Friday, September 16, 2011

empire state building run-up 2011

ESBRU 2011 - The world championship of stair climbing.

If this is the world championship then why do I fill out an application to the NYRR? Why do they ask for my best running times and accomplishments? And why does it matter if I have other unique interests such as truck pulling and arm wrestling? Im a 5'1 95 lb girl, truck pulling, seriously?!? I submitted my application and waited patiently, the application is due by mid december and they dont let you know whether or not you've been accepted until mid-january. This is ridiculous, the race is on february 2nd! I bulked up my form with running times, stair climbing wins and included my current world ranking of 3rd and hoped for the best. I finally received my acceptance notification, several days after the original notification date.

Brady and I were off to NYC!! the race is always on the first tuesday in february so we hitched a plane sunday night after climbing the Aon Center in Chicago that morning (I finished 2nd). Monday was a day of exploring the city and navigating the subway, hit up the art museum for some culture and met other west coast label climbers for dinner at a french restaurant.

Tuesday morning was the big day, I was gonna climb against some of the best climbers from around the world. I knew I had no shot at winning so some of the pressure was off, I was just wanted to climb a good race and beat my goal time.

The ESBRU is different than most other stair climbs, first off the men and women climb separately and instead of having climbers go in intervals everyone starts at once and you sprint towards the doorway. Luckily I received a low bib number and was able to start in the center of the 2nd row, right where I wanted to be. Cindy Harris, the best US climber and 12 time hancock winner was right in front of me.

The gun went off and everything was a blur, I darted towards the doorway and the next thing I know I took an elbow to the face and was being shoved into the wall next to the door. I squeezed my way in and everyone was running up the stairs. I tried to slow my pace because I didnt wanna get sucked in or start off too fast but the girls were all shoving and I felt like I was gonna be trampled so I went with the flow and ran. Those first several flights were totally cramped and you couldnt even get into a rhythm, I kept thinking I hate this race, when is this gonna clear up?!? after about 5-10 floors it started to thin out and I started passing people.

The stairwell in the empire state building is quite unique, it has a long flight of stairs then a long landing you had to head down before hitting the next set of steps. I talked to other climbers who told me to use my running to my advantage and sprint those landings, make up some time and pass some people. I did just that, I took every landing with a quicker pace and passed a few girls or gained some ground on them, i'd relax and climb the next flight. I think the landings are great because they give your muscles something else to focus on for a few seconds because going back to the constant lunging involved in climbing.

The floors flew by and I was with a pack of girls, right where I wanted to be. I suddenly took the lead of them but couldnt see anyone in front of me so just held steady. I knew if I could keep them behind me, I would finish in a good spot. When we finally got to the top, we had to dart out a door and sprint around the top of the empire state building, another chance for me to use my running speed. I got out there and took off, the ground was slushy, wet and kind of icy so I couldnt sprint as fast as I wouldve liked.

I finished and looked at my watch 14:47!! are you kidding?!? thats an awesome time, much faster than what I had expected and I was shocked. I thought I climbed an extremely good race. I stagged about and found my way inside.

I finished 7th overall and 1st in my age group, I was ecstatic!! I cant wait for this race next year! Its gonna be my focus over the winter and its gonna be my goal race

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