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Seven-time Champion Thomas Dold Aims High at the Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF

January 28, 2013

More than 600 participants will take the ultimate vertical challenge in a race up the 1,576 steps of the world’s most iconic building

New York, January 28, 2013—After a record-setting seventh victory in 2012, Thomas Dold of Germany hopes to take his record to new heights by winning his eighth consecutive Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF on Wednesday, February 6, it was announced today by New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg.


“The drama surrounding the incredible challenge of the Empire State Building Run-Up is literally heightened by the glittering nighttime view of the Manhattan skyline as participants circle the Observation Deck to finish,” said Wittenberg. “We can’t wait to cheer on racers of all ranks as they take on one of NYRR’s most eccentric and challenging fitness events.”


Dold, 28, finished the 2012 race in 10 minutes, 28 seconds and has averaged a 30-second margin of victory while capturing seven event titles. The Stuttgart native has established himself as a world leader in the sport of professional tower running, with a climbing list of victories around the globe. The current leader of the Tower Running circuit’s World Cup rankings, Dold will face steep competition on February 6 from Christian Riedl, 32, of Germany, who finished second in New York in 2012 by eight seconds, and Rickey Gates, 31, of San Francisco, CA, who finished only eight seconds behind Dold in the 2008 race. Eight seconds is Dold’s smallest margin of victory.


The Empire State Building Run-Up was the brainchild of the late, legendary NYRR president Fred Lebow, and it may have been the first of its kind. The inaugural Run-Up was held in 1978 and won by Gary Muhrcke—the former firefighter who was renowned for winning the first New York City Marathon in 1970. While visitors can reach the building’s Observatory via elevator in under a minute, the fastest runners cover the 86 floors in about 10 minutes.


“To be the most successful runner and defending champion makes it easy for all other top runners to find their goal: just to beat me,” said Dold. “This makes it attractive and keeps me always innovative in my training, and this year, training is going really well.”


Three-time women’s champion (2007–9) Suzy Walsham, 39, of Singapore, returns to the Empire State Building with her sights set on equaling the women’s race record of four wins, currently held by Cindy Harris, 44, of Indianapolis, who will also compete in the 2013 event. Melissa Moon of New Zealand won the women’s division in 2012 (12:39); she will not return to defend her title.


In 2003, Paul Crake of Australia set the course record at 9:33, which is three minutes faster than Gary Muhrcke’s winning time of 12:33 in the inaugural 1978 race, and 34 seconds faster than Dold’s fastest time (10:07 in 2009). Crake was paralyzed in a tragic cycling accident in 2006, the same year that Andrea Mayr of Austria set the women’s record of 11:23.


The 36th annual Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF will take place on Wednesday, February 6, at 8:00 p.m. This is the third year that the race is sponsored by title charity, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). The MMRF is a leading cancer research foundation that builds innovative collaborative models to extend lives and accelerates finding cures for cancer.


“As we embark on our third year in this amazing relationship, the MMRF is thrilled to announce that we will have raised $1.3 million towards progress in multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer,” said Alicia O’Neill, Director of Endurance Events at the MMRF. “We are grateful to New York Road Runners and the Empire State Building for their ongoing support and proud to be part of this event in that it exemplifies the MMRF mission of hope and speed.”


Entries in the race are still available to participants who pledge to raise money for one of two incredible causes: NYRR’s youth services program Team for Kids or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s PowerTeam.


About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions and is the region’s #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit,, or @EmpireStateBldg.


About NYRR

New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 55 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilities—beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren—to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.


NYRR’s races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for life. NYRR’s premier event, the famed ING New York City Marathon, attracts the world’s top pro runners and committed amateurs alike while also raising millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire more than 150,000 kids in underserved communities in New York City, all 50 states, and around the world.


Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit


About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $200 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four four-star rating for nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit

Categories: Pro Athletes

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