Sweeping the Empire [updated with pictures!]

Sweeping the Empire [updated with pictures!]

Hey Team,

I always thought “Super Tuesday” was a stupid title. But after a few experiences in the last 24 hours I can guarantee that today is, indeed, super. Last week I was at wits end for how I was going to get to walk to the top of the Empire State Building and in fact, for months, I’ve been hailing number 6 as the toughest thing on the list to make happen. (Now I have to pick a new “toughest”)

The stairwells of the Empire State Building are mandated closed by the New York Fire Marshal 364 days a year (365 on leap years) so to walk to the top I was either going to have to enter the annual race to the top or cheat. (Not a fan of cheating.) Turned out entering the race wasn’t an option either. A week ago I emailed Sara Hunninghake and Steve Boland and asked them if I’d be able to volunteer on race day in the hopes that could be translated into me getting to walk to the top.

Soooo tall.

I think my exact words were something like, “I was wondering if there was anyway I could get involved with the race the NYRR [New York Road Runners] are putting on next week. I would be absolutely willing to do WHATEVER is necessary to make this happen. Whether it be losing miserably in a race, helping with organizational duties on race day or mopping up post race runner vomit.”

In the end (and by end I mean middle) I got to show up at the Empire State Building yesterday morning at 7am to help out.

The Totally Rad Volunteer

However, two hours later I had been shut down several times on the walk-to-the-top front. People kept saying, “No.” And for some reason I think they thought I would accept that as an answer.

Finally Shawn Mason came to my rescue. He said that they usually have someone walk the course from the top down after the race to make sure no one is left in the stairwell but if I REALLY wanted to I could volunteer to check the course from the bottom up. I’ll give you one guess how I answered. Here’s a hint: It started with a Ka and ended with a KOW!

About five minutes after the last race I started to walk up the stairs, occasionally mounting my gorilla pod on the banister so I could get a shot of me walking up the stairs (exhausting…that didn’t last past the 30th floor). Eventually I caught up to the guy in last place and felt bad on account of I didn’t want him to feel pressured to keep moving if he needed rest.

Y'know...just in case.

BUT, because I was so close to the guy in last AND because all the NYRR folks had heard my story by this time I had a wall of people cheering for me as I reached the observation deck at the Empire State Building. Also, this seemed to confuse the photographer for the New York Times and she started madly snapping pictures assuming I was the last man to finish the race. (In jeans and a t-shirt while holding a jacket and a camcorder no less. Everyone else was in unitards and running shoes.)

Oh, AND I met someone that works for the Colbert Report!

Good day.

I’m done.

Feel free to help me cross ANOTHER one off the list!

Don’t let me stop you.

7 Replies to “Sweeping the Empire [updated with pictures!]”

  1. Ohhh I love this story!! School has free New York Times laying around everywhere…I’m going to look first thing in the morning!

    I think your new toughest should be the ostrich one. I hate that one, your going to get super beat up by a BIRD.

    Don’t forget to cross off number six! Love you brother!

  2. Hey man! That’s so totally freaky awesome I can’t stand it! How long did the whole climb actually take? I think the toughest one is going to be making moonshine, because people who illegally distill their own booze usually shoot friendly strangers on sight. Also, if you make it back to NorCal my friend Minnie the Google badass is a kite-boarder and she would definitely help you out with number 17.

  3. So, 1. It took me about half an hour but I wasn’t exactly rushing. and 2. Yes. Yes, they are huge.

    …hopefully the swelling will go down tomorrow.

  4. I am really hoping to see wheezing, overreactiony, whining Brett footage- now that’s a quality podcast! “Oh my god, I’m dying. My heart is like a hummingbird being chased by a cat. I for really real think (gasp) I (gasp) am (gasp..and long wheeze..Good, push it out) dying. If you made fun of yourself as much as G, M, and I do people would put you under suicide watch. Podcast #42-60…brett paces to and fro in the padded room. Back in my day, we ran up empire state buildings every day to get to school, in the snow, up steps both ways, only to have our knuckles beaten with hickory pointers and rulers and pointy hickory rulers…
    pffshh! kids these days and their high falutin’, knows-it-all attitubes….

Leave a Reply

You have successfully subscribed to our mail list.

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address


Wait! There's a book about my adventures on the way!

Have you signed up to get updates and excerpts well ahead of the plebeian public yet?

* indicates required