Empire State Building Race Ends With Backslapping All Round
Laura Kusisto Feb. 4, 2011, 11:49 p.m.
There are few events The Observer looks forward to each year more than the annual brokers’ race to the top of the Empire State Building. There is nothing that caffeine-fueled cubicle rats like ourselves do better than chide others’ athletic accomplishments.
Our congratulations, of course, go out to Cushman & Wakefield’s Matthew Siegel, the sprightly 31-year-old thing who sprinted past such fierce competition as 61-year-old developer Elie Hirschfeld to seize the crown. Mr. Siegel finished the race in 15 minutes and 28 seconds. Of course, he admitted to taking the steps two at a time, which is just cheating.
But it was the aforementioned Mr. Hirschfeld, who came in 14th with a time of 18 minutes and 28 seconds, who reminded us of the cost of competition. “As I was going, I was in enormous pain,” he told The Real Deal, “but I was thinking how much I was enjoying this pain, and now I feel fantastic. … If they let me in, I’m doing it again next year.”
Former Major League Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry was slated to run, in the MMRF race, but was a no-show, according to The Real Deal, after “falling ill.”
But even screaming hamstrings couldn’t stop endorphin-fueled brokers from boasting about leasing activity. “When our building [1 World Trade Center] is complete, we want to be the first ones to run up that,” said Jennifer Uczne, the only woman on the Tishman team, told TRD. Given where things are at now, when that day comes, we’ll be right behind them.