Some Stairy Statistics

A couple of weeks ago, the NY Road Runners Club sponsored the Empire State Building Run Up. (A belated thumbs up to Arther Gonzalez for his successful 18:36 ascent!). There was a little Blog conversation as to the best staircase to use to train for this event within the NYC Subway system. (Did you catch my pun?)

Today I went for a ride.

Smith and 9th Street is definitely the tallest subway station in NYC (It was built on over a drawbridge! What were they thinking?) From the Street to the platform there are 139 steps. The top section is 36 steps to either platform. You will not get in anybody's way if you are running up and taking the escalator down, and the air was fresh, but it is kinda run down. The view from the platform is legendary.

My next stop was the station at Lexington Ave. and E63rd St. It is known among commuters as a tough transfer. Here is a movie of someone running down There are 42 steps from the street, another 131 to the downtown platform and 36 more to the Queens bound platform. There might be a nice quantity of steps, but I would not recommend this for training. First, the stairs are spread out, meaning you have to cross the path of the people using the escalator to continue your run up the stairs. But the main reason not to run up these stairs is that it is usually a busy place.

The next stop on the F is Roosevelt Island. I have been there once before and knew it would be a great place to train for a stair climb. From the subway level to the "mezzanine" there are 24 steps. Then there are 135 in a straight line. You can easily run down the escalator and do this as much as you want without bothering anybody. The air was fresh, even though the whole thing was underground.

These two pictures are from the Roosevelt Island Station, the view from top and the bottom.

My next trip was to New Jersey, to count the stairs at the Exchange Place station on the PATH. On my way to Exchange Place, I started counting the stairs at WTC station. I stopped counting; this is not a place to run.

The signage at Exchange Place said it was 101 years old. To me it looked as new as the Roosevelt Island Station which is the newest in the NYC Subway system. There is only one set of stairs from the subway level to the street and there are 128 of them. Like Roosevelt Island, you can run up and speed down the escalator as much as you want without bothering anybody (except maybe during rush hour). I took two pictures. The first is the view from the top; you can see the Verrazano Bridge from New Jersey! I took the second from the bottom of the stairs after the PATH Police officer told me to put my camera away. (Don't tell)

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So, if you are not allowed to take pictures in a PATH station, I don't know what the cops would say about running up the stairs. But it looks like fun!!

On Tuesday, I will take a run in Prospect Park. I will count the stairs on big hill.
UncategorizedMichael Ring