Odd Ball: Weird NYC Sports
by Jonathan Zeller, 01/02/2013
Empire State Building Run-Up
What is it? It's exactly what it sounds like: a race from the lobby of the Empire State Building up 86 flights of stairs to a finish line at the observation deck. To avoid excessive crowding in stairwells not meant to handle 600 runners at once, the start times are staggered, with elite competitors going first. Thomas Dold of Germany—a sort of Usain Bolt of bizarre races, who also excels at backward running—has won seven consecutive Run-Ups. This year's race is scheduled for February 6.
Why should you go? Well, you'd have to compete—you can't just sit and watch people run up the steps. Why would you race? Perhaps you enjoy severe pain in your quadriceps. Just kidding. Racing to the top of one of the world's best-known buildings and finishing with a panoramic nighttime view of the City is most likely an extremely rewarding feeling—albeit one we doubt we'll ever experience personally.