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Hundreds Climb 30 Rock To Raise Money For Those Suffering From Multiple Sclerosis

Tim Donahue won the Top of the Rock race for the second straight year on March 2, 2014. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Tim Donahue won the Top of the Rock race for the second straight year on March 2, 2014. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — About 1,300 people now have bragging rights after climbing up 66 flights of stairs to the observation deck at Rockefeller Center for a good cause.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, the annual Climb to the Top at 30 Rock was held Sunday morning. The event helped raise an estimated $1 million to help 10,000 people suffering from multiple sclerosis in southern New York.

For the second year in a row, Tim Donahue, of New York City, was the first one to the top, finishing in about 7 minutes, 48 seconds.

“I feel winded,” he told Miller. “But I’m ready for more.”

Donahue said the course is tough.

“The stairways are very wide, so you can only grab one rail,” he said. “And the rhythm is a little tough, but you can’t the view up here.”

Three minutes after Donahue reached the observation deck, 12-year-old Blake Strzepek, of East Windsor, crossed the finish line as one of the elite athletes. He is the youngest participant ever to receive elite status in the event.

“It was weird in the stairwell because they were all skipping stairs, and then I was doing a bear crawl, so it was very different,” Blake said.

Blake Strzepek climbed 66 flights of stairs to the observation deck at Rockefeller Center to raise money for people suffering from multiple sclerosis. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Blake Strzepek climbed 66 flights of stairs to the observation deck at Rockefeller Center to raise money for people suffering from multiple sclerosis. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Blake’s mom said she was proud.

“My grandmother had M.S., and my sister started doing (the climb) a few years back and he wasn’t old enough,” she said. “And then he said, ‘I want to do it.'”

After completing the challenge, Ferndando Rodriguez saw the view of Manhattan from the top of 30 Rock for the first time.

“My wife was diagnosed with M.S., so anything I can do to support her goes a long way,” he said.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and body. More than 2.3 million people are affected by M.S. worldwide.

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