Monday, December 6, 2010

A New Challenge - Run up the Empire State Building

On 1 February 2011, I will run up the Empire State Building - 86 flights, 1576 stairs - to the observation deck.  I am doing this for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) to raise money for cancer research.  I work for a biotech company, and more specifically I work on cancer drugs.  It has always been a bit abstract, since you think about the science, and how to get the drug to patients, but since moving to the US I have met so many people who are affected by this disease.  Over the last year I have had a colleague who passed away, another one who is in remission, and finally at our company meeting earlier this year, I heard Elijah Alexander speak, telling us how he battled this disease, and thanking  us for what we do.  Two months later he passed away - just like that.  His spirit was amazing, as was his love for football.  He told us about his life growing up in the South, in a really poor family, and what it meant to him playing in the NFL - even though he was "only the fourth round pick".  He transmitted his love of life that day, and I felt profoundly touched.  
Recently I did some research on cutaneous t-cell lymphoma (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma), which attacks the lymphatic system and compromises the immune system - the effects of which are horrendous.  I think the combination of all these things has made me want to do something more to help find a cure, and in my small way, I would like to raise some money for the MMRF.  Hence my run up the Empire State Building.  I have committed to raise 2500 USD for them, and if you have some time (and wish to make a small contribution), please visit my homepage for this event: .  

Today was the start of my training for this event.  I climbed 800 steps but it took me half an hour! I need to climb at least double that in less time.  Well, I am focussed and committed to this goal, and so have no hesitation in going to the max.  This is too important to me, and I want to do it right.  I also managed to squeeze in some weight training, and finally ran a 10 minute mile.  This is also a great opportunity, how terrific is running up that gorgeous building?  My annual stair climb here in Boston falls on the Saturday of that same week, and I am thinking about maybe racing that one competitively.  It is a much smaller climb (only 789 stairs), but I would certainly like to improve my time!  I did it in 10:29, and the winner of my age group did it in 6:37 - I know with some work I can beat my time.  Interestingly enough, I did my training without music, and enjoyed it much more.  Sometimes I think the music might help me along, but I think it distracts me somewhat.  I think I prefer being without it....anyway, I only use it when I run on the treadmill.

Final story of the week - a very good colleague and friend is moving to Chicago, so we bid her farewell.  The upside is that she suggested that I run the Chicago marathon next year.....hmmm not sure yet, as it gets pretty cold there!  Still, it is something to look forward to, and I know that they have an extreme stair climbing event in Chicago - and I don't mean the Hustle up the Hancock  nor the Willis (Sears) Tower Climb.  I mean the Presidential Towers Climb - running up all 4 buildings for a total of 2340 steps in between sprinting from 1 building to the next!  Seems like a good reason for a visit - after seeing my friend of course.  Farewell Nurit, and see you soon.


  1. Good luck with the stair climb. That sounds like a great event for a great cause.

  2. awesome, look forward to following your training

  3. This is very exciting! I've been following and reading about this race for years now and always thought it was awesome. How great that you will be doing it! I love stairs myself and do some stair training as part of my prep for mountain races.

  4. certo che sono davvero tante ste scale... ti avvicinano al cielo! sai cosa? penso che aiutando gli altri aiuterai anche te stessa.... ;)

  5. @:JK: Thanks, yes it is!

    @ Tricia: It should be interesting, and makes a change from running.

    @ Johann: Maybe you will join me one day? I think you will have great fun in this kind of challenge. I can imagine that your stair training really helps with the endurance and stamina!

    @Yogi: Eh si, davvero! Pare anche a me! Quest' ultimo pensiero e' molto buddista.....

  6. That's so cool you are going to do this!
    I believe we have such a race here in Holland too but can't remember what it's called and where it's held.

    Good luck with the training!

  7. What a great event .. good luck with your training