Cathal to run up 1,576 steps to top of Empire State Building
A Dublin architect is planning to run up stairs to the top of one of the tallest skyscrapers in the US.
The challenge being undertaken by Cathal Travers will be even tougher because he will be in a race against 74 other runners in the dash to the top of the Empire State Building in New York.
"I've been training in the gym but I'm told that it's going to be very tough with a lot of runners naturally throwing elbows going around every corner on the stairs," said London-based Cathal (33), from Newcastle, Co Dublin.
"We've been told that it can be very hard breathing near the top and it will feel a little like altitude sickness."
Cathal was delighted when his name was picked from thousands of applicants for the annual event, which takes place on February 3.
He had to write in 400 words why he would like to reach the top.
He will be raising funds for the Donal Walsh Live Life Foundation, which was set up after the death of the terminally-ill Kerry schoolboy who issued an anti-suicide plea to the nation's youth.
"Donal lived an inspiring life and was one of the reasons I decided to make a bucket list of things I wanted to do, such as this upcoming event in New York," said Cathal.
"I'm glad to be raising money for the Irish Cancer Society as well as my mother survived cancer over 10 years ago and I've had other relatives who had cancer."
Cathal has competed in three marathons since taking up running two years ago.
Next month's race is the pinnacle event in global tower running. Competitors will race up 86 floors and 1,576 steps to the finish line which is 1,050 feet above street level.
The event consists of a number of heats, from professional stair climbers to charity participants and celebrities.
The 'Run Up' has become a must-do event for athletes across the globe.
Cathal said he has learned much from the tips of fellow Irishman John O'Regan who has undertaken several such challenges.
John said the staircase goes clockwise so runners will be pulling with their right arms on the bannisters.
Halfway up, they must run across a floor to the next flight of stairs, and at the top they have to run across another floor.
Donations can be made through www.justgiving.com/account/teams/cathaltravers
The record for racing to the top of the Empire State Building is nine minutes and 33 seconds, set by Australian Paul Crake of Australia in 2003.
The women's record of 11:23 was set by Andrea Mayr of Austria in 2006.