Watch Your Step

by Stephen Nessen

Runners pushed and shoved through a narrow stair well and climbed 1,576 stairs to the top of the Empire State building today for the 32nd annual run-up.

102 stories above New York at the Empire State Building.

102 stories above New York at the Empire State Building.

Twenty-four year old Thomas Dold from Germany defended his title, winning his fourth run-up.

Thomas Dold, 24

Thomas Dold, 24

There was some drama when the women’s two-time champion, Australian Suzaane Walsham, was pushed into a wall at the start of the race. She feared a broken nose and damaged knee, “I just sort of thought I've come all this way, I haven't come here to pull out, so, so I'm going to do the courageous thing and do the best I can under the circumstances,” she said. Walsgan pulled herself together and won the women’s first place.

Runners finish the 32nd Empire State Building Run-Up 1,576 steps from the starting line on Feb. 3, 2009

Runners finish the 32nd Empire State Building Run-Up 1,576 steps from the starting line on Feb. 3, 2009

A few of the 330 competitors at the invitation-only race to the top of the Empire State Building.

A few of the 330 competitors at the invitation-only race to the top of the Empire State Building.

229 participants were men, 101 women, with the oldest woman at age 75

229 participants were men, 101 women, with the oldest woman at age 75