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Australian woman wins Empire State run-up for the fifth time

The world's best tower climbers gathered at New York's iconic Empire State Building on Wednesday (February 5) evening to participate in its annual run-up race. The competition first started in 1978 was held for the 37th time and had participants climb 1,576 steps from the ground floor to the observatory of the 86th floor. The women's individual race started at 2000 EST (0100 GMT) sharp while the men started four minutes later. Eleven minutes and 57 seconds later, it was defending champion Australian Suzy Walsham who crossed the finish line first. Walsham has won four times in the past --in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013-- and set a new record for the race by winning it for the fifth time. In the men's competition, 25-year-old Thorbjorn Ludvigsen came in first with a finishing time of 10 minutes and six seconds. In total 430 stair-climbing athletes from 15 different countries participated in the race.

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