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Posted: February 3, 2009  :

(RRW) Running: Defending Champions Dold And Walsham Ready For Today's Run-Up

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved RaceResultsWeekly.com

NEW YORK (03-Feb) -- Defendng champions Thomas Dold and Suzy Walsham are ready for today's 32nd annual Empire State Building Run-Up, the world's most famous stair climb up 86 flights and 1576 steps of New York's tallest building.

Dold, a 24 year-old economics student from Germany, is undefeated in his last seven stair climbs, including last June's Taipei 101, which covers 90 floors. His best time here is 10 minutes and 8 seconds, and speaking to reporters yesterday he said he was both physically and mentally ready for today's race.

"I run more than three stairs per second," said the always analytical Dold, who takes stair climbing as seriously as any professional athlete might approach his sport. "You have to fly over the stairs. When you fall under this speed you have to fight against each step."

The 35 year-old Walsham, an Australian who lives in Singapore, takes a slightly more relaxed approach to the event. Unlike Dold, who has to drive from Stuttgart to Frankfurt several times a week to train on an adequately tall staircase, Walsham is able to do her training right at home.

"I moved to a new apartment in Singapore in September, I got engaged," said the former middle distance runner. "I now live on the 30th floor of a condo. So, it's quite conducive to doing good training for this event."

Dold has won here the last three years in a row, while Walsham, whose best time here is 12 minutes and 44 seconds, has won the last two. Dold could face a credible challenge from 2008 USA mountain running champion Eric Blake of New Britain, Conn. Walsham's top competition should come from Cindy Harris of Indianapolis, a four-time Run-Up champion.

New York Road Runners, which founded and organizes the event, expect about 350 people to participate this morning, first in a non-competitive heat at 9h00, followed by the women's heat at 10h30 and then two men's heats at 10h35 and 10h40.


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