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The Race to the Top

Febbraio 2007
Non solo la maratona: a New York prende sempre più piede anche la corsa sull’Empire State Building: 86 piani tutti d’un fiato. Questo mese si corre la 30a edizione.

di Lorenza Cerbini

File audio:

T shirt in honor of Chico Scimone
T shirt in honor of Chico Scimone
Empire State Building
Empire State Building

Speaker: Moira Shea (Standard American accent)

This month sees the 30th edition of a remarkable New York event: the Empire State Building Run-up. In this race, which is organised by the New York Road Runners Club, men and women run up the 86 floors – or 1576 steps – of the world-famous skyscraper. The record is held by an Australian, Paul Crake, who did it in under 10 minutes in 2000. As is is the case with the New York Marathon, the event has its fair share of characters in fancy dress including, not surprisingly, King Kong. Sadly, the race’s greatest personality, Sicilian American Chico Scimone, will not be running this year. He first took part in 1984 at the tender age of 72 and completed the race in 21 minutes and 13 seconds. He proceeded to run most years until 2005, by which time he had slowed down to 49.28. By now he was 93 and was to leave this world a few months later.

the austrian factor

As for the race’s many female competitors, last year’s winner was an Austrian, Andrea Mayr, whose official time was 11.23, followed by her compatriot, Nada Pauer, on 12.47. Third place in the women’s section went to an American, Cindy Harris of Indianapolis, who recorded a time of 13.49. She talked to Speak Up about her performance:

Cindy Harris (Standard American accent):

In a way, it went really well. I got third place, which is a really good accomplishment, but, in a way, my time was a little bit off by half a minute to a minute. The start went really well, I got through the door first and was followed by Andrea and Nada till about 20 and then Andrea passed me around 20 floors and I got followed closely by Nada and then got passed by her, around 30, and then, the rest of the way I was followed by another woman, but I was able to maintain the third place and spread it to the end and barely held onto third place!

A winning strategy

Cindy, who is now in her late 30s, regularly wins stair-climbing races in Indianapolis, where she works as an accountant, and in Chicago, but says that the competition in New York is a lot tougher. In conclusion we asked her to describe her strategy for the race:

Cindy Harris:

You want to be in a good position, but not necessarily first because, if you go out way too fast, you run the risk of going out too fast and just completely exhausting yourself, which isn’t good. So strategy is pretty much to be in the top five places, ‘cause it’s fairly easy to pass that amount of people that there are in front of you. The strategy? First of all you’ve got to train well, and be prepared and be willing to suffer ‘cause it’s very painful and exhausting!

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skyscraper - grattacielo.

has its fair share of characters in fancy dress - ha un certo numero di personaggi in costume.

tender age - tenera età.

accomplishment - risultato.

my time was a little bit off - ero un po’ in ritardo sulla tabella di marcia.

spread it to the end... third place - ho tenuto fino in fondo e ho mante-nuto a malapena il terzo posto!

stair-climbing races - gare di corsa sulle scale.

accountant - ragioniera.

a lot tougher - molto più dura.

you want to be in a good position - bisogna partire in buona posizione.

be willing to suffer - essere disposti a soffrire.

painful - doloroso