Showtime Wins Again and There’s a Cheetah in Paris

Posted: June 6, 2015 in News
Tags: , , , ,

The end of May saw a swathe of races that involved some of the biggest names in tower running battling for ranking points. This latest round up of results starts on 28 May in Slovakia, where climbers were running up the historic Strecno Castle, which dates back as far as the 14th century. The sprint race covers 151 steps and must be up there for the award of most picturesque venue for a stair race. It was won in 34.19 seconds by Michal “The Cocktail Maker” Miške. Fastest lady on the day was Emília “The Oligarch’s Governess” Melová who clocked in at 47.15.

The striking Strecno Castle in Slovakia

The striking Strecno Castle in Slovakia

Up in Norway, home of 2014 ESBRU winner Thorbjorn Ludvigsen, the second Barcode Challenge was held in Oslo. The event takes its name from a redeveloped area of the city that is home to several architecturally interesting buildings.

The Barcode Buildings in Oslo

The Barcode Buildings in Oslo

We were surprised to see that Thorbjorn “Again” Ludvigsen hadn’t taken the win, as he has shown his pedigree twice at ESBRU now. But perhaps he favours the longer races as he only managed a 5th place finish at the race up 303 steps. Victory on the day went to Atle ” Come At Me Bro” Mcadam who crossed the mat in a swift 52 seconds.

The following day, 29 May, saw a huge event in Paris at Tour First, the tallest building in France. As the fourth event (of eight) on the 2015 Vertical World Circuit, the race attracted some of the best stair climbers from around Europe, all in search of crucial ranking points. Looking through the photos from the event (available here), it looked like a lot of fun, with Star Wars stormtroopers patrolling the venue, kids sparring each other in boxing rings outside, ridiculously good looking French women flashing coquettish smiles and some loony done up like a cheetah, with his junk hanging out, taking part in the race.

What's this fella up to, hey?

What’s this fella up to, hey?

At the business end of proceedings, current VWC leader Piotr “Showtime” Lobodzinski maintained his unbeaten run in 2015, with a comprehensive win. He was the only climber on the day to go under five minutes, as he reached the top of the 954 stairs in a time of 4.43. The interesting battles were for the remaining podium spots. Second place was taken by in-form David “El Conquistador” Robles Tapia in 5.01, and we were extremely pleased to see the return to form of Omar “The Sheriff” Bekkali who took third in 5.07. He held off challenges from three of central Europe’s finest climbers; “The Wanderer” Majcen, Hascher “The Natural” and “Hannibal” Lechner.

The World's Best: (l-r) Svabikova, Robles Tapia, Hascher, Showtime, unknown, Bekkali, unknown

The World’s Best: (l-r) Svabikova, Robles Tapia, Hascher, Showtime, unknown, Bekkali, unknown

In the ladies division it was plain sailing for VWC leader Lenka “Czech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” Svabikova aka “Shredder” aka “Operation Abs”. She won by a country mile in a time of 6.10, which was also good enough to secure her seventh place overall. We are big fans of Svabikova here at Tower Running UK. Not only is she one of the most consistent and exciting stair climbers in the female ranks, she also seems to be a thoroughly nice person. If you happen to watch back some of the post-race clips from the World Championship in Qatar, you will see Svabikova hastily handing out bottles of water to prostrate male elites as they collapsed after the line at the top of The Torch. A humble and generous gesture from a great athlete, which stuck with us.

"Operation Abs" is a go!! The colourful Lenka Svabikova reaches the top in Paris.

“Operation Abs” is a go!! The colourful Lenka Svabikova reaches the top in Paris.

The 2015 season has been fantastic so far, and there are lots more exciting races to come. We look forward to seeing some more decisive battles in the coming months.

Keep climbing.

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