Empire State Building Run-Up 2018: Carreno and Walsham take victories

Posted: February 9, 2018 in News
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Suzy Walsham returned to New York City on Wednesday night to secure a record ninth victory in the women’s race at the Empire State Building. In the men’s division, it was Colombia’s Frank Nicolas Carreno, the current world number two, who took the overall win.

Having won the event every year since 2013, Australia’s Walsham was widely tipped to take victory again. However, last year’s runner-up, American Cindy Harris, who has competed at the event over 20 times was expected to push her hard the whole way.

Former top-three finishers Shari Klarfeld and Stephanie Hucko were also expected to be in the mix at the close of play.

With the impressive Harris coming off  back-to-back victories last month at the Dallas Vertical Mile and the Bop to the Top event in Indianapolis, there was anticipation that she could get a lot closer to Walsham than she had in previous attempts.

In 2016 she finished almost three minutes back from the reigning world champion, as she took third place.

Last year she closed the gap significantly, cutting the time between her and Walsham to just over a minute, securing second place in the process.

The veteran Harris, who is a four-time winner at the ESBRU, did not disappoint. Only a mere 20 seconds stood between her and world number one Walsham when the race was finished.

In what was the third slowest finishing time of all her victories, the almost invincible Walsham made it nine in a row, in a winning time of 12.56.

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‘This year was a bit tough for me’ said Walsham. ‘It felt a little bit harder than previous years. I’ve had a bit of an interrupted build-up, so I think it might have been a smile of relief when I crossed the finish line today’.

When asked if she planned to return in 2019 to attempt to claim a record 10th victory, Walsham replied, ‘I’d love to get 10, so yes!’.

Shari Klarfeld took third place in 13.43, cutting an impressive 18 seconds off her 2017 finishing time, and setting a personal record in the process.

ESBRU debutant Carreno secures a straightforward win
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In the absence of any of his fellow top-10 world-ranked stair climbers, Frank Nicolas Carreno was a clear favourite going into the men’s elite event, despite it being his first time racing at the 86-floor building in Midtown Manhattan.

In what turned out to be one of the slowest races in recent history,  he took a comfortable victory in an official time of 10.50. Although it was the slowest winning time since 1989, it was more than enough to secure the win for the young Colombian.

Belgium’s Omar Bekkali took second in 11.53, the only other sub-12 minute finishing time on the night. American veteran Sproule Love secured his fifth ESBRU podium finish in a time of 12.10.

The full race results are available here.

Get the history behind the event and read about the first ever ESBRU in 1978.

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