Up, up and away: Racers climb NYC's Empire State



NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a race to the top -- well, to the 86th floor, anyway.

People from around the world are taking part in a vertical race -- up 86 flights of stairs at the Empire State Building. That's a total of 1,576 steps, starting at the lobby and finishing at the observation deck.

The annual Empire State Building Run-up is being held Wednesday night.

More than 600 people are registered for the event, including some world-class elite athletes. Seven-time champion Thomas Dold of Germany is going for his eighth victory in a row. Among the women, four-time winner Cindy Harris of the United States will be taking part.

Other contestants come from countries including Belgium, Japan and Papua New Guinea.