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Anna Ficner defended her European Tower Running Championship title at Rondo 1 in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.

The 2016 European champion put in a dominant first round run of 4:28.3 up the 38 floors of Rondo 1 to create a big lead over the rest of the field. Fellow Polish athletes Iwona Januszyk (4:48.8) and Iwona Wicha (5:08.2) followed, with Czech runner Adela Vorackova just back in 5:09.8.

After a mere 10-minute rest, the athletes set off on their second runs. The total of the two runs would be combined to determine the overall winner.

With a 20-second lead already established in the first run, it would have taken a completely disastrous second run from Ficner to lose top spot.

The 37-year old, who had already won three times previously at Rondo 1, was not to be halted.

Iwona Januszyk, Anna Ficner and Adela Vorackova (photo: Bartłomiej Zborowski)

Januszyk clocked the fastest time in the second run (5:15.06), but Ficner kept well within touching distance, finishing just slightly slower in 5:16.98).

Ficner’s total time across the two runs of 9:45.01 was comfortably ahead of Januszyk’s 10:03.14.

In the battle for third place, the quick back-to-back runs took an impact on Iwona Wicha. The experienced Pole dropped time in the second round and was unable to hold onto her spot on the podium.

Vorackova spoiled the home town’s hopes of an all-Polish podium, taking third with her total of 10:37.01, ahead of Wicha’s 10:42.40.

Ficner’s win was matched by veteran Italian Fabio Ruga in the men’s division. It was a repeat of the result in 2012, when the pair also took victory at Rondo 1.

Full European Tower Running Championship results

Italy’s Fabio Ruga raced to gold at the European Tower Running Championship in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.

Ruga clocked 3:41.8 in the first of his two runs up the 38-floor Rondo 1 building in the Polish capital [the two times were combined to determine the fastest athlete]. This was enough to put him ahead of all other European athletes, and just a split second slower than the international guest Soh Wai Ching from Malaysia.

Defending champion Christian Riedl’s (GER) first-round run of 3:49 was the next quickest, with Jakob Mayer (AUT) and Tomas Macecek (CZE) the only other athletes to go sub four-minutes in the first round with times of 3:50.6 and 3:55.8, respectively.

After just 10 minutes rest, athletes set off on their second runs, and it was here that Ruga set himself apart from the field.

His 3:50.7 was the fastest in the second round and enough to secure him the title of European champion.

Christian Riedl maintained his second-place position with 3:52.13 in the second round, while Tomas Macecek leaped ahead of Jakob Mayer to secure third place on the podium.

Laurence Ball was the highest ranked British runner, finishing 12th.

European Tower Running Champion Fabio Ruga with Malaysia’s Soh Wai Ching
Over a decade at the top

The 40-year old Italian’s win was a brilliant demonstration of his remarkable longevity, coming 14 years after his tower running debut and 10 years after his last win at Rondo 1 back in 2012.

Ruga’s winning time that year was 3:39.53, so to get so close to that time again a decade on is an impressive achievement.

The Italian mountain runner obviously likes the course in Poland, as in 2016 he finished third at the European Tower Running Championship, which was also held at Rondo 1.

Full results of the European Tower Running Championship

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The European Tower Running Championship takes place tomorrow (21 May) at the Rondo 1 tower in Warsaw, Poland.

It’s the fourth edition of the championship and 2016 champions Christian Riedl and Anna Ficner are both returning to defend their titles.

The Championship format involves two runs up the 38 floors of Rondo 1, in a time-trial format. The athlete with the fastest combined time will win.

The who’s who of European tower running will be in attendance, but disappointingly the anticipated return of Piotr Lobodzinski will no longer happen, after the Polish athlete had to withdraw due to injury.

Men’s Elite

Görge Heimann (Germany)
Fabio Ruga (Italy)
Stefan Stefina (Slovakia)
Jakob Mayer (Austria)
Christian Riedl (Germany)
Tomáš Maceček (Czech Republic)
Tomas Celko (Slovakia)
Sebastien De Castro (France)
Daniel Koszykowski (Poland)
Krzysztof Gawlas (Poland)
Gerko Floor (Netherlands)
Pawel Ruszala (Poland)
Lukáš Mlýnek (Czech Republic)
Siegfried Flor (Germany)
David Leitheiser (Germany)
Mateusz Marunowski (Poland)
Kacper Mrowiec (Poland)
Matthias Gall (Germany)
Marlo Post (Netherlands)
Andreas Fruhmann (Germany)
Pavel Holec (Czech Republic)
Pawel Zakowicz (Poland)
Lars Migge (Germany)
Rauno Tiits (Estonia)
Božidar Deodat Krešić (Croatia)
Adrian Hebda (Poland)
Jindrich Schick (Czech Republic)
Nishad Manerikar (UK)
Roberto Toffano (Italy)
Irakli Chubinashvili (Georgia)
Wai Ching Soh (Malaysia)

Women’s Elite

Iwona Wicha (Poland)
Piret Põldsaar (Estonia)
Verena Schmitz (Germany)
Kamila Chomaničová (Slovakia)
Adéla Voráčková (Czech Republic)
Dominika Stelmach (Poland)
Anna Ficner (Poland)
Anna Żółtak (Poland)
Alessandra Valgoi (Italy)
Anzhela Fibikh (Russia)
Iwona Januszyk (Poland)
Chiara Cristoni (Italy)

Follow the live results of the European Towerrunning Championship 2022

Marta Cosp put in a strong performance at the Walkie Talkie building in London to storm to victory with a time of 5:24.

The in-form Spaniard finished well ahead of visiting American athlete Verity Rees (6:27) who was coming into the race off the back of first (Big Climb Houston) and second place (Big Climb Minneapolis) finishes last month.

Sandra Jeffries took third spot, reaching the top in 6:37.

It was the fourth edition of the GOSH Walkie Talkie Tower Climb, with this year’s event run on a slightly extended course that was three floors higher than in previous years.

It’s the second win in a row for Cosp, who also claimed top spot at Beetham Tower in Manchester last month.

Laurence Ball went straight back to winning ways at the Walkie Talkie building in London in his first UK stair race in almost a year.

Winner of the event in 2019, Ball’s time of 4:27 was enough to secure him a comfortable victory ahead of American Harrison Kieffer (4:53) and Bart Schmitz (5:13).

It was the fourth edition of the GOSH Walkie Talkie Tower Climb, with this year’s event run on a slightly extended course that was three floors higher than in previous years.

It was the first stair race of the year for Ball, who was last seen winning the LOROS Tower Run in Leicester in July 2021.

Full GOSH Walkie Talkie Tower Climb 2022 results

Two-time tower running world champion Piotr Lobodzinski will return to action at the Rondo 1 Run-Up (Bieg na Szczyt Rondo 1) in Warsaw, Poland on 21 May.

The 36-year old Pole hasn’t raced on the stairs since February 2020, instead turning his attention to long-distance mountain/trail running during the pandemic-imposed restrictions on tower races.

Lobodzinski has won five of the previous nine races at the 836-step Rondo 1 tower in the Polish capital and also holds the course record of 3:27.60, which he set in the qualifying round in 2014.

The event is doubling as the fourth ‘European Towerrunning Championship’, with a strong field of runners that includes Malaysia’s Soh Wai Ching expected to be in attendance.

Athletes will each climb the 38 floors of Rondo 1 twice, in a time-trial format. The runner with the fastest combined time will win.

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David Harris took victory at Manchester’s 798-step Beetham Tower with a winning time of 5:02.

The veteran tower runner won by over 30 seconds, trailed by Phil Evans (5:34) and Oliver Llewellyn-Smith (5:43).

It was a welcome return to the top of the podium for Harris, who has been narrowly kept off the top spot at multiple events the past few years.

He finished second at the last running of the The Christie Tower Run in 2019 – where he clocked his personal best of 4:33 – and was also second at last month’s LOROS Tower Run in Leicester.

Cosp sets new course record

In the women’s division, 2019 winner Marta Cosp came back to take 11 seconds off her own event record, with a winning time of 5:25. It was a dominant performance by Cosp, who was followed by Rachel Tomalin in 6:23 and Naomi Lambert in 7:14.

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Rauno Tiits and Piret Poldsaar won at the TV Tower in Tallinn to retain their Estonian Championship titles.

Tiits ran the 870 steps in the narrow stairwell of the tower in 4:47 to improve on his time from last year by 12 seconds.

A close race for the title was anticipated leading into the event, with 2020 champion Rimo Timm returning to action having been absent in 2021.

Timm was a little off his personal best pace, but managed to take second with a 4:51 finish. Tarvi Tameri took third in 5:08.

Three in a row for Poldsaar

Piret Poldsaar bagged her third victory on the trot at Tallinn TV Tower with a winning time of 6:10.

The tough Estonian has held off strong competition at previous editions, but was relatively unchallenged by the closely matched athletes that followed. Kairi Tuulmägi finished second in 7.35 and youngster Arabella Raie third in 7.37.

Soh Wai Ching has extended his unbeaten run of tower running victories to 18, with a win at the Big Climb Houston.

The Malaysian set a time of 5:21 at the 50-storey Three Allen Center in central Houston to claim a new building record and keep his streak of victories rolling

Second place went to Nathan Marchant who reached the top of the Three Allen Center in 6:45. Douglas Schroeder was third in 7:50.

Rees lightning in women’s division

Verity Rees put in a strong run to dominate the women’s division and earn fifth place overall for the whole event.

Rees set a time of 8:19 to secure top spot, with Darlene Perdue (9:17) and Polly Warriner (10:06) filling the other places on the podium.

It will be a confidence boosting win for Rees, as she builds upon the growing list of top-three and top-five performances she’s put in since emerging onto the US tower running scene in 2019.

Full Big Climb Houston 2022 results

Soh Wai Ching continues his American tower running tour this Saturday (2 April) as he heads to the Three Allen Center in Houston for the Big Climb.

It will be the third race in seven days for the Malaysian, following his record-breaking wins last weekend at Big Climb Dallas and Big Climb Seattle.

Soh Wai Ching on his way to winning Big Climb Dallas

Saturday will be the fourth edition of the Big Climb Houston, and the action will be returning to the 50-floor Three Allen Center, after the 2019 and 2020 editions of the event were moved to 1600 Smith Street.

The inaugural Big Climb Houston was held in 2018 at Three Allen Center, when US tower runner and rower Harrison Kieffer reached the building’s rooftop in the fastest time of 6:42.

Harrison Kieffer winning the Big Climb Houston 2018

Soh will be hotly tipped to outdo that time as he aims to chalk up an 18th consecutive tower run victory.

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Rafal Hazan ran the 351 steps of St George’s Tower in 1:31.7 to win the LOROS Tower Run.

The experienced Polish tower runner became only the sixth athlete in the event’s seven year history to complete the course in under 1:32.

Hazan was followed by David Harris (GBR) whose time of 1:44.2 was almost exactly the same as the one that earned him second spot on the podium in 2021 too.

Gareth Dix (GBR) was third in 1:50.1, making an impressive 12-second improvement on his finishing time from last year’s event.

In the women’s division, the absence of some of the top UK tower runners left the race wide open. In what was a slower contest than has been seen in previous editions, Molly Adams was fastest to reach the top in 2:25.3. Jo Remington was next in 2:32.5, with Kimberly Etherington-Bates third in 2:33.2.

LOROS Tower Run 2022 results and LOROS Tower Run 2022 race photos

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Columbia Center Seattle venue of Big Climb Seattle

Soh Wai Ching broke the course record at the Big Climb in Seattle’s Columbia Center with a winning time of 7:00

The in-form Malaysian athlete took six seconds off the previous record of 7:06 set by Canada’s Shaun Stephens-Whale in 2015.

He had flown in straight off the back of an impressive win at Big Climb Dallas the day before, clocking 7:16 as he ran the 1,326 steps of the Bank of America Plaza there.

The Big Climb Seattle men’s podium was completed by Jeff Devlin (USA) in 8:05 and two-time former winner Tristan Roth (USA) in 8:16.

Big Climb Seattle has been running since 1987 and involves a race up 1,311 steps (69 floors).

Soh will race again next weekend, returning to Texas to compete at the Big Climb Houston in the city’s 50-floor Three Allen Center.

Paha victorious with sub 10-minute finish

Jill Paha carried forward the strong form that saw her win last month’s Scale the Strat in Las Vegas, by clocking 9:52 to finish as the only woman under the 10 minute mark.

Paha was followed by Jessica Pickett in 10:04, while third spot went to Tricia O’Hara in 11:08.

Big Climb Seattle 2022 results

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Mark Bourne put in a dominant performance to claim first place and defend his title at the Sea to Sky Q1 Stair Challenge in Gold Coast (Australia).

Bourne, a five-time winner and course record holder at the event, took just 6:52 to reach the top of the 1,331-step tower.

Adam Williams took second in 9:08, with Cody Pratt third in 9:11.

Bourne remains unbeaten at Q1 Tower, with six wins from six appearances at the event in Queensland. Only Paul Crake (2005) and Jason Williams (2018) join him on the men’s champions list.

Meg Reeves back on top

Meg Reeves, winner of the event in 2017, returned to action at Q1 Tower and produced a strong run to win in 8:52.

Meg Reeves – Q1 Stair Challlenge winner 2022 (image courtesy of Stair Climbing Australia)

Clare Geraghty was a minute behind in 9:52, with Liz Elton taking third spot in 10:29.

Check out all the Q1 Sea to Sky race results (including previous editions).

Andrea Mayr recently caught up with Austrian website sportaktiv.com to talk about her career, attitude to training and plans for the future, and it’s a brilliant read.

The refreshingly open interview provides a great insight into the mindset of one of the greatest and most versatile athletes of all time.

Highlights include:

  • Her openness to a return to tower running
  • What motivates her after 20 years of top-class competition
  • Her non-professional approach to still competing at the top: “I’m doing this for fun. I no longer have a sponsor, I get zero funding, I don’t owe anyone anything, I have my job. I don’t have to read my name in the newspaper or in magazines. Honestly, I don’t need any of that.”

Read the interview on Sport Aktiv

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Soh Wai Ching has set a new course record of 12.57 at the 105-floor Willis Tower in Chicago.

The Malaysian star became only the second person to have run the course’s 2,109 steps in under 13 minutes, as he took a second off the previous record of 12.58 set by Colombia’s Frank Nicolas Carreno in 2017.

Mark Henderson and Ezra Mullen battled it out for the remaining podium spots with Henderson eventually edging it with his 16.22 finish enough to see off Mullen’s 16.40.

In the women’s division, Rosalyn Russell (fourth at the ESBRU last month) took the win in 18.48. Jill Paha (19.54) and Verity Rees (19.56) both clocked personal best times in their super-close battle for second spot.

The win rounds off an impressive few weeks racing in America for Soh, who also took victory at the Empire State Building Run-Up last month.

Victory in Chicago came after he secured a double event win in Detroit less than 24 hours before. At the Gift of Adoption Michigan Stair Climb at Southfield Town Center, Soh destroyed the previous course record up the 522-step building – taking it down to 2.22 from the previous best of 3.13 – before putting in a fantastic one-hour tour de force of 15 climbs to win the Power Hour event.

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