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The Empire State Building Run-Up is an annual race held in New York that is not so much known for its long distance (about 0.2 miles or 0.3 km) but for its great height differential. The race starts at the foot of the Empire State Building, and goes up all 86 flights of stairs (1576 steps, or an ascent of 1050 feet.)

The race has been organized by the NYRRC every year since 1978. Although several other cities have copied the idea and organize stair-climbing competitions, the Empire State Run-Up is considered to be the semi-official world championship.

Currently, close to 200 runners compete in the event, split up in three heats to avoid overcrowding of the 40" wide stairs. The first runner at the top wins. How fast do they go? There's an Australian lad named Paul Crake who won the race three times in a row. In his second victory, he was the first person to break the ten minute barrier (9:53 to be exact). This year (2001), he sharpened his record to 9:37. That's an average of 163.8 steps per minute!

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