Dematteis wins in Valtellina and joy in Hanoi for Majcen

Posted: April 19, 2015 in News
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The worldwide appeal of our ever-rewarding sport was on show this Saturday with races in Asia, North America and Europe. Some of the best climbers around laced up their shoes, adjusted their metronomes and said “how do you do?” to their old friend lactic acid, as they tackled varied buildings and race formats in Canada, Vietnam, Germany, Italy and the USA.

We’ll kick things off in Radebeul, Germany where a crew of hardened souls were taking on a step-marathon that matched the elevation of Mount Everest. We can’t quite make sense of the results right now but you can take a look here to see what was going on. Looks like there might have been some sort of 24hour race option there too. We heard a rumour that some guys have a strategically placed slop bucket to save themselves the ‘hassle’ of going to the proper toilet, which is a bit of a walk from the stairs. Dedication or savagery? Let us know in the comments section below!! Anyway, well done to all who braved that challenge. We salute you!

Down in Valtellina, Italy, there was the first Vertical Tube Race. This had received quite a lot of pre-race attention and attracted a strong field of athletes. They even had this awesome promo video doing the rounds in the run up to the event too.

Look at those stats!! 60% incline (in parts), 2,700 steps and 500m of vertical ascent. It looked and sounded like it was going to be a brilliant event.

Taking the win on the day was Italy’s Bernard “Ultimate Ascent” Dematteis in 14:02. The name might sound familiar, and that would be because he came third at the Eiffel Tower run up last month. Big Bernie is a very successful mountain runner and is making a strong transition to stair running, with back-to-back podium finishes. Hot on his trail was the ever-competitive Emanuele “Il Guerriero” Manzi who took second in 14:50, with Alex “Popeye” Baldaccini making it a clean sweep for Italy by finishing third in 15:02. This race is firmly on our stair climb wish list! For those of you who are into this sort of thing you can re-watch the race by clicking here. Be warned it’s a single camera shot, so there isn’t that much to see and the runners look pretty beat up by the time they reach the point of filming.


The lean figure of Bernard Dematteis during a mountain running event

There were shouts of “gooooood morning Vietnam” (probably) ringing out in the stairwell of Hanoi’s Landmark 72 on Saturday too. Climbers there were taking on 1,914 steps in the quest for victory, and top honours went to the ubiquitous Austrian Rolf “The Wanderer” Majcen, who smashed the race with a sub-11 minute finish. Surely, The Wanderer has by now secured some sort of record for the most international stair races completed? This master climber is the Phileas Fogg of the stair climbing world, and shows no signs of letting up as he consistently gets podium places and wins.

CHARITY Tower 090410

“The Wanderer” powering up the stairs at London’s Vertical Rush

Victory in the women’s section was reserved for another outsider as Australia’s Cindy “Need for Speed” Reid charged to the top in 14:33, which also earned her a top-10 overall spot. Cindy is an experienced personal trainer who lives in Hong Kong, where she is a Director of The HIT Room. It seems Australian domination of the Asian tower running scene isn’t limited to Suzy Walsham. Good going Cindy!!

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