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Empire State Building Hosts Annual Run-Up, Presented by Turkish Airlines and Powered by the Challenged Athletes Foundation


— Photos/videos from the race can be downloaded here ( ).
— Notable runners in this year’s race included TV Host Nev Schulman and Iraq War Veteran Anthony Smith

The Empire State Building ( ) (ESB) today hosted the 44th annual Run-Up, presented by Turkish Airlines and powered by Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). In several designated heats, 374 runners from around the world raced up the 1,576 stairs to reach the finish line on the building’s iconic 86th Floor Observatory.

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“We are inspired each year by the athletes from all over the world who train and take part in this ultimate test of endurance,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory. “A big congratulations to all who came to the “World’s Most Famous Building” to participate in the Empire State Building Run-Up.”

Soh Wai Ching of Malaysia took the top spot in the Men’s Elite category with a time of 10:44, finishing before Ryoji Watanabe of Japan and Fabio Ruga of Italy. This is the 28-year-old’s second consecutive ESBRU win.

“I’m so happy to be here to compete again. This is my second win, and I improved my time,” said Wai Ching. “I hope to be back again next year and to improve my time [again].”

Cindy Harris of Indianapolis, In. finished first in the Women’s Elite heat with a time of 13:56, ahead of Shari Klarfeld of Plainview, NY and Maria Elisa La Pez Pimentel of Mexico. This was Harris’ 24th Run-Up and sixth win. She beat her 2021 time of 14:01.

“I feel really good and very fortunate to be doing this so long,” said Harris. “[Running this race] means a lot, especially this competition because this one was very close.”

“Catfish” host Nev Schulman ran in this year’s Celebrity heat. Other heats in the race featured commercial real estate brokers, Empire State Building tenants, and members of the media.

Challenged Athletes Foundation was the ESBRU official charity partner with a designated heat for challenged athletes and CAF supporters to raise funds in support of people with physical challenges and their access to sports. CAF athlete Anthony Smith, an Iraq war veteran with an arm amputation, finished the race with a time of 56:05.

Turkish Airlines, Turkey’s national flag carrier and airline that flies to more countries and international destinations than any other, returned for its fourth year as the Run-Up’s presenting sponsor. The event was produced by NYCRUNS, the largest running event management company in the New York Metropolitan area.

Tonight, the Empire State Building’s world-famous tower lights shined in red and white to celebrate the 44th annual Run-Up.

Hi-res imagery and video can be downloaded here ( ).

More information about the Empire State Building Run-Up can be found online ( ).

About the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building ( ), the “World’s Most Famous Building,” owned by Empire State Realty Trust ( ), Inc. (ESRT: NYSE), soars 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan from base to antenna. The $165 million reimagination of the Empire State Building Observatory Experience creates an all-new experience with a dedicated guest entrance, an interactive museum with nine galleries, and a redesigned 102nd Floor Observatory with floor-to-ceiling windows. The journey to the world-famous 86th Floor Observatory, the only 360-degree, open-air observatory with views of New York and beyond, orients visitors for their entire New York City experience and covers everything from the building’s iconic history to its current place in pop culture.  Learn more at Declared “America’s Favorite Building” by the American Institute of Architects, the world’s most popular travel destination by Uber, the #1 Attraction in the United States in Tripadvisor’s 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best, and the #1 New York City attraction by Lonely Planet, it welcomes more than 4 million annual visitors from around the world.

Since 2011, the building has been fully powered by renewable wind electricity, and its many floors primarily house a diverse array of office tenants such as LinkedIn and Shutterstock, as well as retail options like STATE Grill and Bar, Tacombi, and Starbucks. For more information and Observatory Experience tickets visit or follow the building’s Facebook ( ), Twitter ( ), Instagram ( ), Weibo ( ), YouTube ( ), or TikTok ( ).

Source – Empire State Realty Trust

CONTACT: Jamie Steinberg,, 212-400-3339