deck.

It’s a fifth of a mile, or 1,050 feet (although by the time you reach the top, it probably feels like a lot more.) We’ll just stay put, thanks. The race, which has been held 33 times since 1978, drew participants from 19 states and 17 countries.

Thomas Dold Takes Home The Prize

The overall winner was professional stair-racer Thomas Dold (yes, that's really what he does), with a time of 10:16--he took the top honors for the fifth year in a row. The fastest woman, Melissa Moon, hails from New Zealand, and is a 40-year-old mountain runner (You go girl!) Her time: 13:13. (The fastest the race has ever been run is 9:23.)

Neither of the top two women had ever climbed the Empire State Building before. The second-place woman was New York’s Gretchen Hurlbutt (let’s hear it for hometown girls!), who had never done any kind of stair race before. And yes, it is a real thing, and that is a real term. Stair races are held all over the world, and are often used to raise money for charities. (One is coming up in Chicago at the Presidential Towers at the end of March, for example.) But still, we’ll stick to the Stairmaster.