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Suzy Walsham and Thorbjørn Ludvigsen Return for Empire State Building Run-Up

February 03, 2014

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

New York, January 30, 2014—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.  

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.”

About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, 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, and the Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions as the region’s #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit,, @EmpireStateBldg,, or

About Empire State Realty Trust

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building, the world’s most famous office building. Headquartered in New York, New York, the Company’s office and retail portfolio covers 8.4 million rentable square feet, as of September 30, 2013, consisting of 7.8 million rentable square feet in 12 office properties, including seven in Manhattan, three in Fairfield County, Connecticut and two in Westchester County, New York; and approximately 645,000 rentable square feet in the retail portfolio. The Company also owns land at the Stamford, Connecticut Transportation Center that supports the development of an approximately 380,000 rentable square foot office building and garage and has an option to acquire two additional Manhattan office properties encompassing approximately 1.5 million rentable square feet of office space and over 150,000 rentable square feet of retail space at the base of the buildings.

About NYRR

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to run for life. NYRR’s premier event, the TCS New York City Marathon, features 50,000 participants, from the world’s elite athletes to a wide range of recreational and charity runners, and is part of the World Marathon Majors, an alliance of the world’s six biggest marathons that determines each year’s top male and top female marathoner. To learn more, visit

Categories: Human Interest

“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg