There will be at least one new champion at the 45th edition of Empire State Building Run Up ! The first absence in 25 years of 6 time champion Cindy Harris opens up a wide range. On one side there are the Empire experienced athletes. Home favourite Shari Klarfeld from Long Island, who came within 4 seconds of Cindy last year, and Mexican Maria Elisa Lopez both have a few podium spots on their record and know the stairwell. On the other side we have many Empire newbies with great potential but not used to mass start. Valentina Belotti from Italy seems to have most chances for at least a podium place, but will be contended by Japanese Yuko Tateishi who recently excelled in European races. Not to forget two athletes from Germany, Verena Schmitz and Monica Carl, later clocked 3rd-fastest time last year from outside the elite heat. Excitement is guaranteed !
More predictable is the situation for the male athletes.The Top3 from last year are on the line again and it looks like there will be an Asian duel for victory. Two time winner and defending champion Wai Ching Soh from Malaysia and last year runner up Ryoji Watanabe from Japan have raced each other a few times this year with different outcome. A complete repeat of last year’s podium is even possible as Italian Fabio Ruga will challenge the two favourites again. From a home point of view Empire veteran Sproule Love and youngster Cole Hetzel should be the strongest US participants.Other contenders for top spots are US runners Jason Larson and David Roeske and from Europe Belgian Omar Bekkali as well as from Italy Valentina’s husband Emanuele Manzi. But of course, as always in sports, surprises cannot be ruled out !
Live Stream of the Finish Line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U667bIef3IY