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13 Selfies That Capture What It's Like To Run Up The Empire State Building

Never underestimate 1,576 stairs.

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This past Wednesday I made one of the top five biggest mistakes of my life — participating in the 38th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up, which is the Super Bowl for people who run up stairs (86 floors, in this case) competitively.

These are my unflattering selfies.

5th Avenue.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

At this point I am feigning fear because I actually have ZERO respect for what it takes to climb 1,576 stairs. I ran the New York City Marathon in November, so any kind of event that takes the winner 10 minutes to complete doesn't exactly have me shaking in my boots. Nevermind the fact that November is three months ago and my stomach currently consisted of a large sushi lunch, Klondike Bar, Welch's Fruit Snacks, and four cups of coffee.

10th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

Before the race I decided on a slow, but consistent pace. I wasn't there to break any records, so why kill myself, right? Well, by the 10th floor I already had enough. I apologized to the stairs for my unwarranted confidence, and begged for mercy. Look at the fear in my eyes — you can't fake that shit.

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20th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

My lungs are officially burning. This building was built in 1931, and GUESS WHAT? I don't think its claustrophobic staircases were originally intended to host a stair climbing race.

30th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

So the race only has two water stations, on the 20th and 65th Floors. I did not know this. I took the 20th Floor water station for granted, like free-meals-at-your-parents'-house level for granted.

40th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

At this point I'm barely speed-walking. My mouth tastes like I ate a bunch of pennies — either that or blood is slowly filling my lungs and I'm going to die in this staircase. But hey, halfway there!

50th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

Due to staggering start times of the different groups, there's no one within five or maybe 10 floors of me in either direction. I'm now hoping that the staircase has given me asbestos poisoning and considering the possibility of suing the Empire State Building for Scrooge McDuck money.

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EMPIRE STATE BUILDING EMPLOYEE SELFIE TIMEOUT!

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

Every 10 floors there was an Empire State Building employee encouraging us to carry on, while making sure we don't die. I didn't get this woman's name, but she was the best. Unfortunately, she wouldn't let me take her hat.

70th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

I'm starting to fear the afterlife. What if there is no god? There's certainly no signs of him in that fucking Empire State Building staircase. Tell me again why people do this? THERE ARE BETTER FORMS OF EXERCISE PEOPLE!

80th Floor.

Matt Kiebus / BuzzFeed

ONLY SIX MORE FLOORS. If I had a Tinder this would be my profile picture — hands down. If you can't love someone at their worst you don't deserve their best. Am I right?

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