Sunday, January 21, 2018

Schuylkill County Man Selected to Participate in Empire State Building Race

A Frackville man has been selected to participate in Empire State Building Run Up next month.

Every February, a limited group of runners of all ranks take the ultimate vertical challenge in a race up the 86 floors (1,576 steps and 1,050 feet up) of one of the world’s most famous buildings, the Empire State Building.

Sixty runners are selected via lottery each year to participate in the Empire State Building Run-Up Presented by Turkish Airlines Powered by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. 

The event encompasses numerous heats of runners, from professional stair climbers to charity participants.  The race is the pinnacle event in global tower running.  This year, the 41st annual race will take place on February 7, 2018.

Celebrities have also gotten in on the action with the likes of Kelly Ripa and Natalie Morales completing the climb in recent years.

The Run-Up has become a bucket list event for athletes across the globe, and of the thousands who enter the invitational lottery for an opportunity to race, only a select few have the chance to participate.

Schuylkill County's own, Derek Flail, 36, of Frackville has been selected to participate in this year's race.

Flail, who is the General Manager of The Jungle, a speed, power and agility complex centered around the community and youth scholar athletesin Schuylkill Haven, says " I want to run this race to show all the youth athletes I work with and also the adults that I practice what I preach. Each and every day I wake up and challenge myself to be better than yesterday. Also to show that no matter what there is always time to do something to make yourself better. I work long hours training everyone else and the hardest thing to do is train myself."

To train, Flail says he has been training with Jason Phillips of Phillips Brayford Orthopedics by running stairs, pushing sleds, and pushing his body to the limits late at night, weekends, and early mornings.

"The support I have been getting from the community and all the people that ask me if i'm crazy really drives me. Climbing those stairs it you vs you. Its a mental battle every step of the way. You're mind will tell you're body to stop, and overcoming that is the greatest feeling in the world. Leading by example. Not just telling people to always be your best." says Flail.

To follow more on the work Flail does at the Jungle, visit

Flail training athletes at The Jungle