Colombia’s Rangel Takes Victory in Mexico

Posted: March 10, 2015 in News
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Hola lectores, el post de hoy va a ser en español…just messing y’all! Plain ole boring English this week, but the excitement is all in the news as we take a look at the action from Saturday’s big Towerrunning Grand Prix of Mexico in Mexico City.

Battle commenced at the Torre Latinoamericana, the city’s oldest skyscraper, which with its steep spirally stair case was bound to prove a tough challenge for all those who climbed. The stair running world sent forth some of its strongest competitors to test the South Americans who, despite a rich history of athletic excellence, haven’t yet had a huge impact on the international stair running scene. The notable exception of course being the inimitable Javier “El Flecha” Santiago.

Among the well-known elite runners preparing to climb the building’s 720 steps were Americans Sproule “The Ghost” Love and Scott “The Chalice of Thunder” Stanley, Austria’s Rolf “The Wanderer” Majcen, Germany’s Gorge “der Stufe Zerstörer” Heimann and Pavel “I Have a Dream” Holec from the Czech Republic.

"The Ghost" doing some Jedi mind tricks on an unsuspecting Gorge Heimann as Pavel Holec (002) and Juan Pablo Rangel (003) look on helplessly

“The Ghost” (004) doing some hypnotic psych-out tricks on an unsuspecting Gorge Heimann, as Pavel Holec (002) and Juan Pablo Rangel (003) look on fearfully!

In among them at the start line was the rangy Colombian mountain runner Juan Pablo “The Inverted Waterfall” Rangel, who has established stair running dominance in his own country, securing a number of victories and the course record at the Colombia Grand Prix.

"The Inverted Waterfall" cascading to victory no doubt in a road race

“The Inverted Waterfall” cascading past a rival during a road race

There are a lot of legends already built up around Rangel. Some say he lives in a mountain cave, three quarters of the way up Pico Cristóbal Colón. Others say that before each race he enforces on himself a two-day period of complete isolation where he exists solely on water and peyote. One race steward in Colombia apparently saw Rangel’s cheeks blown back by the effects of g-force as he was moving so fast up a stairwell. Mythic tales or not, it is indisputable that the Colombian is a certified speedster, and he proved it again on Saturday by taking the win in a course record of 3:32. He was pushed hard by “The Ghost” who reached the top, which is at 2,400m above sea-level, in 3:58. “I Have a Dream” Holec took third in 4:06, edging Heimann out by the very narrow margin of 0.3 seconds.

The World in Unity: Holec, Rangel and Love celebrate on the podium

The World in Union: Holec, Rangel and Love celebrate on the podium

The women’s section was an interesting affair with some Mexican track athletes and mountain runners heading to the tower to test themselves against the unrelenting stairs. Ready at the start line to attempt to halt local dominance and add another key to her ring was “The Gatekeeper” Cristina Bonacina.

The win was taken by local lady and first time stair runner Ericka Cano “Diamond Soles” Gomez in 5:16, with her compatriot Carmen “The Cavalier” Trinidad Ramiro Allende close behind in 5:20. “The Gatekeeper” Bonacina opened the door to her second third-place finish in a week with a time of 5:44. In fact, the Italian was the only non-Mexican in the top six. A great result for the home-grown talent over in Mexico.

Well done to all who took part.

Interested in taking part in a tower running event? Check out our partners Total Motion Events or our race calendar to find out what events are happening near you.

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