Hundreds make World Trade Center tower climb

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Hundreds make World Trade Center tower climb
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Runners prepare themselves before participating in the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Runners prepare themselves before participating in the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Tim Donahue (C), 44, from Manhattan, shakes hands with other runners before running the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, Donahue won the race with a time under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Runners wait to climb towards the 72nd floor of 4 World Trade Center during the "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in New York. More than 700 people took part in the climb with the fastest male contender reaching the finish in just under 9 minutes and the first woman clocking in at just over 11 minutes. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: A team of fire fighters in full gear, made up of members from all over the east coast, prepare to run in the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Firefighters from departments outside New York wait in line to start a climb towards the 72nd floor of 4 World Trade Center during the "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in New York. More than 700 people took part in the climb with the fastest male contender reaching the finish in just under 9 minutes and the first woman clocking in at just over 11 minutes. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Firefighters from departments outside New York climb towards the 72nd floor of 4 World Trade Center during the "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in New York. More than 700 people took part in the climb with the fastest male contender reaching the finish in just under 9 minutes and the first woman clocking in at just over 11 minutes. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Firefighters from departments outside New York climb towards the 72nd floor of 4 World Trade Center during the "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in New York. More than 700 people took part in the climb with the fastest male contender reaching the finish in just under 9 minutes and the first woman clocking in at just over 11 minutes. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Firefighters from departments outside New York climb towards the 72nd floor of 4 World Trade Center during the "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in New York. More than 700 people took part in the climb with the fastest male contender reaching the finish in just under 9 minutes and the first woman clocking in at just over 11 minutes. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Runners climb towards the 72nd floor of 4 World Trade Center during the "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in New York. More than 700 people took part in the climb with the fastest male contender reaching the finish in just under 9 minutes and the first woman clocking in at just over 11 minutes. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: A man runs in the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: A team of firefighters made up of members from across the east coast participate in the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: A fire fighter in full gear drinks water after finishing the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Participants take a break during the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: One World Trade Center is seen during the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: More than 700 people run in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: People catch their breath after running in the 'Runyon Up,' a stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the Four World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City. The race attracted hundreds of participants, with the winner finishing in under 10 minutes. The run raised money and awareness for cancer research. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: The Manhattan Bridge is seen from Four World Trade Center during the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's 'Runyon Up' stair race in which participants run up 72 floors of stairs inside the 4 World Trade Center building on April 3, 2014 in New York City, United States. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Goldman Sachs headquarters, left, One World Trade Center, second left, and 4 World Trade Center, center, stand above the lower Manhattan skyline, Wednesday, April 2, 2014 in New York. About 700 people will race up 72 floors at 4 World Trade Center, Thursday in an event called the “Runyon Up," organized by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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By DEEPTI HAJELA
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- They're high steppers of a different sort.

More than 700 people took the long way up at the World Trade Center on Thursday - climbing the stairs - for the inaugural "Runyon Up," a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

Elite climbers went first, leading the pack at 4 World Trade Center. Participants could either tackle all 72 floors, or do a partial climb of 54.

Tim Donahue was the first man to reach the 72nd floor, making the climb in just under 9 minutes. The 44-year-old New York City teacher does several tower climbs a year. The first woman was Shari Klarfeld, 33, of Plainview, who made it in slightly over 11 minutes.

"It's striking how new this building is. It's like an unused baseball glove," Donahue said. "It's missing the cigarette butts and gum stains."

The building, part of a complex still under construction to replace the towers destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attacks, is so new that the floors climbers finished on were still unfinished.

Being at the World Trade Center site had particular meaning for Capt. Ray Farrell of the Fire Department of New York's Ladder 43 in East Harlem. The 53-year-old made the climb with a few of the men from his company.

"We climbed from ashes, here we are," the 25-year veteran said.

Some firefighters from New Jersey came to the climb in full gear.

"We do it as a tribute" to those who were lost in the Sept. 11 attacks, said Sean Smith, 22, who said he was wearing 68 pounds of equipment. He has been a firefighter for five years in Lebanon, N.J.

The event raised more than $170,000, said Lorraine Egan, foundation president and chief executive. She said the organization hopes to repeat the event next year.

Asked if organizers considered trying to move it to 1 World Trade Center, she said it wasn't something they had spoken to anyone about, but "I would love that."

Tower climbs are held in high-profile buildings around the world, including the Empire State Building. The event Thursday was sanctioned, unlike a recent spate of unauthorized visits by thrill-seekers to the site.

Sixteen-year-old Justin Casquejo, of Weehawken, N.J., was arrested last month after getting through a hole in the fence surrounding the 104-story 1 World Trade Center and taking the elevator to the spire. A judge has ordered Casquejo to be assessed in a program for youthful offenders. He faces charges including criminal trespass.

In September, three people parachuted from the building, producing a video of their jump.

Stair Climbing for Charity at 4 World Trade Center

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Follow Deepti Hajela on Twitter: (at)dhajela

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