Fastest Time to Climb 1,576 Steps of the Empire State Building NY - Mark Bourne & Suzy Walsham

Date of Record: 07/02/2013

Mark Bourne and Suzy Walsham won the iconic men's and women's Empire State Building race up the 1,576 steps of the New York landmark.

Mark crossed the finish line on the observation deck of the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, finishing in 10 minutes, 12 seconds, it was his first win.

Suzy clocked 12 minutes, five seconds in the epic "vertical marathon" event. Suzy has won the race four times and participated six times. She ties the record of the most wins by a woman.

Remarkably, the runner-up medals were awarded to Australians Brooke Logan and Darren Wilson!

About 600 runners from 18 countries took part in the competition, now in its 36th year.

"Obviously I'm very happy to win and it's nice to have all the training pay off," Mark said. "I wanted to pace myself well and fortunately it paid off."

Suzy was overjoyed. "It's a personal best time for me and I couldn't be happier," she said.

The elite stair climbers powered up the 86 floors first, followed by other runners in spaced intervals.


Running up tall skyscrapers requires different training and endurance than on a flat surface because of the vertical challenge against gravity, according to experts.

During a marathon, runners can pace themselves but running up a building is more like sprinting. "After about 10 flights you are in oxygen debt," John Honerkamp, a coach with the New York Road Runner (NYRR) group, which organises the annual Empire State race. The best way to practice is to hit the stairs and head up. Runners also use the handrails on walls to pull themselves upwards.