Towerrunning Tour Final 2019: Bourne and Belotti win but Lobodzinski and Walsham take overall titles

Posted: November 25, 2019 in News
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Shanghai Tower International Vertical Marathon 2019

Mark Bourne and Valentina Belotti put in showcase performances yesterday to take victory at the Towerrunning Tour Final at Shanghai Tower.

Australian Bourne clocked a PB of 17:33 to take first place in the world’s second-tallest building, finishing ahead of Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) who reached the top of the 3,398-step tower in 17:57.

It was the fourth win from four races in a little over four weeks for the sensational Bourne. With recent wins over Lobodzinski at Shanghai IFC (Oct. 20) and Osaka (Nov. 10), plus victory over world number two Soh Wai Ching at Melbourne’s Eureka Tower, Bourne headed into the race as favourite.

In the first half of the season, Bourne had lost four times on the trot to Lobodzinski, at Lotte World Tower (Seoul), Allianz Tower (Milan), Landmark 81 (Ho Chi Minh city) and Taipei 101.

But the Australian mountain running star stepped away from the stairs for five months, before returning in October to begin a run of dominating performances that culminated in his win yesterday at the biggest race of the year.

MarkBourne Shanghai 2019

 

‘After a busy week and not feeling 100%, I felt quite ordinary during the warm up. Luckily I trusted my training, got into a good rhythm and even managed a PB,’ said Bourne.

China’s Wenbo Zeng took third in 18:15.

Shanghai Tower International Vertical Marathon 2019 top five men:

1. Mark Bourne (AUS) 17:33
2. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 17:57
3. Wenbo Zeng (CHN) 18:15
4. Qinhua Liu (CHN) 18:19
5. Wai Ching Soh (MYS) 18:26

Belotti wins super-close battle

Victory for Italy’s Valentina Belotti was a much closer affair. Her winning time of 20:50 was just four seconds ahead of Suzy Walsham (AUS).

The in-form Belotti, who already had a confidence-boosting win over Walsham at Ostankino Tower (Moscow) in August, managed to take 54 seconds off the time she clocked at the Shanghai Tower last year.

Shanghai Tower International Vertical Marathon 2019 top five women:

1. Valentina Belotti (ITA) 20:50
2. Suzy Walsham (AUS) 20:54
3. Muhua Jian (CHN) 21:23
4. Linming Chen (CHN) 22:02
5. Brooke Logan (AUS) 22:28

Suzy Walsham and Piotr Lobodzinski win Towerrunning Tour 2019

Beyond the focus of the head-to-head clashes between Bourne/Lobodzinski and Belotti/Walsham was the business of seeing who would end up top of the Towerrunning World Association rankings for 2019 and secure the title of Towerrunning Tour champion.

The combined total of the top eight results of each athlete throughout the year determine their position in the final TWA rankings.

With 240 points on the table in Shanghai a lot of positions were still up for grabs, in the men’s race in particular.

With her dominance throughout the year, only a complete disaster could have prevented Suzy Walsham taking her ninth title.

In order for the Australian to lose her grip on the trophy, Cindy Harris (USA) would have to win the race, and Walsham would have to finish in 16th place or lower. Given that Walsham hasn’t finished off the podium all year, this was never going to happen.

So, Walsham’s second-place finish was more than enough to see her win the title.

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I’m pretty happy to finish 2nd 🥈today (even though it was a close 4secs from the win and 20sec off my course record from last year) as I achieved my aim of sub-21min. My injury interrupted year means I’ve struggled a bit in the “super towers” (the 100+ floor buildings) and today I felt strong for about 90 floors…but when the race is 119 floors that just wasn’t enough!! * But today’s performance was more than enough to secure my 9th Towerrunning World Tour Championship 🏆 and finish the year with the World #1 ranking. * Big congrats to @markbournerun and @valerun80 for their stellar wins today, and to @towerrunner for securing yet another Towerrunning World title. It was great today to see so much depth in both the men’s and women’s races with 60 elites racing and big congrats to all – it’s one long, tough race. #world1 #worldtitle #worldtour #towerrunning #towerrunningworldtour #9worldtitles #toughrace #verticalrunning #stairrunning #athletelife #friends #nike #nikesg #alpnutrition #alpnutritionsport #chiroworkssg #chiroworksathlete #justdoit #shanghaitowerverticalmarathon #theonlywayisup

A post shared by Suzy Walsham 🇦🇺🏃🏻‍♀️ (@suzywalsham) on

Towerrunning Tour 2019 women’s standings:

1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) 1126
2. Cindy Harris (USA) 850
3. Muhua Jian (CHN) 750

For Piotr Lobodzinski the permutations were a little more pressing.

Having been forced to skip the 120-point race at the Menara TM in Kuala Lumpur in favour of the rescheduled Vertical World Circuit final in Osaka (Nov. 10), Lobodzinski had gifted Soh Wai Ching – who won that Kuala Lumpur race – an excellent opportunity to take the overall title in Shanghai.

If Lobodzinski finished in second as current form suggested he might, Wai Ching needed to finish in fourth to take the 2019 Tour title.

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The calm before the storm! Being flag off at the 2nd last with a 30s gap before the World No. 1 @towerrunner from Poland. The main objective is not to let him overtake me, and aim to overtake @alexistrujillo_atl from Mexico, where he started 30s in front of me. Started at a 113 bpm, maintain the whole journey comfortably and I knew I can hold this pace for a super long journey. Decided to speed up at some point of time as I found out the landing part took me 3 steps instead of 2 steps from what I forecasted or predicted based on the floor plan I have. You will never know whether the floor plan you have are actually the exactly correct one. So you have to always subject to variable change and adapting from time to time, react and respond fast when you see an odd number of steps in the flight, hop on triple steps so that you can save a beat, which in long term wise will lead to a big gain in time. It was a tough challenge and I started to love this course and understand more of it after 2nd time of running it. I will definitely be back next year to revenge for a sub 18 at least! Thanks everyone for the support! More stories up next. Thanks once again. #MasTowerRunner #MalaysiaTowerRunningAssociation

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Alternative finishing positions could have let Alexis Trujillo (MEX) and Görge Heimann (GER) sneak in for the overall title, too. There was a lot on the line.

But Wai Ching’s 18:26 finish was only good enough for fifth place, a mere seven seconds separating him from Qinhua Liu in fourth.

Lobodzinski’s second-place finish, then, was enough to secure him his sixth Towerrunning Tour title. Just 10 points separated the top two at the end of the season.

Towerrunning Tour 2019 men’s standings:

1. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 964
2. Wai Ching Soh (MYS) 954
3. Alexis Trujillo (MEX) 864

Full Shanghai Tower International Vertical Marathon 2019 results

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