Defending Champion Suzy Walsham of Singapore and Runner-Up Thorbjørn Ludvigsen of Norway Return to New York for Empire State Building Run-Up

The race to the top of the world’s most famous office building to take place Wednesday, February 5, at 8:00 p.m.

NYRR Press Release
January 30, 2014

New York—Defending champion Suzy Walsham and runner-up Thorbjørn Ludvigsen will return to New York for the Empire State Building Run-Up on Wednesday, February 5, it was announced today by New York Road Runners.

In the 37th annual running of the event, Walsham, 40, of Singapore, will aim to defend her 2013 crown, while Ludvigsen, 25, of Norway, will attempt to claim his first win after placing second overall last year. The event consists of racers of all abilities, including leaders in the sport of professional tower running, who will compete in the men’s and women’s invitational divisions. Additional top contenders in these fields are listed below.

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Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • ·         Suzy Walsham, who won the 2013 race in 12:05, will headline this year’s invitational field. Last year’s victory, her fourth, put her into a tie with Cindy Harris for most victories in the women’s race.  (Harris will also compete this year.)
  • ·         Cindy Harris, 45, of Indianapolis, IN, placed fifth in last year’s race with a time of 13:44. She is a four-time winner of the event and also a multi-time winner of the John Hancock Run-Up and the Willis Tower Run-Up (both in Chicago) and the Indianapolis Bop to the Top.
  • ·         Thorbjørn Ludvigsen, 25, was not part of the men’s invitational race last year. However, he still managed to run 10:39, the second-fastest time overall. This year, he will be run in the invitational division, competing against some of the world’s best stair-climbing athletes, with a chance to become the 2014 champion.
  • ·         Darren Wilson, 39, of Australia, placed second in the men’s invitational race last year. He is a consistent podium finisher on the Vertical World Championships tower-running circuit and placed second in that series’ final event, the Run to the ICC (Hong Kong’s tallest building), last year.


Cindy Harris

I’m looking forward to the race—it’s always been a favorite of mine.  Thirteen times I’ve raced the Empire State Building Run-Up and placed in the top three. Four times I’ve been a winner, I’m a five-time runner-up, and I’ve placed third three times. I’m looking forward to the challenge of placing in the top three this year.”

Thorbjørn Ludvigsen

“I’m really looking forward to the race—I think it will be a difficult race. I have to think about myself and just push myself to the limit, and hopefully the result will be good. I hope that all the best tower runners are able to be at the starting line—it’s always nice competing against the best runners.”