Runners on their marks for Empire State Building Run-Up

Participants are on their marks today for a race with a real difference - The Empire State Run-Up - which begins at 8pm tonight local time. This is a challenge of running up 86 flights or a mere 1576 stairs right to the roof of one of  New York's and the world’s most famous sites – the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building in New York

The Empire State Building in New York. Image by Ivo Jansch / CC BY 2.0

For the record, the fastest finish by any runner up those bare stairs is about 10 minutes – but that is the least interesting part of the story.

The run/climb is all about runners doing something for those less well off and this year they are fund-raising for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Among their number is an athlete who is looking at this challenge from a different perspective, ABC Eyewitness News reports..

Glenn Hartnick participated in his debut New York City marathon nine years ago. He became an inveterate runner and completed no fewer than 175 races, including 19 triathlons. He even appeared on the cover of Runners World Magazine in 2012 before he was knocked down by a car while cycling. He was paralysed from the chest down as a result of the accident. But there is no keeping a motivated man down and although in a wheelchair less than 6 months past his accident, he has begun hand cycling.

Glenn explains that The Challenged Athletes Foundation helps athletes like himself recover so that they can resume doing things important for their sporting lives. And that’s where the Empire State Run-Up comes in as finance raised for the event will go to pay for Glenn’s bike and many other people’s similar  requirements. It is a network which shares insights, added Glenn, by showing what is needed to be done to get back to racing,

Related content