The beauty of the city is in every corner to be discovered with different views depending on where you are. In Manhattan, one can run from the quaint New York buildings of the Greenwich Village to the stunning Midtown skyscrapers and up to the sumptuous Upper Eastside mansions. New York’s urban runners follow the so-called Green Traffic Light Rule. The roads in the City in fact follow a green flow to allow pedestrians and traffic to run smoothly even during rush hour.
While running on the concrete sidewalk, whenever a runner encounters a red traffic light, can indeed move onto a parallel road which will have a green light if moving across diagonally.
Although some New Yorkers prefer to run in the city center because that’s closer to their homes, Central Park remains the main running circuit for amateurs and hardcore athletes alike.
Running is the official sport in New York and people from all over the world have heard about the New York City Marathon because this is the world's most famous running competition, but not many, who are not from here, know about the Empire State Building Run-up event which happens yearly in Manhattan’s most famous skyscraper.
In a city which develops vertically, this race is just one more challenge offered by New Yorkers to New Yorkers and not only.
Hundreds are the athletes who annually participate in the running competition up to the roof of one of the tallest skyscrapers in New York.
Taking the stairs rather than taking the elevator is always a wise choice to keep healthy, but tackling the 1,576 steps that separate the ground floor from the summit of the Empire State Building might seem like a colossal challenge (and it is!).
The runners must climb 86 floors of the 102-storey, 1200-feet-high building, trying to be the first amongst about 700 participating athletes, both professional and amateur.
The race starts from the entrance and after crossing the main hall and taking a 90-degree curve, the runners approach the steps and go all the way up at once.
The average time for winners of this race has been around 10 minutes most years but it’s also true that, amongst the participants, very few athletes close the race in ten minutes: most arrive at the top in at least 30 minutes or more and some give up half way choosing to do so by taking one of the emergency exits on each floor.
The record is currently held by the Australian athlete Mr. Paul Crake who set it at 9 minutes and 33 seconds a few years back.
Every year, part of the competition is donated to medical foundations and charity associations.
The race was first organized in 1978 by the founder of the New York City Marathon, Mr. Fred Lebow. The first edition was won by Gary Muhrcke who, in 1970, had also won the first Marathon in town.