Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stairmaster: Greenwich woman reaches new heights

Stairmaster: Greenwich woman reaches new heights
Runner battles head cold in race up Empire State Building
By Colin GustafsonStaff Writer
Posted: 02/03/2009 10:47:51 PM EST

Emmy Stocker of Greenwich finishes Tuesday's Empire State Building stair climb. (Colin Gustafson/Staff photo)

NEW YORK CITY -- A stubborn cough and head cold might have sidelined lesser athletes, but it only slowed down Emmy Stocker.

Stocker, 50, was one of nearly 350 athletes to complete a mad dash up 1,576 steps to the observation deck of the Empire State Building on Tuesday in the New York Road Runners' 32nd annual "Run-Up" race.

The Cos Cob mother of three, who has competed in six previous races, finished this year's race in 95th place overall, climbing from the building's stately lobby to the 86th-floor observatory in 17 minutes, 7 seconds.

Although that's not her personal best of about 15 minutes, Stocker said she was happy to have finished after falling ill with "mild bronchitis" before another 4-mile race last

Emmy Stocker, a resident of Greenwich, is still standing after Tuesday's stair run-up at the Empire State Building. (Colin Gustafson/Staff photo)Sunday.

"Today is a day you want to stay in bed. But what can I say? I'm hard-core," she said.
Stocker said she rose early Tuesday to hop a train to Grand Central Terminal before jogging 10 blocks to the Empire State Building to meet up with her racing buddy, Frank Colella, 46, of Scarsdale, N.Y.

She also was joined by neighbor John Gibbons, husband of state Rep. Lile Gibbons, R-Greenwich, who said he took some time off work from his Midtown investment firm to cheer her on.

Stocker said the run-up was difficult this year for under-the-weather runners like her because they had to breathe musty air in the service stairwell, then get hit with a frigid blast of winter air and snow after emerging on the outdoor observation deck.

Still, the racing conditions were not enough to keep her from bowing out, she said.
"I'm not physically tired, just weak from being sick," Stocker said as she caught her breath on the top floor, a medal on a ribbon draped around her neck. "But I got through it. You just gotta suck it up and give it your all."

In this year's race, Thomas Dold, 24, of Germany, won his fourth consecutive title in the men's competition, clocking in at 10 minutes, 7 seconds. He beat his previous record by 1 second.
Suzy Walsham, 35, of Singapore, marked her third consecutive win, climbing the steps in 13 minutes, 27 seconds, despite a fall before entering the stairwell.

The women's record is 11 minutes, 23 seconds.

The event is one of the world's premier tower races, beginning with a mad dash in the lobby and finishing on the observation deck.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment