Crowds Of People Will Race Up The Stairs Of The Empire State Building Tonight

Hundreds of determined runners will take to the Empire State Building’s stairs on Wednesday night in an attempt to climb from the lobby to the 86th floor observatory. That’s 1,576 steps– I feel tired already.

Those who join tonight’s anticipated run will be taking part of the 38th annual Empire State Building Run-Up. Organized by the New York Road Runners, the same organization that puts together the renowned New York City Marathon, the event will be held in celebration of athleticism, but also for a good cause: to fundraise for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

The Challenged Athletes Foundation states its mission is “…to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.”

The organization continues, “CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.”

Participants entered in the event travel from around the world to join the annual run, and are led through the entire process by professional runners in women’s and men’s groups. Racers pertain to staggered, seconds-apart start times so as to avoid an overwhelming cluster of people in the stairwell.

In 2014, Australia native Suzy Walsham won the women’s event for a record fifth time, in 11 minutes and 57 seconds. Meanwhile, Norwegian Thorbjorn Ludvigsen won the men’s race in 10:06. Both are expected to take part in this year’s anticipated race.

To date, the course record for men is 9 minutes and 33 seconds, while women hold a course record of 11 minutes and 23 seconds. The record times were set by by Paul Crake of Australia in 2003 and Andrea Mayr of Austria in 2006, respectively. Thomas Dold of Germany holds the record for most men’s victories, with a remarkable seven wins.

And finally, the fastest finish since the run’s inception has been about 10 minutes. (Yes, you read that right, and no, that’s not a typo.)

If you so happen to be in the New York City area, the Empire State Run-Up begins on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.