Wellington's Melissa Moon won the annual race up New York's iconic Empire State Building yesterday for the second time in her career.

The 42-year-old completed the 86 flights and 1,576 steps in a time of 12 minutes and 39 seconds to take out the women's title that she previously won in 2010.

Moon said it wasn't until she had 16 flights to go before she could sense victory.

"You can't start too fast too soon in a race like this," she told Associated Press. "I knew I had it when I got to the 70th floor and I could no longer hear them breathing behind me."


The two time world mountain running champion cut 34 seconds off her 2010 winning time.

Around 650 people ran in this year's race with Germany's Thomas Dold winning the men's title for a seventh straight time.