The Empire State Building Run-Up is quintessential New York. Everyone is in a hurry. The race is over in a matter of minutes. And there's a party afterward.
The 38th annual Run-Up of 1,576 steps was held on Feb. 4, 2015.
The race goes up 86 floors, from the lobby to the iconic Observatory level.
The Run-Up started as a publicity stunt to promote the New York City Marathon, but then the number of runners grew year after year.
In 2014 the race moved from morning to night to be less disruptive to the office workers.
In addition to invited professionals and charity teams, there is a lottery for the general public. Thousands enter and dozen are chosen.
The winners of the 2015 Run-Up: Suzy Walsham and Darren Wilson.
The finish line is a wild rush of wind and music.
Athletes crawl or limp around at the finish line while their legs slowly regained power.
"The pain is like nothing ever before," said Lisa Zeigel, a tower runner since 2001, but "as soon as it's over you want to do it again."
After the awards ceremony, in which glass statues of the Empire State Building are handed out, many runners head to a local bar.
As chilly February gusts whipped through the platform on race night, Manhattan twinkled silently below.