When is the Empire State Building Run-Up (ESBRU) 2021?

Posted: October 15, 2019 in News, Upcoming Events
Tags: , , ,

The Empire State Building Run-Up is the longest continuously running stair climb event in the world, and in 2021 it returns for its 43rd edition.

High on the wish list for probably every stair climber out there, the ESBRU is frustratingly difficult to get into, with some climbers applying year-on-year and failing to get a spot.

Read on to find out what we know so far about the 2021 edition.

When is the Empire State Building Run-Up (ESBRU) 2021?

The date of the 43rd edition of the Empire State Building Run-Up has been shifted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, after being originally slated for Tuesday 11th May 2021.

It is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday 26 October 2021.

Like the similarly iconic Eiffel Tower Stair Climb, the event is run at night, with competitors setting off from 8pm, to as late as 10pm in previous editions.

How to enter the Empire State Building Run-Up (ESBRU)?

Entry to the ESBRU is through an open lottery system. Entry fee, which is taken if you are selected in the lottery, is $125.

There are also charity slots available each year, but the minimum fundraising requirement for these is pretty steep ($2,000+), so you might have to get friends and family to dig deep if you go down that route.

With the 2020 edition having been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, those who had a place at that event have had their entry deferred to 2021.

This means it is unlikely there will be many open spots at the 2021 event. But the lottery registration will open on Tuesday 1 June for those looking to pick up one of the remaining spots.

You can now register for the 2021 Empire State Building Run-Up

What is the Empire State Building Run-Up?

The Empire State Building is the historical home of tower running in the USA. The event was created by Fred Lebow in 1978, who also organised the first New York City marathon back in 1970. Learn all about the background to the event by reading the first installment in our series on the history of the Empire State Building Run-Up.


The race involves a climb up 1,576 steps (86 floors) to the viewing deck at the top of the building, usually ending outside when the weather permits.

Having been run by the New York Road Runners (NYRR) for years, the ESBRU is now organised by NYC Runs.

The winners list for the ESBRU reads as a who’s who of tower running greats. From Terry Purcell, Cindy Harris and Thomas Dold to Darren Wilson, Christian Riedl, Piotr Lobodzinski and the incredible course record holder Paul Crake, the ESBRU podium has been topped by most of the best athletes to ever climb the stairs to the top of a tower.

Ten-time winner Suzy Walsham is in a league of her own at the venue, although it’s Austria’s Andrea Mayr who holds the women’s course record of 11:23, which she set back in 2006.

Walsham ESBRU 2019

Suzy Walsham made it a record ten ESBRU wins when she took victory in 2019

Empire State Building Run-Up Records

Fastest times

Paul Crake (AUS) – 9:33 (2003)

Andrea Mayr (AUT) – 11:23 (2006)

Most wins

Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 10

Thomas Dold (GER) – 7

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  1. amnaj prompinun says:

    hope of luck to visit empire state tower

  2. Tim Andrew says:

    https://youtu.be/8dqGhln8bDQ This is an incredible race… done it 17 times, raising more than 40,000.00 Hope to do it again. Mt. Washington road race is great too.

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