Last week, Kiwi athlete, Melissa Moon, took out the women’s title in the annual Empire State Building Run-up – for the second time in her career! Here’s Melissa’s step-by-step account of her race to the top:
“Before the race, the Empire State Building foyer was abuzz with people. But I was feeling a sense of calm, reminding myself of the Personal Best time I’d done in my training run up New Zealand’s Majestic Tower, and focusing on my key words – Kia Toa, Kia Kaha, Kia Manawanui – be brave, be strong, be persevering!
At 7.45pm, the elite women’s field assembled on the starting line. We were given our instructions, ‘Take your marks’… and the horn blew!
I was second through the stairwell door, behind five-time winner Cindy Harris. I already knew she was a fast starter, too fast for me. My biggest concern for those first 5-10 floors was pace judgement. I was in my zone – aware of those behind me, but concentrating solely on technique and pace. At about floor 16, a group of four of us passed Cindy.
I knew the next part (floors 20 – 68) would be gruelling. I prepared my mind for the challenge, put my head down, kept pushing the pace. At floor 40, there were three of us – myself; three-time winner, Suzy Walsham; and World Ironwoman Champion, Chrissie Wellington. Then, at about floor 50, Chrissie dropped behind.
At around floor 68, I grabbed a cup of water, splashed it on my face, repeated my three key words and just went for it… Eighteen floors later, I crossed the finish line, clocking 12 minutes, 39 seconds – 30 seconds faster than my 2010 time and nearly 30 seconds ahead of Suzy. It was exhilarating – finishing on top of the world’s most iconic building, at night, surrounded by snowflakes. I was a very proud Kiwi!
- Melissa Moon, Icebreaker Sponsored Athlete
Melissa shared her tips with us on how to prepare before the event – they obviously paid off!