Goldman Sachs Runners Step Up for Empire State Building Race

Brian Kuritzky of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is among a group of Wall Street executives seeking to raise more than $300,000 for cancer research by racing up 1,576 steps in New York City’s Empire State Building.

The 35th annual Empire State Building Run-Up is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Feb. 8. For the second straight year, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, or MMRF, is the title sponsor and benefiting charity. Approximately 5,000 people in the race’s history have reached the finish line on the 86th floor observation deck, organizers said.

The event was invitation-only before last year, with participants selected by its organizer, the New York Road Runners. The Empire State Building Run-Up now features a wave of 100 charity runners for competitors who have committed to raise a minimum of $2,500 for the MMRF.

Kuritzky, a 25-year-old securities analyst at Goldman Sachs, was the fastest of last year’s MMRF PowerTeam members. His time of 13 minutes, 38 seconds earned the former Cornell University soccer player a place in this year’s Invitational Wave, where he’ll compete against runners from around the world.

“The competition will be fierce, but I know that, with every person I pass, I’m raising more money to help the MMRF fight cancer,” Kuritzky, who is collecting pledges from colleagues to raise $10,000 for every runner he passes, said in a statement. “That’s all the motivation I need.”

Mother’s Cancer

Kuritzky, whose mother died of breast cancer when he was 15, has run the New York City marathon and an 140.6-mile iron-distance triathlon to raise funds for cancer research. He’s part of a three-member Goldman Sachs team taking part in the MMRF Run-Up Challenge, which presents two trophies to corporate teams. Goldman Sachs last year won both the NYC Triumph Cup for the fastest team and the Spirit of Giving Cup for the most funds raised for charity.

Other companies in the competition include Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, Google Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo & Co.

Christine Kenney, a 33-year-old assistant vice president in equity capital markets for Citigroup, is defending her title after finishing first among women in the charity division last year with a time of 16:04. Kenney, the top-finishing female amateur at the 2011 Cozumel Ironman triathlon, said her team has raised more than $15,000 in donations over the past four days.

“Many of the people who have donated so far have told me their personal stories and how MM has affected their loved ones,” Kenney said in an e-mail. “I’m running in their honor. Last year being top female was very much a surprise since I had not done any stair training. I had no idea what to expect and it’s definitely a challenge.”

The course record of 9:33 was set by Paul Crake in 2003, according to the NYRR, which also organizes the New York City Marathon.

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