Towerrunning 80 – WFGT Towerrunning Challenge
Empire State Building Run Up – New York – February 7, 2018
In the New York City winter there is one day when many people, some of them “media-equipped” gather at night on top of the town’s most iconic building. It is first February Wednesday, it is race day and they are waiting for the runners of the Empire State Building Run Up. Starting in the lobby the athletes arrive in the open on the 86th floor terrace after 1596 stairs and conquering 326 m altitude.
It was the 41st edition on February 7, 2018 and it is the right time to look back into the ESBRU archives to the “median” race of 1998. We notice as winners a certain Cindy Moll from Indianapolis with a time of 14:17 and a certain Terry Purcell from Australia with 10:49.
Since last year for the elite heats it is males first. There was only one previous winner in the line up, Terry Purcell ! Now US citizen last year he has resumed his stair career. Before the many year lasting break he had set some records in the Chicago area and in 2018 already had won the Dallas Vert Mile and AON. Terry is back to the top – 12:47 meant 7th place after Italy’s Fabio Ruga (12:31). Experience with the top has 5th place David Roeske (12:26) too, even on highest level – as two times he has climbed Mount Everest. 2006 Sproule Love won his first podium spot, this time for the 3rd time he placed 3rd with a time of 12:10, a mere second before Germany’s Ralf Hascher. Besides racing Ralf organized a FB Live stream too, supported by KC Kennedy – Thanks ! Not entirely unexpected second place went to Belgian executive officer Omar Bekkali in 11:53; he had been 2nd in 2011 and 3rd a year later. And the winner ? At his Empire premiere Frank Nicolas Carreno won in 10:50. For the Colombian from Bogota this was the most prestigious of his many wins and an “easy” one compared to his latest in his home race at Colpatria 2 months ago.
Ranking leader Suzy Walsham for a record 9th time crowned herself Empire Queen. In 12:56 she stormed to her 6th win in a row, exactly 20 seconds faster than Cindy Harris. Yes, the same Cindy, that won the 1998 race ! In 2018 1 min and 1 sec faster than at this first of 4 wins it meant the 16th podium for a never aging athlete. Held in form by her three children Long Island runner Shari Klarfeld claimed 3rd place in 13:43, not her first podium here. Mexican Melisa Lopez was strong 4th (14:17), whereas the Charlotte racers with podium experience, Stephanie Hucko and Meg Santanna placed 5th and 6th this year. In sum four Ladies from “Queen City” were among the Top12 ! Christine Soskins from California was on 7 with 14:55.
Statistics last: There was onely one twen athlete among Top 10, 27 year old Champion Frank Carreno ! The average age of the Ladies was 44,6 years and 39,5 years for the male Top10 athletes !
Picture credit to James Harris !