On the evening of Wednesday, February 6, 2013 some 700 dedicated athletes from around the world who will be competing in the 36th Annual Empire State Building Run Up. It is a total of 86 stories and 1576 stairs to the observation deck in the famous building.
Among the locals competing this year are Sally Kalksma of Pine Beach, N.J. and Peggy Schaaab of Avon, N.J.
Sally did the climb for the first time last year. According to Sally she is, “doing this again because I am crazy. I said I would never do it again because it was the most difficult thing I have ever done, not just race, but anything. However, how could I say no when the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) invited me to do it this year?”
The event is especially special for as she is climbing for a cause that means a lot to her. She was diagnosed in 2008 with multiple myeloma (MM). Luckily she is still in stage one. The MMRF is one of the top research foundations. The research helps not only MM, but other cancers as well. And almost all the money raised goes to research! Everyone involved in the MMRF are great. Sally can’t wait to see everyone again this year at the race, especially at the after party in the Empire Room!
Sally has been training in a local 5 story building running up 15 or 20 times several times a week. She also goes into NYC every other week to a 45 story building where one of her friends works . Sally is not sure if she can beat her last years’ time of 19:35, but hopes to do well in her new age group now that she has turned 50.
Thus far she has raised over $5000. People can check her fundraising page for the latest.
For Peggy this will be the 8th time she will be competing in the event. Her first time was in 1992 back when Fred Lebow of the New York Road Runners was around and she fondly remembers him at the start and the finish line. According to Peggy, “It was a low key event with about 100 participants that started early in the morning and many of the people who worked in the building watched smoking cigarettes in the stair well.”
Peggy last dis the climb 4 years ago. Shew was inspired to do it again this year to help a co worker at Jersey Shore University Medical Center where she is a nurse. Her co worker Anita Nielsom of Howell, N.J. was diagnosed with cancer and has been receiving chemotherapy and unable to work. She has 4 young children and it has caused a real burden on her family. She has received much support from the JSUMC and her co workers at the hospital. Anyone who would like to support Peggy in raising funds for the Nielsomn Family can make a donation to The Anita Nielson Fund and send the doation to JSUMC, C/O Eileen Fuorry, Ambulatory Surgery Center, 1945 Corlies Ave, Neptune, N.J. 07753.
Peggy has been training for the past month or so by climbing the 25 flights of stairs going up and then down 4 times at least once a week in the Asbury Towers in Asbury Park, N.J..
Peggy does not have any goals as far as finish time. Her goal, “is to finish and remain vertical when she gets to the top.”