New York City Wearing knee-high black socks, Thomas Dold of Germany scampered up 86 breath-sapping flights Tuesday to win the Empire State Building Run-Up for the third straight year.
Australia's Suzanne Walsham also has the hang of this skyscraper climb, fighting through a calf strain to win for the second straight time.
Dold, a 23-year-old student who lives in Stuttgart, finished in 10 minutes, 8 seconds, his best time yet in the race, but well off the course record of 9:33 set by Paul Crake in 2003. Dold had just enough energy left to raise his arms in triumph.
Walsham, a 34-year-old accountant who lives in Singapore, said the injury prevented her from running the past two weeks and she didn't think she would be able to compete. Surprisingly, though, the bad calf didn't slow her.
"Bizarre," she said.
She finished in 12:44 and beat last year's time by 28 seconds. She was 49 seconds ahead of second-place woman, Cindy Moll-Harris of Indianapolis, a four-time winner.
The event is one of the world's premier tower races, beginning with a mad dash in the lobby and finishing 1,576 steps later on the observation deck. This year, 171 men and 64 women competed. All but 20 finished.