Showtime wins in Taipei and “Hannibal” Lechner is on the rise

Posted: May 5, 2015 in News
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There have been some big races lately, with the world’s elite competing at events in Europe and Asia. We want to quickly jump back a couple of weeks to April 23rd, to a race we didn’t get chance to write about at the time, but which involved some of Europe’s top stair runners.

Held in Vienna, the first Haus des Meeres stair race was a very closely run affair, with Austria’s best climbers battling for homeland bragging rights. In a sprint race up just 271 outdoor steps, the top five were separated by a mere five seconds. Taking a well earned victory was the perennially competitive Norbert “Hannibal” Lechner. This guy regularly takes podium places and top-ten finishes at events with the strongest fields around the world. After a disappointing final run at the World Championship in Doha, Lechner had remarked that he had lost a bit of motivation and as a result his training hadn’t been as intense as usual. It seems the slight layoff proved just what he needed as he sprinted to victory in a time of 00: 59.45. He just managed to hold off “The Mauerbach Tornado” Klaus Hausleitner, who finished in 00: 59.75.

Lechner prepares for the challenge of Taipei 101

Lechner prepares for the challenge of Taipei 101

On May 3rd Lechner’s attention turned to the gargantuan challenge of the steeply stepped Taipei 101, currently the fifth tallest buidling in the world. Also taking on the 2,046 steps were world number one Showtime Lobodzinski, Italy’s Emanuele “Il Guerriero” Manzi, “The Meat Cleaver” Petr Novotny from the Czech Republic and a number of talented local climbers. Reigning champion and multi-time winner Mark “The Assassin” Bourne was absent, so it was the perfect opportunity for Showtime to finally take victory at a race in which his previous best finish had been second. And he did just that. The 2014 Towerrunning Champion has been in incredible form recently and it shows no sign of stopping. Second place went to Manzi, also having a brilliant season, with local climber Jun Gu “Pyroclastic Flow” Guo taking a well-earned third. As usual, “Hannibal” was in the mix, finishing a strong 7th.

The top finishers at Taipei 101 celebrate their success

Some of the top finishers at Taipei 101 celebrate their success

In the women’s section there was a good spread of talent on show. Again the reigning champ, Valentina “Atalanta” Belotti, was missing, which denied us the chance to see what would have undoubtedly been a great race between her and 2014 Towerrunning Champion Suzy “The Title Magnate” Walsham. In the end, Walsham took a fairly handy win, with “The Rising Sun” Dominika Wisniweska-Ulfik finishing in second. It was great to see “The Gatekeeper” Cristina Bonacina taking third. “Need For Speed” Cindy Reid, winner in Vietnam a few weeks back, managed a solid fifth.

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