Monday, February 1, 2016

PTSD Veteran Racing To Top of Empire State Building at 70

At 70, Vietnam Veteran From Middletown To Race Up Empire State Building
Courant
Erik Hesselberg Special to Courant
February 1, 2016
Jerry Augustine (center) with buddies at Tay Nin Military base, near the Cambodian border north of Saigon. (Jerry Augustine / hc)
MIDDLETOWN — At the Empire State Building, Jerry Augustine doesn't take the elevator. He sprints up 1,576 stairs to the 86th-floor observation deck.

Augustine, a Vietnam War veteran, belongs to an elite group of tower runners who bolt up 86 floors of the 1,200-foot skyscraper in less than 15 minutes. A few do it in a gasping 10 minutes.

Augustine has run the race eight times, placing first, second and third in his age group. His best time is 14 minutes, 28 seconds. That was in 1998. He was 52 years old at the time.

Now 70, the Vietnam veteran, who said he started running to cope with his PTSD symptoms, wants to see if he's still got it. Augustine is running in the 39th annual Empire State Building Run-up in New York City on Wednesday.
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