Empire State Building Run Up 2017

Posted: February 4, 2017 in News

After years of watching the world’s most iconic stair race unfold without him, Piotr Lobodzinski – the Bull of Bielsk Podlaski – sauntered into Manhattan on Wednesday night and finally won the Empire State Building Run-Up.

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The Polish phenom had waited until the morning before the race before announcing his participation, but it didn’t take long before excitement quickly spread across social media at the prospect of a battle between Showtime and the returning ESBRU champion, Darren Wilson.

Wilson had been absent from the stair climbing circuit for a few months (he qualified for the Ironman 70.3 world championships during his hiatus). But his sudden emergence in Chicago last weekend to smash the long-standing course record at the AON Center sent waves of expectation and speculation through the tower running community.

Could this be the year he matched the exploits of his fellow Australian Paul Crake and came in sub-10 minutes at the Empire State Building Run-Up? It would be a fitting tribute to a race that was celebrating its 40th edition.

With arguably the greatest stair climber of all time also focused on victory, winning would certainly require the perfect race from Wilson.

The signature mass start for the elite racers was as frantic as ever. Italian Fabio Ruga made it into the stairwell first followed by Gustavo Isaac Mendoza. Lobodzinski was next in with Wilson just behind him.

Lobodzinski and Wilson eventually separated from the pack of following elites, staying close together until they entered the 72nd of 86 floors. It was here that the Pole began to gradually pull away.

He reached the finish line in a time of 10:31, with Wilson crossing the line just 12 seconds later in 10:43. In-form Canadian stair climber and mountain runner, Shaun Stephens-Whale completed the podium reaching the observation deck in 11:04.

Interestingly, if you take the first names of the top three – Shaun, Piotr, Darren – you can make this anagram – ‘stair run doper, nah’!

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In the ladies division, the incredible Suzy Walsham made it five wins in a row, and secured a record eighth overall victory. She managed it in one of her fastest ever times, too: 12:11.

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Four-time previous winner Cindy Harris took second place in a time of 13:15, while Meg Santanna (13:51) secured her first podium finish by holding off a strong challenge from Shari Klarfeld (14:01).

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