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Dold Goes for 6th Victory at Empire State

Empire State Building Run-Up

Empire State Building Run-Up

Defending Champion Dold Goes for Record Sixth Victory at Empire State Building Run-Up

More than 400 participants to climb 86 flights in iconic New York City building; 34th edition powered by MMRF

NEW YORK – Defending champion Thomas Dold of Germany looks to become the first person to win six titles when he headlines the field at the 34th Empire State Building Run-Up powered by MMRF on Tuesday, February 1, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.Dold, 25, who has won the last five Empire State Building Run-Ups, is currently tied with Australian great Paul Crake (1999-2003) and Al Waquie of the United States (1983-87) for most victories in this signature race on the NYRR calendar. The Empire State Building Run-Up will test the limits of some 400 competitors from around the world as they race up 86 flights – 1,576 steps – to the outdoor observation deck of the world’s most famous office building and the tallest building in New York City. In 2010, Dold crossed the finish line in 10 minutes, 16 seconds, while Melissa Moon of New Zealand finished in 13:13. Moon will not return to defend her title.

“As extreme sports continue to grow in popularity, NYRR is excited to continue with our own extreme event, the Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by MMRF,” said Wittenberg. “This iconic building is the perfect venue for runners from all over the world looking to capture their love of running and their love of New York City in one day.”

Dold is a standout in the sport of professional tower climbing, with a lengthy list of victories around the globe, his own website and several sponsors. Topping the World Cup rankings of the Tower Running circuit, Dold is up against tough competition from others near the top of the rankings, including Americans Jesse Berg, 38, of Chicago, IL, and Tim Van Orden, 42, of Bennington, VT.

“The Empire State Building is such an incredible building,” said Dold. “And to take part in a run that has a history longer than I’ve been alive, that’s always something special.”

Three-time women’s champion (2007-09) Suzy Walsham, 37, of Sydney, Australia, returns (after missing last year, when she was pregnant) with a chance of equaling the women’s race record of four wins, currently held by Cindy Harris, 42, of Indianapolis. Harris will be one of her leading challengers.

Crake, of Australia, holds the course record at 9:33, which he ran in 2003 to win his fifth consecutive Run-Up. Crake, whose course record is three minutes faster than Gary Muhrcke’s winning time in the inaugural 1978 race (12:33), was paralyzed in a tragic cycling accident in 2006, the same year that Andrea Mayr of Austria set the women’s record of 11:23.

This year, the Empire State Building Run-Up will also feature a charity race for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Approximately 100 participants will run for charity in the day’s first race, which will start at 8:00am. The preliminary race will start at 9:00am, followed by the ESB Brokers’ Challenge race at 9:30am and the Team for Kids race at 9:40am. The women’s invitational race will begin at 10:30am and will be followed by the men’s invitational heats at 10:35 and 10:40am.

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects.