There’s not much I can say here that I haven’t already said on RunnersWorld.com, but in case that link ever breaks, here’s my description of the race:
If you’ve never done a stair-climb race before, you go out with no idea how to pace yourself, no concept of how fast will end up being too fast. The actual running in such a race is limited–it’s more power-climbing, taking steps two at a time, and using the railings to hurl yourself upward. Your lungs burn. After the first two or three stories, you see no one except the volunteers stationed every few floors, unless you’re passing or being passed. It’s eerily quiet–I remember hearing the tinny sound of a climber’s ringed hand sliding up the metal railing a few floors below me. You try not to look at the floor numbers because you just don’t want to know how far you are from the top.
When you emerge onto the Observation Deck for the lap to the finish line, the cold, fresh air punches you in the face–in a good way. It was snowing out there last night, and a cloud enveloped the top of the building. Almost immediately after you cross the line, you’re ushered back into the warmth…
Today, [my coworkers who ran] and I are all coughing like seasoned chain-smokers–the product of forcing lots of indoor air into our outdoor-conditioned lungs. But the race was a fun, unique experience, and hey, we earned some great-looking medals.
And here is my great-looking medal:
And here’s a photo of me, wearing said medal, in front of the stuffed King Kong in the lobby:
My official finish time was 16:58–better than I expected, since my coworkers who’d run before guessed I’d finish in about 20 minutes. (There’s really no way to know how fast you’ll be able to do this until you do it.)
I was the second woman in the media heat and 19th out of the 225 women who ran. I’m pleased with that, and I don’t feel the need to do this race again.
It was a very cool experience, but I was not doing so well yesterday. I was exhausted from my long day in NYC–I got up around 5:30 and didn’t get home until 12:30–and I think I’m allergic to the Empire State Building’s stairwell. My coworkers were just coughing, but I couldn’t stop sneezing and tearing up. I took Benadryl, which only made me exhausted. But I went to bed before 9 p.m., slept for 10 hours, and now I’m all better.