Pre-race preparation: The race kicked off at 8 p.m., so I had a full work day before the race… for lunch I had a sandwich from Melt Shop and also snacked on some animal crackers and clementines a few hours before the race.

Actual race: This year, they changed the way that they started the race. It used to be a mad dash at the start as a couple hundred people barreled up the stairs. This year, they kept that for the elites and the special heats, but for the open race, NYRR released a runner every five seconds. Because of this, my start time was just before 9 p.m.

It was so weird to run into the stairwell and just hear shoes squeaking from runners above you. There were a few people who passed me, and I passed a few people. At first, I started out running up the stairs — like on my toes, running. But my calves cramped, and after a handful of flights, I decided slow and steady was better. Suddenly, I was at the 20th floor — it went by so fast! The middle stairs — the 40s and 50s — were a little slow, but still moved quick.

At the end of the race, we burst outside on the observation deck and were able to see the errr… beautiful snowstorm swirling around? So the view wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was still amazing to know I was at the top of the Empire State Building. They rushed us back inside pretty quickly, but no complaints since it was pretty chilly outside.

hello... new york city?

What I loved: The race was amazing… how many people can say that they ran up to the top of the Empire State Building?! Simple as that.

Time: 19:57… I had no idea what to expect so I’m happy with how I finished. I guess this is a PR for running an 86-floor race.

Overall rating (5 out of 5 ups):


This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m not sure if its something that I would do every year (I am a little obsessed with marathons if you haven’t noticed), but such a cool thing to do once just to say that you’ve done it. Plus, getting the medal at the top was well worth it. However, if you do run this, be prepared for a three-packs-a-day smoker’s cough to bother you for days to come. Small price to pay…

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